Christopher Tidmore-New Orleans Elections

Thursday, 03 November 2016 12:08

Louisiana US Senate race mess, Dillard responds, Duke benefits?

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debate senJudging from many accounts, the Louisiana US Senate debate was somewhat substantive, but, somewhat of a disaster, too.

The invitation to David Duke was a difficult decision.  The debate partners had a certain protocol that was followed, 5% in certain polls.  The organizers could not make up new rules to deny Duke an opportunity to speak.  Doing so would not have been fair and if anything would give Duke an additional opportunity to claim he has been victimized and his speech has been abridged.

 

He plays the victim all so well.

One of the entities involved, who, might be the real victim was Dillard University, the host of the debate.  Here is the post-debate press release by Dillard.  Also, below are some of the interesting and latest tweets. 

Dillard University honored our commitment as host of tonight's Louisiana Senatorial debate. 

Ultimately, and unfortunately, the selection of the next senator from our state became a secondary issue as the focus centered on the University's response to protests on the campus.

At no time did Dillard discourage protests; either by students or members of the community. We shared a dual responsibility of providing a safe space for those protesters and for the orderly management of the event. 

As the time of the debate neared, the protests became less peaceful. Some members of the crowd attempted to move past Dillard Police and into the debate area. After repeated requests by officers for the crowd to step back and allow the doors to be closed, individuals then began to force their way into the building. 

As a last resort, DUPD made the decision to use pepper spray to stop the advancement of the crowd. After a second attempt to enter the building, officers again utilized pepper spray as a deterrent. 

For the duration of the debate, protesters continued to peacefully assemble outside the building. No arrests were made, though three individuals were briefly detained. 

As the protests were proceeding, Dillard Student Government hosted its own Debate Watch Party in the Student Union. Based on observations, there were roughly 50 protesters on hand. Those numbers were dwarfed by the attendance of the watch party. 

After the conclusion of the debate, a small number of protesters began to block the entryways to the campus. After several requests to disperse, six individuals were arrested for obstructing traffic. One of those six was a Dillard student. They were transported to Central Lockup for booking. 

Dillard University will continue its dialogue with the student body in dealing with the issues brought forth by these events. While tonight was a great challenge, it is also a great opportunity for our University to grow stronger together.

 

 

Last modified on Friday, 04 November 2016 11:12
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