In Defense of the Night: An Open Letter to New Orleans Teenagers

In Defense of the Night: An Open Letter to New Orleans Teenagers

Summer curfew went into effect June 3. If you are under the age of seventeen and caught out weeknights after 9pm in Orleans Parish (8pm for the French Quarter), and after 11pm on Friday and Saturday, you will be picked up by NOPD, taken to a homeless shelter known as Covenant House, and have your parents notified.

You yourself, being a mere minor, will only be charged with a “status offense,” but (like the city’s anti-graffiti ordinance that fines property owners for not cleaning tags off their building within a certain period of time) if you are picked up three times in a calendar year, your parents will face a municipal offense. Once indoors you are not to leave until sunrise. Every day, until August 31st.

“…we know that kids are involved in criminal activity,” says Mayor Cantrell’s justice commissioner Tenisha Stevens. “We’re looking at the kids who are at 1, 2 in the morning pulling on door handles and smashing car windows.”

Cantrell herself speaks of the whole thing more in terms of wildlife management. “If we have too many, we have to work towards a release initiative, again, with the juvenile court as well as with the sheriff’s department. And so that’s a transfer policy that we will have to enforce as well.”

In short, these politicians are telling you that you’re not real people. That you count only insofar as you aid (or do not impede) the forward march of progress and become future wage earners and upstanding citizens. That you are incapable of mature decision-making and that your urges as free, exploratory individuals are a liability. That the body you inhabit, as it were, makes you unfit to govern yourself. That you must be told what to do.

But you know better, don’t you?

You know in your heart and in your brain why they say this. You know why they criminalize you and why this has been done to you for generations.

They’re afraid. They’re afraid because you represent to them something they have lost long ago. Something for which they must create monstrosities — security cameras, fences, police patrols, prisons, enforcement, enforcement, enforcement — to try to tame away.

You, my friends, are free. Your blood burns, feeling the almost overwhelming possibilities stretching before you and knowing, secretly, none of this was made for you. If only you could find your place! If only you could leave your mark! If only you could play without the watchful eyes of authority figures roving over you every minute! Always emanating that silent envy that masks itself behind concern and suspicion.

Can you feel the clock ticking away? The clock that tells you when to wake and when to sleep and for how long until the day when you — subservient, second-class teenager — can go where you wanna go and do what you wanna do…The clock whose ticking tells you “not yet”…”go home”… “one day”… ”submit”…

But now, in this summer heat, your senses beckon. Eyes that wish to see the city late at night—wide open, unpopulated. Ears that wish to hear your own steps echo, ricocheting off the shuttered shop windows, no longer there to sell you anything, no longer bombarded by tourists vying for pictures and trinkets. (Are their “public safety” decrees for you…or for them?)

The chance to create your own deviations and adventures awaits.

Teenagers of New Orleans: These streets belong to you. And no police officer or puny government official has any business telling you otherwise.

Your freedom of movement at any hour is sacred — and your birthright.

Reclaim your streets. Reclaim your city.

Immigrant Detention Merges with For-Profit Prison Company Lasalle Correctional Corporation

Immigrant Detention Merges with For-Profit Prison Company Lasalle Correctional Corporation

In mid-March, advocate groups in New Orleans discovered that a few hundred asylum seekers and migrants had been moved to River Correctional Facility (RCF), a parish prison in Ferriday, LA operated by LaSalle Correctional Corporation. The move was made outside of any official ICE registry. In mid-April it was revealed that thousands more were being moved to two other LaSalle-owned facilities, similarly with no public record or paper trail to document their movement.

