While Gov. Bobby Jindal kicked off his Geaux Bobby presidential bid at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, several dozen protestors stood on the Lake Pontchartrain levee in sweltering heat behind a police barricade. The group - organized through a Facebook event - carried satirical signs criticizing Jindal's approach to health care, education, the film industry and LGBT rights, among other issues.
"It's my state, and this guy is leaving it in a whole mess," said Ed Vail with a laugh while holding an Alfred E. Neuman-themed Jindal sign. "I want to warn the country."
Liz Gore, a teacher and actor, said she's frustrated with Jindal's out-of-state campaigning and cuts to education and the film industry. "I have the chance to at least show my support, and not just via a Facebook event, but actually here," she said.
Chris Marroy with Dirty Coast handed out "Pray The BJ Away" stickers made to look like campaign buttons, which the company made following Jindal's double-down on banning same-sex marriage. Krewe du Vieux's Krewe of SPANK also handed out stickers with Jindal's face next to "Louisiana and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad BJ."
Mo Hustad, holding a rainbow-colored stegosaurus, drove from Baton Rouge to attend the protest. She's frustrated with the state's lack of mental health resources and funding for education. "He can try [to run for president], but I think it's fruitless," she said.
Christopher Williams, who posted the Facebook event and didn't expect nearly 4,000 people to click "attending," was thrilled with the turnout (about 150 people), despite it being much smaller than the RSVP list. "We still have people showing up," he said. "People here are passionate."
Williams created the event page after a trip to Baton Rouge discussing cuts to higher education.
"When I saw he was going to have his event in New Orleans, I got so mad about that I said, 'Well, we need to show him how we feel about him in New Orleans,'" he said. "I'm excited to see so many people here and such a diverse crowd. ... He's the one person to get this state together and rally with one voice to say, 'No Jindal.'"
As the crowd inside the Pontchartrain Center left the building, the protestors chanted "No, Jindal, No." Most people smiled and shook their heads - several Jindal supporters waved their own signs and small U.S. flags to the crowd.
See more images from the protest below: