New Orleans port protest: Cut ties with Israel!

SLL photos: Gregory E. Williams

Nov. 3, New Orleans – About 100 pro-Palestine protesters gathered on Canal Street downtown, outside the Sheraton Hotel, where the annual State of the Port address was happening. This is an elite event for business people and politicians.

Activists demanded that the Port of New Orleans, the city and state governments, along with the police forces, cut all ties with the Zionist state, which is currently carrying out a genocide of Palestinian people with Washington’s full backing. Protesters rallied, passed out literature, formed a picket line, and then marched during the lunch rush.

Connecting the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, the Port of New Orleans is a major economic hub for the United States, responsible for a nationwide economic output of $29.8 billion. The port has established collaborations with Israel’s Port of Ashdod in Tel Aviv, launching an “Innovation Embassy” this year.  

The U.S. Census Bureau says that 28.3% of people in New Orleans live in poverty. While working-class people struggle to make ends meet, U.S. capitalists – including in Louisiana – continue to get richer by collaborating with Zionist Israel. These business leaders have blood on their hands.

Friday’s protest action was called by Freedom Road Socialist Organization – New Orleans, Students for a Democratic Society, and other groups. Speakers indicated that this is the beginning of a campaign focused on the port authority. They promised to continue disrupting meetings, luncheons, and other functions until the port ends its relations with Israel.

Speakers included Tulane students facing charges after they were attacked by Zionist students during a peaceful protest for Palestine on that New Orleans university campus. Since the incident, they have faced harassment by university police and disinformation campaigns accusing them of antisemitism. 

As with all other pro-Palestine protests in New Orleans, anti-Zionist Jewish activists played a leading role on Friday. Jewish Voice for Peace has been a driving force in the movement, showing that anti-Zionism is not antisemitism. 

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