'Jazz Funeral for Lady Liberty" among La. protest plans
NEW ORLEANS - It was an oddly festive and uniquely New Orleans-style of protest: A brass band played mournfully as demonstrators lowered a replica of the Statue of Liberty into a black coffin and began wheeling it through city streets.
The so-called "Jazz Funeral for Lady Liberty" coincided with Friday's swearing in of Donald Trump as the nation's 45th president.
The protest drew close to 200 people to Armstrong Park on the edge of the French Quarter. Some carried signs labeling the new president as a racist, a sexist and a liar.
Mike Lester, of Holden, was at his French Quarter store, Nawlins Sports on Decatur Street, when he heard about the demonstration and decided to walk over and see what was going on.
Wearing a T-shirt and hat in support of Trump, Lester said such oppositional rallies "do nothing but further divide the country."
"The election is over," he said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "It's time we put partisanship behind us and go out there and show support for the president. It's time to come together and move on."
Lester, who said he leans Republican but identifies as an Independent, said he believes Trump will do as his campaign slogan said and "Make America Great Again."
"With Trump in office, I think he will turn things around. He has a more business-minded administration and he's put a bunch of people under him who will help him govern and make this country great again," he said.
Another protest was set for later Friday at a small park across from City Hall.
Protests were scheduled to continue Saturday. "Women's Marches" are set for New Orleans and the Shreveport-Bossier area, coinciding with the Women's March in Washington.