Big Easy Protest Turns Rough
New Orleans OK's demolition of housing despite opposition
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Dec 20, 2007 4:30 PM CST
Protesters fall to the ground as New Orleans Police re-lock a gate outside the New Orleans City Council chambers as the council was holding a meeting about tearing down public housing buildings in New...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Police used pepper spray and stun guns on protesters in New Orleans attempting to push their way into a City Council meeting over the impending demolition of 4,500 public housing units damaged by Katrina. Local activists oppose HUD's push to raze the houses to make room for mixed-income neighborhoods. "Is this what democracy looks like?" one protester asked the AP.

At the height of the protest, 70 activists faced more than 50 law enforcement officers, but details on arrests and injuries were unclear. Protesters say that the redevelopment projects will shut poor blacks out of the city and that their views were absent in today's council debate. The council approved the demolition.