Jazz Funeral For Democracy!
by Volmarr Wyrd
Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005 at 7:31 PM
We here in New Orleans held a traditional New Orleans style jazz funeral for the death of democracy and to protest the inauguration of Bush and also to protest the war. Thousands of people showed up and marched. It was very likely the largest protest in New Orleans in decades, if ever.
We here in New Orleans held a traditional New Orleans style jazz funeral for the death of democracy and to protest the inauguration of Bush and also to protest the war. Thousands of people showed up and marched. It was very likely the largest protest in New Orleans in decades, if ever. It began at 10am and lasted till after 3pm. It started in Congo Square with speeches. It took a long time for the huge crowd of the people to get lined up once when we started marching.
We had two separate marching bands, the Treme Brass Band and the Constitution Brass Band. As well we had a small troupe of Native Americans, Gray Hawk’s Kostini, playing traditional Native American songs.
Many people were dressed up in formal wear or costumes. Some people even wore skull masks and had Voodoo symbols on their outfits. Various interesting signs were carried by people, and everyone had pins, white armbands, and deception dollars. A horse drawn carriage carried a wooden coffin.
The march stretched out a long ways forward and down the street as we marched. People danced, as is traditional for a New Orleans jazz funeral. The march was timed so it passed many of the more major areas during lunch break and thus drew a huge amount of spectators with many additional people joined in as we passed. We took a route down Canel Street and eventually into the Quarter and stopped at Jackson Square. We had a police escort; the police had been hired by the organizers to shut down the streets for us. Upon reaching Jackson Square there was an hour and a half of more speeches. Amazingly the group not only stayed but got bigger during this time. Then we marched again, this time down to Frenchmen Street, a popular local "alternative" area. There we had a block party for an hour or so.
Many felt the Jazz Funeral really helped them feel inspired to continue the political fight. It was a very common feeling amongst all those attending that something major was born on this day in New Orleans, a stronger local progressive anti-war anti-Bush political movement.
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