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Crisis of Dispossession: How White Capital and Policy Have Intensified Post-Katrina Housing Precarity

Crisis of Dispossession: How White Capital and Policy Have Intensified Post-Katrina Housing Precarity

In 2019 there seems no end in sight to the movement of unhinged capital into New Orleans real estate. While every city struggles with the racialized displacement of poor people and precarious renters due to outside development, the legacy of redlining, the failure of the federal levees after Hurricane Katrina, and the predatory re-development of the city in the flood’s wake have led to a crisis of displacement, eviction and whitening of New Orleans. City and State housing policies (and lack thereof) have led to the complete commodification of housing— one which favors landlords, speculator investment and backdoor subsidizing of lucrative subleasing schemes. And finally, with the additional element of AirBnB and whole-home short-term rentals (STRs) being introduced in the last half decade, this process has truly gone off the rails. But this is not going unopposed; many are working to expose the eviction crisis, close off AirBnB futures and strategize on how to crash the housing bubble. Additionally, there are ways anyone can participate in the fight to take back homes and land from the market and return them to people.

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The Curse of Kirsha: Art, Race and Real Estate in New Orleans, part ii

The Curse of Kirsha: Art, Race and Real Estate in New Orleans, part ii

In part one of this series we talked about two recent racist New Orleans art swindlers: the AirBnB Queen, Muck Rock, and the deranged daughter of Pontalba prosperity, Ti-Rock Moore, who it appears had a hidden history as a crooked cosmetic dentist.

But rest assured, the metaphorical multimedia menhirs mounted by Muck Rock and Ti-Rock on our Artster Island stand atop a fundamental bedrock of bullshit laid by Kirsha Kaechele. Kirsha was the template, the original terrible vapid criticism-proof white lady artist rampaging through post-flood New Orleans. She’s a canny enough scammer that she’ll likely persist after all the simulacra she prefigured wither.

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Take Down Every Camera

Take Down Every Camera

Greedy politicians and business owners can’t resist investing in the Crescent City’s tourist economy, making depraved capitalist decisions on spending and legislation that benefit businesses over New Orleanians. City officials and business owners’ romance with investment in tourism has resulted in the creation of the largest police remote monitoring camera surveillance systems in the nation for a city of this size.

Residents of New Orleans have criticized the cameras for destroying the freewheeling rakish character of the city and expressed concern that “revelers will lose their taste for revelry.” Government oversight groups disparage surveillance technologies like the New Orleans police camera program for their disparate racial impacts, which further criminalize black populations, and for threatening privacy rights. While vital infrastructure remains in disrepair and the state maintains the second-highest incarceration rate in the nation, the City of New Orleans plans to invest in new technologies to automate policing and increase tourist revenue.

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Health within the Hustle: Mutual Aid Medicine

Health within the Hustle: Mutual Aid Medicine

A lack of access to adequate and dignified healthcare is often a struggle for those in the sex trade, particularly for those who work in the streets. This is due to lack of access to transportation, availability of healthcare professionals trained in working with people who trade sex, and cost of clinics and meds. Numerous historical atrocities perpetrated upon already underserved populations by conventional medicine has led to an understandable and healthy distrust of the current system of healthcare and medicine.

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Truth is Stranger than Fiction: How Ghost Tours Trivialize Slavery, Part I

Truth is Stranger than Fiction: How Ghost Tours Trivialize Slavery, Part I

Many times New Orleans “ghost tours” take a serious matter, such as slavery, and embellish a particular moment with graphic and scripted dialogue for spectacle, while going little into the actual histories of those oppressed peoples who largely built and established much of the unique culture of New Orleans. Some haunted history tours go as far as placing these hard, factual histories alongside stories of ghosts, vampires and the paranormal, which seems to categorize slavery with the supernatural.

Among the plethora of haunted history tours in the Vieux Carre, the mansion of Delphine LaLaurie remains one of the most visited sites. The building was made infamous in 1834 when responders to a fire inside the home witnessed the torture of enslaved people. The paper at the time, the New Orleans Bee, reported that after breaking down the locked doors to the slave quarters, responders found “seven slaves, more or less horribly mutilated… suspended by the neck, with their limbs apparently stretched and torn from one extremity to the other.”

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The Many Storms that Follow: Armed Community Defense After the Statues Fall

The Many Storms that Follow: Armed Community Defense After the Statues Fall

In the shadow of three black church burnings in April the son of a St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s officer, we wanted to think about possible avenues of solidarity with black community spaces. In the following piece, comrades from North Carolina share more about their experience with armed community defense after publicly tearing down Confederate monuments in Durham and Chapel Hill and running white supremacists out of Charlottesville.


