MSNBC: Demolition of New Orleans housing approved — Protests precede City Council vote on racially charged controversy

New Orleans IMC: Police Attack Protesters With Mace, Tazers to Keep Them Out of City Hall

First locked out of their homes for more than 2 years, and now locked out of the very City Council meeting in which the city’s politicians are set to vote for tearing down their homes, residents and activist today were attacked by police to keep them from entering the City Council chambers.

I wish I could be there in NOLA with my brothers and sisters from the National Lawyers Guild who are fighting back against this injustice.

As for the violence inflicted by the NOLA police, I understand that their defenders will say that it was necessary to preserve order. However I’m reminded by a line from the movie Cool Hand Luke, “Saying that it’s your job doesn’t make it right.” I don’t support violence by protesters but I do support disruption by protesters, and I think the cops shouldn’t be striking back with unnecessary force.

What is interesting to me is how the AP described the violence. They make it sound like the protesters were inflicting violence on the police, and yet if you read the story closely the only violence used by the protesters was that they tried to push through a gate. That’s it. Yet the police used pepper spray and tazers. That is not a proportionate use of violence and is indefensible in my opinion. Pepper spray and tazers are one step away from lethal force and shouldn’t be used for something as mild as this.

Anyway though, my heart and prayers are with those who are continuing the struggle for justice in NOLA.