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Protest demands dropping the charges against New Orleans pro-Palestine protester Toni Jones

By Serena Sojic-Borne

Toni Jones. | Fight Back! News/staff

New Orleans, LA – On Monday morning, March 18, about 40 protesters gathered in front of the City of New Orleans Municipal and Traffic Court to defend activist Toni Jones. The previous Saturday, police arrested Jones at a protest against Tulane University’s ties with Israel. Jones faces trumped-up charges of battery on an officer, obstructing a public place, interfering with a lawful investigation and resisting an officer.

“We’re here this morning because Tulane University and its police dogs persecuted me in an attempt to intimidate a student protest,” said Jones in a speech before the crowd.

At the protest where Jones was arrested, organizations Students for a Democratic Society and New Orleans Stop Helping Israel’s Ports (NOSHIP) condemned Tulane board member and history professor Walter Isaacson for his physical attack on another activist.

The Wednesday before, Isaacson grabbed, dragged and scratched history student Rory Macdonald for speaking out against corporate ties with Israel at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. Isaacson is the former CEO of CNN, biographer of Elon Musk, former chairman of the US Broadcasting Board of Governors, former advisor to the Department of Defense, and board member of weapons manufacturer Halliburton Labs.

“This man saw that he had the privilege guaranteed by U.S. imperialism to do whatever he wanted,” Macdonald said of Isaacson.

“Now, a revolutionary once said, ‘it is not a bad thing to be attacked by the enemy,’” Jones noted. “It is a good thing. It means we have shown ourselves to be a credible opposition, and a threat.”

After listening to speeches and making chants, the protesters went into court to accompany Jones. Court officials told the participants that “just for today,” only people “with court matters” could enter. After attendees pressed for an explanation for about ten minutes, court officials allowed them to enter.

The rally served as a launch event for the Jones/Macdonald Defense Committee. This organization pursues three demands: Drop all charges against Toni Jones and all protesters repressed by Tulane; Walter Isaacson must be removed from all positions and criminally charged; and Tulane University must end all ties with Israel.

The committee can be found on Instagram: @jonesxmacdonalddefense

#NewOrleansLA #LA #InJusticeSystem #PoliticalRepression #AntiWarMovement #International #MiddleEast #Palestine #NOSHIP #NOCOP