Marching against an 'immoral' La. state budget, 9 protesters arrested

Police detained protestors for stopping traffic (Source: WAFB)
Police detained protestors for stopping traffic (Source: WAFB)
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB/AP) - Police arrested nine people for stopping traffic at the intersection of North Boulevard and 4th Street Monday.

Those nine were among a group of about 50 that marched from the capitol building to protest the recently-vetoed state budget.

One of the protesters who was not arrested, Omari Ho-Sang, says the demonstration is an effort to remind legislators of the state's working poor as deliberations begin over a new budget in the special legislative session.

"We want our legislators to remember us," Ho-Sang said. "When you're up there, you have influence, you have position, you have power. Now remember us."

She called the budget the Louisiana House and Senate passed last week "immoral," and said legislators can do better for the state's vulnerable residents.

"It's important that we link the emotion and the pain of being poor every day and being in poverty and suffering from racism," she said. "It's important that we link that with policy change."

Across the country, people are marching on state capitols against what they call systemic racism, voter suppression, and poverty. The movement is considered a re-ignition of the Poor People's Campaign Martin Luther King, Jr. started 50 years ago.

"Basically what this campaign is supposed to do is to bring back the tactics that worked back then and it's bringing people together," said Jasmine Pogue, one of the protesters who was not arrested.

Many protesters indicated they knew a portion of the group would be arrested, but they still called the demonstration a success.

The nine protesters arrested have been charged with blocking public passage, a misdemeanor that carries a fine up to $500.

Group members say they'll be back at the capitol next Tuesday to speak out against what they call "militarism," which they say is the prioritization of military spending over state services.

They wouldn't say how they plan to demonstrate.

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