On June 8, Occupy The Stage and other activists and New Orleanians marched in Solidarity with Occupy Gezi in Jackson Square and the French Quarter. It was great to march with Turkish families and friends who came out to support protesters in Istanbul.
Many local supporters of Occupy Gezi and members of the Turkish community arrived with flags and signs, and we had some markers and poster board, some flags, and made a few more signs.
They also brought copies of a printed flyer with information about Occupy Gezi and what is happening in Turkey.
They asked one of us to read their statement in the megaphone, which we were happy to do.
We marched around Jackson Square and then down Royal Street, waving flags and handing out flyers about the demands Occupy Gezi and what is happening in Istanbul
Here is a video of Occupy NOLA and supporters of Occupy Gezi marching for Gezi in Jackson Square and then French Quarter!
Finally, this video of NOLA singing in Turkish to Occupy Gezi ends with a wonderful message to the people in Turkey. "I wish I could be with them."
Speech made in Solidarity with Occupy Gezi
I am here today to show support for the Turkish resistance. I am here with Occupy New Orleans in solidarity with Occupy Gezi. I am here in solidarity with the people in Istanbul and Ankara. I am here because there is blood in the streets of Istanbul.
I am here in solidarity with every human being who has stood up against government oppression, government corruption, and police brutality.
If you have family or friends in Turkey, you might be worried about them. You be angry about what is happening to the protesters in Turkey. I am angry about what is happening to the protesters Turkey. I have been following the news coming out of Taksir Square on what Erdoğan calls the worst menace to society - Twitter.
I have seen the tear gas and the bullets and the water hoses in photographs. I watched a young man filming the protest with his phone and talked to him on Twitter. He sent me a picture of the mayor smiling. He asked me to tell everyone that the government of Turkey should resign.
What is happening in Turkey is an injustice. The government should allow people to kiss on subways and in public. In April, Ankara subway officials made an announcement asking passengers “to act in accordance with moral rules” after security cameras spotted the couple kissing.
That was only the beginning. People say the current revolution in Turkey started with a peaceful protest of the government’s plan to demolish the GEZI PARKI in Taksim on Tuesday, the 28th MAY 2013. This park is one of the very few parks left in the city. The government decided to build a shopping mall in this location. The people of Turkey did not want this and stood up to their government. Turkish people protesting peacefully in the park were attacked by police who used tear gas and water hoses. I have seen photographs of gas canisters and bullets used by Turkish police. This is unacceptable.
The people of Turkey are trying very hard to get their message across. The Prime Minister controls all the media. None of the national TV channels broadcasted the country wide protests. This is unacceptable.
I understand that the demands of Occupy Gezi and the Taksim Solidarity Platform include the following:
One. Gezi Parkı must remain a park
Two. The governors, the police chiefs, and the officials who gave orders for a violent crackdown on the protests must resign
Three. The use of teargas and similar chemical weapons by the police must be outlawed
Four. Detained protesters must be released immediately
Five. Laws prohibiting demonstrations in public places must be abolished
We sincerely hope that these and other demands are met and are here in solidarity with you. Occupy New Orleans has made similar demands to our government.
Corrupt government officials and police should resign.
When the government and the police will not listen to us, we only have each other. That is what Occupy taught me. Occupy taught me that where there is anger, there is often love. When the government burns down tents and takes hundreds or thousands of people into custody, there is a reason to be angry.
Occupy has taught me that people are still willing to care about one another. I have anger in my heart about the way the Turkish Government and many other governments including the United States government have treated people.
With that anger there is also love for the people, all people, who are willing to resist. Occupy taught me that we are human beings who can stand together with a bond that is stronger than police in riot gear. Stronger than any government.
If there is nothing I can do alone except tell you that I am here in solidarity with all people fighting government oppression, then I that is what I will do. But I hope to do more. I hope to march. For Turkey. For Istanbul. For the Anonymous Solidarity Network. For Occupiers Everywhere. For everyone who has refused to sit down and allow the government to smash their human rights.
Today we march in solidarity with Turkey and with all people who believe a better world is possible.
What do we want?
When do we want it?
No Jusice. No Peace.
Regarding the event scheduled for Saturday, June 8 in solidarity with Occupy Gezi, Occupy The Stage looks forward to showing solidarity and attending a march and rally that reflects the solidarity statement
However, it should not go unnoticed that Occupy The Stage is extremely disappointed with the June 7th posts made on the original Facebook page for Occupy New Orleans
. We do not support "taking Jackson Square" and would like it to be clear that the people posting instructions to do so on that poorly managed Facebook page have never met us in real life, have never come to a general assembly, and have never attended an action with us. The page has called for a reoccupation and a taking of Jackson Square rashly and with no planning or consensus. Someone who manages a Facebook page - a page that we consider "hijacked" - has given admin privileges to people we do not even know, and they are sending messages recklessly.
