Posted Dec. 21, 2007 - Dozens of New Orleans Police, on horseback and on foot, sprayed protestors with mace and hit them with stun guns Thursday as they stormed a City Council meeting to voice opposition over a plan to bulldoze 4,500 public housing units.
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Protestors said they felt the meeting had been stacked with supporters of the controversial demolition and wanted to be represented among those opposing the plan.
Council members ended up OKing the redevelopment project unanimously, allowing the federal government to tear down four public housing developments.
The decision ends a long battle between residents, activists and preservationists – who contend that the city can ill afford to raze any affordable housing – and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Some 15 people were arrested on charges ranging from battery to disorderly conduct, police said, according to The Associated Press.
Four were taken to hospitals – including two women who had been stunned with Tasers – and five others were injured and treated on the scene, police told AP.
About six dozen protesters pressed against iron barricades that blocked them from the New Orleans Housing Authority building and were met by about a dozen mounted police and 40 more law enforcement officers on foot, AP reports.
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