Protesters Greet David Duke at La. Debate
Protestors rallied outside of Dillard University’s Georges Auditorium Wednesday as candidates in the Louisiana State Senate race debated on the historically Black college’s campus.
According to Nola.com, more than 60 protestors, some Dillard students, held signs and chanted “No Duke. No K-K-K, no fascist USA” to express their displeasure with former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke’s controversial participation in the debate.
Cries of “Let us in!” were met with police pepper spraying protestors who attempted to gain access to the University’s auditorium, one report said. Six people were apprehended – including one student –as tensions continued to rise.
Students belonging to the organization Socially Engaged Dillard Students (SEDU) attempted to persuade University officials from allowing Duke to attend the debate. In an open letter, the SEDU wrote “His presence on our campus is not welcome, and overtly subjects the entire student body to safety risks and social ridicule…Everything David Duke promotes is an anathema to us, a Historically Black College & University. Instead of denying the presence of this terrorist onto our campus, our school’s president has assured his safety by Dillard University armed police [sic], against us, the Dillard University student body.”
At the protest, SEDUS was joined by the community activist group Take ‘Em Down NOLA, which stands for economic and racial justice by pushing for the removal of all white supremacist symbols in New Orleans.
The debate’s sponsor, Raycom, barred the public, media, and Dillard students from watching the debate live, which left the auditorium primarily vacant.
Inside the debate room, Duke criticized Jews and the Black Lives Matter movement. He claimed he would “defend the police” while BLM “calls for the murder of police officers,” he said.
Duke also faced intense opposition from the five other candidates vying for the lone Louisiana Senate seat. “Somehow, this snake slithered out of the swamp,” said Democratic Candidate Caroline Frayard.
Despite the controversy, Thursday morning, Duke tweeted that he was the victor of the debate, according to three major Louisiana TV station polls
3 major LA TV stations asked viewers who won the debate. I won all 3 by landslides. Here’s the pic before our”free” media censorship! pic.twitter.com/NrUv5j31x5
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) November 3, 2016