(Photo: Demonstrators protest the killing of George Floyd at Jackson Square June 5 | NOPD)
A multi-congregational prayer gathering is scheduled to take place in Jackson Square for two hours on New Year’s Eve, although New Orleans Police will be present to ensure it doesn’t happen.
The gathering, or the “New Years Eve 20/20 Revival Rally,” is scheduled to occur along Decatur Street by Jackson Square, near the “300” sign, from 10 p.m. to midnight and will include worship and prayer, according to a flyer posted by organizer.
New Orleans Police, however, say the event is “unpermitted” and violates COVID-19 restrictions.
“[New Orleans Police] officers will be at the location to ensure that this illegal event does not take place and the public is urged to not attempt to attend this event,” according to an Eighth District post shared on Facebook, which also reminded the public that coronavirus restrictions on large public gatherings and parties is still in place for New Orleans.
Pastor Andy Rebirth of One Accord Ministries, an event spokesman, told The Quarter Rat that the event is still on despite the NOPD’s warning.
The gathering will consist of approximately four congregations and more have already reached out, Rebirth said.
“We will definitely be there because that’s our right as American citizens,” Rebirth said. “There’s a separation between church and state.”
The event is meant to be a positive display of unification in order to cap an otherwise negative year.
“This has been a crazy year and we just want to end the year right and usher in the holy spirit into [New Orleans] because the city definitely needs it,” Rebirth said. “We’re not trying to bring any type of violence, we’re not going to burn anything, we’re not going to look, we’re going to peacefully gather and that’s alright.
“Because it’s the land of the free. That’s all we’re doing.”
Transportation will be provided starting at 9 p.m. at 713 S. Jamie Blvd. in Avondale.
Masks will be required in order to board the bus, although they will be provided, according to Rebirth.
When asked what he’ll do if police insist the event be shut down, Rebirth said he’ll leave it to a higher power.
“We’re going to peacefully protest and gather,” Rebirth said. “Whatever transpires from that is out of my hands.”
Information on the event can be found here.