This was my second year marching with the Krewe of Eris, the unauthorized parade that marches from the Bywater through the Marigny and to the French Quarter. Last year it was lots of fun, as I hula hooped with my friends at the head of the parade. This year it started out with revelry and celebration, but in the end got broken up by the police and turned ugly. Six police officers were supposedly injured and twelve people marching got arrested, while many others were beaten, tasered, and pepper sprayed.
The police reported that members of the parade were vandalizing vehicles and kicking over trash cans, among other things. I did not see anything happening that warranted police brutality but the NOPD is known for violence. The paraders were labeled as "anarchists", a favorite tactic used by the police state and media to justify police violence. I had many friends in the parade and I would not consider them to be anarchists, but even if they were they are peaceful people and don't deserve to be beaten.
I was walking with a couple of my friends when the helicopters flew over with their spotlights and the police cars came screaming down the street behind us. We ducked down a side street and avoided the mayhem that was soon to ensue. In the aftermath the NOPD has shut down the ARC building which houses the 'anarchist' Iron Rail Book Collective, as well as the non-profit bike repair shop Plan B. This is a blow to the community that lives in the Bywater and Marigny and has enjoyed these resources.