Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Link to short Eris video

These cops seem frightened, tense and unsure of what they are there to do. That gives me a great deal of fear for all.

and another account from someone in the parade who was arrested:
Eris parader account

a bystander account:

this is an interview sent to me by Todd P. as a way to show some of the issues with how Eris operates. Some may see it that way. Glad to have it-thanks Todd.
As always, happy to post anything that gives information, but I think it proves the paraders' point of operating as "creative chaos" and needs to be understood as such by the police, as much of Mardi Gras operates in that way. Yes, illegal vandalism et a needs to be stopped, but I am still not sure that the two are connected directly.
organizer interview

there is a thread of comments between a friend of mine and me too.


darnola said...

hmm not sure why comment are disabled. will look at that.

Hey Dar,

Saw your post on Eris and tried to comment. Since you don't allow comments on your blog, thought I would email this:

> I can understand why they were frightened. They were badly outnumbered and the account you linked to on New Orleans Indy Media makes this sound more like a riot than a parade.
> Did you notice the part where the Indy Media account said participants entered a NOPD cruiser and released an arrestee from police custody?
> And while the anonymous author thought the penises on cars were all in good fun, @ZackMoe posted on Twitter photos of blocks of keyed cars and less merry graffiti, including homophobic slurs.
> I doubt this will ever be clearly sorted out and it sure sounds like the NOPD overreacted, but the krewe and its participants seem blind to their own complicity in what happened.
> This reminds me a conversation we once had about a certain market that was willfully and blatantly selling illegal products. Their disregard for the law could have had serious consequences for all markets, and I think the actions of Eris could certainly endanger many other parading activities.

Hey Todd,

I am posting accounts as I get them and as I said, what I am hearing about what the police said and have done seems frightening to me.
Do I assume no responsibility on the behalf of the paraders? I hope you don't see that in there; It is certainly possible that there were people (either paraders or bystanders) who may have escalated things.
It is not unknown at this time of year to cars and other personal property to be the target of passers-by. I heard in his account that the parade-goers themselves were victims of some of it and that none of the organizers saw any of it happening, except for the dragging out of garbage cans which they worked to put back as quickly.

as for Eris making things hard for others, i myself tagged along with 2-3 other groups that were larger than 20 and clearly organized in some way-they seemed to not have a permit or a route planned or police escort either so I guess we can say that any group that operates outside of the permit can endanger those law-abiding groups, but in many ways many things about Sunday-Tuesday of Mardi Gras rely on the social contract we all have with the city and not on permits. It is always true that things can escalate and organizers need to be thinking about how they can ensure their krewe's safety but am not sure that a permit does that or a police escort from my own experience.
What I am hearing from the video and accounts some are bystanders and residents of the area, is that they saw no issues until the police arrived. What that means I do not know but do not want to rule out the possibility of the energy from the police as adding to that issue.
as for markets, I think we were talking about food safety at organized markets that are assuming they be allowed to operate under the same self-policing techniques that the other markets have been allowed to operate under; so those are not about permits but simple management techniques.
I would ask that we all allow that these organizers of Eris may have been as in control as a second line or a Society of Saint Ann or any of the 2-5 large groups of 30 or more I saw over the weekend.

as always I appreciate your input and analysis.
any more info that comes your way i would like.
and will figure out what the deal is with comments and post these there.

darnola said...

(Todd) No, no. I thought the account on Indy Media evaded any responsibility.

(Dar) What I saw did not, the one I linked to....

(Todd) It just seems like reading an interview with the founder (wish I could find the link), they have a history of clashing with the NOPD and its part of their mission.

(Dar) well reading "creative chaos" and "misrule" as a mission to clash with NOPD may be a bit far fetched but maybe I missed that in the interview- read it fast... what about this statement from the same interview?
Ozone was more blunt. "I think it's strategically retarded to be seeking confrontation when everyone's dressed up in gigantic glow-in-the-dark baby doll costumes," he said. "You gotta choose your battles, and you don't want to get a lot of people hurt."
(Todd) It does seem like Eris flaunted that social contract that keeps Carnival functioning. Gathering a massive, unregulated crowd and leading them late at night through a residential neighborhood runs the risk of breaking that contract. This, of course, is all hard to judge based on the bits of info on the web.
(Dar) I disagree that an unregulated crowd is breaking that social contract; it is exactly the social contract that allows some things that are unregulated to happen and I I think that is under attack; we need to defend the right to allow some creative activity that is not on St. Charles or Uptown where the police would like all krewes to congregate.

and how do you term massive? is massive like the one that gathers without permits on Royal and Kelerec every Fat Tuesday?

(Todd) Yeah, I wonder if that will ever be sorted out? What happened first, who reacted when. Given the size of the group and the vested interests of both sides, that would be very hard to work out. But when I hear that someone is opening cruisers and releasing people, it's just hard to imagine they weren't unruly or confrontational before. Maybe the police completely provoked that reaction in them, but you also have to assume they wouldn't have been so bold if they didn't completely outnumbered the cops.

(Dar) If I had a friend who was grabbed off the street as a non-participant and left in an open cruiser, I might pull them out. I do not believe that anyone should be pulled into cruisers without a clear awareness of who is who. I saw a police officer smack that camera out of the bystander's hand in the video. I heard another bystander talk about not seeing actions to allow for the reactions they saw.
also I was reading from the open cruisers and loss of tasers and batons that the police were not following their own processes, and were operating in confusion which is why people felt it proved their point.
And my (really my) bigger issues is that I have watched our NOPD react with grace, humor and tact during most Mardi Gras years, understanding how they need to act in order to get a reaction and what I saw on video was markedly different from that history.