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Meet Your Local Clown Fascists

Meet Your Local Clown Fascists

Peter Morgan had a nice little business selling fashion patches out of his parents’ house at 14 St Bridget Dr., way out in the furthest corner of Kenner, cozied precariously between the lake and the Duncan Canal floodwall marking the end of the suburbs and start of the swamp. He cares a whole lot about the environment, he’ll have you know.

Peter’s wife Kearstin is a birth doula and owner of Sacred Transitions Nola, whose pastel-colored website looks like it could be straight out of some west-coast hipster wellness enclave.

Both she and Peter are fascists who would like to see Louisiana become a white ethno-state.

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Insurrections Elsewhere: Revolt, Corruption and US Intervention in Haiti

Insurrections Elsewhere: Revolt, Corruption and US Intervention in Haiti

On February 7, 2019, Haiti erupted in revolt. Protesters fed up with miserable living conditions and enraged at recent government embezzlement scandals took their anger out on the luxury cars of the country’s small wealthy minority. In the following days, demonstrators clashed with police, assaulted President Jovenel Moïse’s house with rocks, shut down transportation and commerce with road blockades, looted, burned down buildings, and facilitated a jailbreak in which 78 prisoners escaped. The police were unable to reach the prison because of burning barricades.

While some escaped, others were arrested, injured, or killed by police. The government was not lenient. According to the Haiti Information Project, in the ensuing months the Haitian government has armed and paid gangs to attack and burn areas inhabited by rebels.

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Gay Sex and Class War

Gay Sex and Class War

Over the course of a couple months, the queer open sex culture of New Orleans was replaced with a Starbucks. Two bars with a storied past of raunchy gay sex on their premises were visited by the State, told to turn off their porn and make their customers stop fucking all over the place. On December 19, 2018, the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission cited French Quarter gay bar The Rawhide after a complaint was filed in September alleging “lewd public sex acts,” male prostitution, pornography, drug use, and “pup play” – all of which had apparently been illegal in bars all along. Shortly after the Rawhide’s hearing before the ATC, the Phoenix bar was subjected to the same treatment – not an old-fashioned raid, but a series of “compliance checks” by the ATC, ending with a hearing and citations. The results were the same in each case: no more pornography, no more sex on premises.

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Decarcerate Louisiana: Angola Prisoners & Supporters Call for Change

Decarcerate Louisiana: Angola Prisoners & Supporters Call for Change

On May 8, 2019, incarcerated citizens at Louisiana State Prison at Angola, their families, and other supporters will mark the anniversary of a nationally-reported prison strike and work stoppage on that date in 2018, calling the commemoration “Mayday” to highlight the sense that it is a distress call to everyone that believes all people have human rights. Members of Decarcerate Louisiana admit that prison administrators have made limited efforts to address some of the prisoners’ grievances, but little has actually occurred to meet the demands put forward a year ago.

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STORY TIME: NOLA BACHELORETTE PARTY CRASHED BY DEAD BODY IN AIRBNB

STORY TIME: NOLA BACHELORETTE PARTY CRASHED BY DEAD BODY IN AIRBNB

Dilly Dilly, dear reader!  Our special guest correspondent, AirBnBecky from Oklahoma, has generously graced Gnarlinz with not only her wonderful Bachelorette Party but also a special #OneTimeInNOLA reportback on the New Orleans short-term-rental scene. Take it away, gurrrrl!!!

I love bachelorette parties so much! Mimosas, phallic-themed decor, Beyonce songs… dead bodies… what’s not to love?!

Oh, yep, sorry… the um, dead body thing? Not part of your typical bachelorette party, apparently. But for ours, it was the culmination of a series of unfortunate events. Turns out, spending St. Patrick’s Day weekend in New Orleans didn’t bring everyone the luck of the Irish we’d hoped for.

Forewarning, this blog is going to be pretty long, without many pictures, but ya know, there’s a dead body so stay tuned.

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