Friday, January 20, 2012

On The New Curfew: Posters Make The Implied Explicit

The City Council, with the support of the Vieux Carre Property Owners Association and other bigots class warriors, recently passed an 8pm curfew for kids under 17 years old in the French Quarter and Marigny. This law effectively teaches kids to get used to living under permanent Martial Law (preparing them for the future as George Orwell so eloquently predicted it: "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.")

A few posters recently were seen around the borders of the curfew zone which make explicit the policies of the "apartheid police state" (to quote Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow) we exist within today.


  1. Just saw these on St. Claude. Fuckin' brilliant... making the implicit explicit

  2. perhaps someone should suggest to the city council they get some gates like these for the edge of the curfew zones:

    or these nice welcoming gates:

  3. fuck yea! i want in on this. when i find you i will say so.

  4. I am not sure I am sure about all the militant "race cards" being flung on the table. Nor would I really think Boubon Street would be a place to hang at age 16. I mean what the hell are you going to do on Bourbon at 16? Most of the clubs probably are not going to let you in unless you are a hot jailbait girl and look older and have make up (or a gay boy.. but I digress)

    I think it is a cover for the "real" problem with this that has nothing to do with what hue of brown you happen to be. Lets say you are like 24 or 25 and you look a bit young. With this curfew, the cops can now just run up on you and demand to see an ID regardless of if you are just minding your own business. From there, of course, I am sure they will run IDs if they feel like it in the name of "safety".. particularly since this is one of the backwards states where they throw people in jail over stupid stuff like attachments for old traffic fines.

    By playing the race card, you give them an excuse to do what they REALLY want. The cops want to be able to demand IDs anytime they damn well feel like it citywide for "fairness". Just like the seat belt laws are cleverly disguised excuses for the LA patrol to harass those in cars and establish surprise checkpoints anytime they wish, now walkers and bikers will be now able to be stopped and scanned with a valid excuse.

    1. Hello,
      If you'll click through the link saying "apartheid police state" and watch the video clip, you'll hear from a lawyer and author about how such minor infractions, or "excuses" as you say, are used disproportionately against african-americans in the US, and that once someone is ensnared in the criminal justice system, it is disproportionately hard to get out of it if they are a person of color, due to factors of both racism and lack of class privilege/monetary resources.

      So yes, the new curfew law CAN be used against anyone, but it will primarily be used against african-american youth. I guarantee you.

      And you should care about that, even if you are white and may never be a suspect/IDed while walking around in a curfew zone, because the type of society created when apartheid-like conditions are bearing down on people of color is not one white people have a nice time living in, either, unless they are rich. In such a racialized caste system, race can become a short-hand for class (as it pretty much already is), creating a dynamic where poor and middle class whites, who can't decide to live completely isolated existences from those who are the victims of the apartheid situation, feel the backlash from it most intensely.

      While rich whites can stay perfectly safe and secure in their gated neighborhoods, with their impossible-to-steal luxury cars, their children stay safe at $10,000 a year private schools, etc.... most white folks can't.

      Even if you are not a direct victim of the apartheid-style application of the law, unless you are ultra-rich, you are an indirect victim of these policies that result in violent, desperate, resentful, fearful, angry, and prejudiced people on both sides of the color divide.

      Whites and blacks must unite to fight these apartheid policies that only benefit the multi-national corporations who suck most of the tourist dollars out of the "entertainment factory" that is the City of New Orleans, and whose profits therefore rely on the apartheid policing and curfews that don't benefit anyone else.

  5. Rather than go after the way this law could be jerrymandered into a neo-JimCrow restriction, why not go after it with the argument that logically has a chance of legally tearing this law a new one;

    Despite the fact that these areas have some parts that can be a bit rowdy, it is important that the city remembers that the FQ and Marigny are residencial neighborhoods. Families have homes here and it is insane to tell them that their children have to be locked in at night. While the racial issues are nasty, bringing them up is not going to be the way to gain momentum to stop this thing. What will is sending a message to the parents in this neighborhood that their children could come home traumatized in hancuffs in the back of a squad car for walking down their own street. Drive that message home and you can bet that there will be crowds of angry parents at town hall meetings to put an end to this idiocy.

  6. Hi Peter.
    From my perspectve, you are certainly right in your strategy suggestions for how to get this individual law repealed. The problem is that there will be another dumb law tomorrow that may not be so easily repealed, and another the day after that.

    And the pattern that all these type of laws have fit into (since the inception of the drug war) is one in which a neo-Jim Crow society is being constructed. Unless we attack the root ideologies behind each individual law, we will constantly be having to fight insane laws like this one. And some of us have been fighting them for decades now. Sometimes it works, sometimes it fails, but it never stops the new ones from being created.

    I;m much more interested in ending the new Jim Crow (as Michelle Alexander calls it) than in simply getting one law repealed because it's impact may extend beyond it's effect of increasing "the new Jim Crow" system, to negatively impacting those who may have sway with City Hall and are not meant to be targeted by the new Jim Crow.

  7. I'm not against the law for its unintended consequences, I am against it because of its *intended* effects.

  8. It makes me sad that people think these posters are "fucking brilliant." Some people might not understand the sarcasm of these posters, especially children. I think that they are irresponsible and without any positive impact. I hope the makers of these posters don't think that wheat pasting equates activism or any real change in our community. Real change comes with working and engaging with everyone in our community.

  9. Hipsta pigface Serpas is gettin' in on the Wheatpaste street-art action with some kickin stickerz of his own!

    your tax dollars at "work":

  10. Oops! Maybe I spoke too soon...

    Over before it started... ggod job, Serpas, u da man