Activist Arrested During Port of NOLA Board Meeting

New Orleans, LA – March 21, around 3:00 pm, during public comments at the Port of New Orleans monthly board meeting, local activist Felix Allen was arrested for standing in solidarity with Palestine. 

Allen, 27, is an organizer in New Orleans for Community Oversight of Police (NOCOP). Last week, a leading organizer of the same group, Toni Jones, was similarly arrested during a rally outside New Orleans Book Fair by Tulane University Police. Allen faces trumped up charges of disturbing the peace and resisting/obstructing an officer. 

Felix’s only crime is calling for the Port of New Orleans to end its trade with Israel. He was attending the Port of New Orleans board meeting as a community member to deliver public comments against the Innovation Embassy agreement with the Port of Ashdod in Israel. Organizers of the protest, New Orleans Stop Helping Israel’s Ports (NOSHIP), have been coming to board meetings for the past 5 months, calling for the termination of the agreement. 

During the board meeting, board chairman Joseph F. Toomy decided to cut comments short, preventing many of the 56 community members who were there to speak out against the agreement. As the Port’s Harbor Police Department (HPD) began escalating their actions to remove the public from the room, HPD Captain Cedric Turner was shoving Allen into the crowd telling him to leave. Documented on video, Allen is seen saying “I have no room,” before he turns around to follow the officer’s orders to exit from the doorway on the other side of the room. As soon as he does this, Turner latches onto Allen’s arm, puts him in a headlock, and slams him onto the ground. Though Felix was able to leave the building with the rest of the public, as soon as the building was empty, HPD officers detained Felix Allen outside. All media files of the incident can be found here

All while the criminal acts of the Port of New Orleans, who have remained steadfast in defending its trade agreement with Israel’s second largest port amidst the genocide in Gaza (situated just 20 miles south of the Port of Ashdod), remain unanswered for. This comes on the heels of Tulane professor Walter Isaacson’s attack on Rory Macdonald, a Tulane student, at a peaceful disruption of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week last Wednesday, during a panel featuring Halliburton Labs, which Isaacson is a board member of. During a rally outside New Orleans Book Fair (co-chaired by Isaacson) on Tulane’s campus Saturday, a black trans woman and leading organizer of NOCOP, was arrested by Tulane Police for defending Macdonald from their harassment.

NOSHIP calls for the immediate release of Felix Allen, and the dropping of all charges against him. The Port of New Orleans, Idea Village, GNO Inc. and World Trade Center New Orleans must immediately terminate the Innovation Embassy agreement with the Port of Ashdod. Though the Port board decided to cut public comments off, NOSHIP and New Orleans residents refuse to be scared and will keep coming out to end all aid to Israel and all support for the genocide in Gaza!

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