The party used to never stop in New Orleans. But ever since the State of Louisiana’s Office of Alcohol & Tobacco Control swooped in and closed 8 strip clubs on one street alone–New Orleans’s famous Bourbon Street–dancers and other workers who labor on the famed boulevard have been making their issues felt.
Yesterday, hundreds of dancers–some clad in lingerie and leather–marched through downtown New Orleans streets to protest the closures.
New Orleans police say the clubs were shut down because they were enriching themselves off human trafficking–which, in 2018, means prostitution-and that they were havens for drug sales and “lewd acts”–meaning people were touching and showing exposed body parts all up in and outside the club–and, cops say, money was exchanging hands too.
But the strippers say,”So what?”. They say they have the right to show and tell, or more, and get money while doing it.
Some of the protesters carried signs that read,“Touching my boobs is not prostitution”, while the crowd chanted, “My body, my choice!”.
Some of the strippers say the street is not Disneyland, so don’t be shocked to see Ta-Ta’s instead of Sponge Bob.
But cops say they have a duty to shut down illegal activity, and more arrests–and club closures–are coming down the pike.
The drama is a shocking one for anyone who has ever been to New Orleans–especially during Mardi Gras. The city has a very laid back, do-what-you-want and anything-goes feel to it.
And all of this is unfolding barely a week before the official Mardi Gras weekend begins on Feb. 9th in New Orleans.
Its unclear whether the treasured yearly event will be affected by the protests and closures.
Via: Nola.com Photos: Nola.com The Times Picayune