Tuesday, January 06, 2009

"Nothing federal happened here. Nothing."
-Herbert Gettridge, on the rebuilding of his Lower Ninth Ward home

Watch The Old Man and the Storm. Right now.

Update, 11:55 PM: Poppy Z. Brite on her arrest at Our Lady of Good Counsel church today:

Parishioner Hunter Harris and I slipped into the pews and began to pray. They hauled us out, cuffed our hands behind our backs, and escorted us out to the police car. I walked because I didn't want them to hurt my back, but Hunter went limp and was dragged, losing his shoes. You can read the story and watch the news video, including us being led away in handcuffs, here and here (same news, different versions).

Other than the one guy, the police were obviously embarrassed and ashamed to be doing this, and they couldn't have been nicer to us. The young lady from the city attorney's office who led me out was almost crying, and I actually found myself comforting her: "We know it's not your fault." We were taken to Central Lockup, a cavernous but clean room with blaring TVs and various desks where you had to jump through the legal hoops. We were both charged with "criminal trespassing and resisting arrest." They never put us in a cell, just let us sit in the holding room until Judge Frank Marullo signed our release an hour or so later....

...Shortly after we were taken away, parishioner Harold Baquet was arrested too. As you can see in the news story, Harold is a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy. Apparently they weren't willing to look quite that evil, because they just gave him a citation and took him to his house nearby. By 2:00 or so we were all back outside the church giving interviews and planning our next steps.

We have to go to court tomorrow, where we'll be pleading not guilty. I'll keep you posted. Happy Epiphany -- at least we have Haydel's king cake!

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