We are not interested in lending our credibility to calls for action that are nothing short of attacks on the local artists.
We do not trust people who threaten the local community by announcing that they will "take Jackson Square" or "reoccupy" it.
We will be happy to march and rally with anyone who wants to show solidarity with Turkey, but we absolutely refuse to disrupt the artists, buskers, musicians, tarot card readers, or other members of the 99% whose livelihoods depend on Jackson Square. We worked hard with MACCNO to make sure Jackson Square stayed open 24/7.
Showing solidarity with Turkey does not require disrupting the local community, especially our friends the musicians and artists.
We look forward to participating by contributing to a creative demonstration and solidarity march, and we are extremely supportive of Occupy Gezi.
However, we are locals, and we have been here a long time, and we choose locations for our actions more wisely.
The last time we held a march in Jackson Square, it was to celebrate our role in the ACLU lawsuit that won the First Amendment for the entire city during the Super Bowl. At that time, we showed support for the local artists, tarot card readers, musicians, and buskers, much like we did with our Second Line Protest in support of live music on April 25 of 2013.
We consider those who work in Jackson Square our friends, our allies, and indeed, we know many of you.
Expect Us, but on the good friendly terms you've met us on in the past.
Jackson Square is the people's square, and we will NOT take it from the people.
~ Occupy The Stage
Occupy The Stage spent the last Saturday of Justice Fes
t sending postcards to political prisoners. We'd been encouraging people to bring an original handmade postcard or come and make a postcard at Justice Fest, and a friend was kind enough to donate vintage Jazz Fest postcards to our cause.
We had addresses and info on political prisoners so people could learn about their different circumstances, and we're grateful to Op Pen Pal
and Mail to the Jail
for providing so much information and addresses.
We showed videos and slideshows throughout Justice Fest in solidarity.
#FreeAnons #FreeHammond #RIPAaronSwartz
You're invited! Calling all musicians, buskers, artists, circus clowns, flag corps, mimes, puppeteers, regular folks, irregular folks, cats, dogs, baboons, dancers, lovers of music, Every-Damned-Body!Sunday, May 5th at 6pm, we will show our support for all the good folks that make New Orleans great!
The Free The Music parade will bring free music to the streets of the Jazz Fest neighborhood to raise awareness about the city's ridiculous crackdown on live music venues and musicians.
You don't need to buy a ticket.
You don't need a corporate sponsor.
Just come out Sunday, May 5, 6pm and be ready to play music and dance in the streets.
The Bywater Rising Protest/ Second Line in support of live music venues, musicians, buskers, artists, DJs was great. We decided we wouldn't stop there.
RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/232432533555103/
NOTE: This has nothing to do with Jon Bon Jovi.
The second week of Justice Fest will last from Thursday, May 2 - Sunday, May 5.
2013 Celebrate justice and music at the location formerly known as the Sacred Shrine of Jon Bon Jovi.
Justice is not dead. Lady Justice has merely been taken hostage. And when there is no justice, there will be no peace.
We do not support the fact that Shell Oil is a corporate sponsor of Jazz Fest. We love NOLA music and culture but not Shell Oil.
We do not support Mayor Landrieu’s crackdown on live music venues, musicians, buskers, artists, and performers. We will resist the ridiculous citations residents living near Jazz Fest have received for having Yard Sales or "transient vending."
We do not forget Guadalupe.
And we hate Clean Zones!
We welcome you to bring info related to Social Justice Issues to this location during Jazz Fest.
In addition to Free Aqua Net Hairspray, the shrine will offer information about different Social Justice issues in New Orleans.
Please feel free to stop by during festival hours and be ready for some creative demonstrations.
Justice Fest Events - You can RSVP on the individual Facebook event pages if you like!
We might add more events or have spontaneous events. Some activities are ongoing, so stop by any time during Jazz Fest.
Friday May 3 DIY Stencil Party 2:00pm until 8:00pm https://www.facebook.com/events/374830725968708/
Let's stencil! We have some great stencils and spray paint and will stencil anything you bring! Or, bring your own stencils and we can swap designs.
Want to learn how to make stencils? Have stencil skills to share? The more the merrier! We have spray paint! If you can, bring your own exacto blade!
Saturday May 4 9:00 to 11 pm
Let’s send 100 postcards to political prisoners - Mail to the Jail https://www.facebook.com/events/158326777669320/
Let's get 100 postcards to send to political prisoners. Bring an original handmade postcard (handmade is ideal, but if you want to bring one you didn't make, that's okay), or come and make a postcard at Justice Fest.
We'd love to get a photo gallery of all the postcards and then mail them to political prisoners.
We'll have addresses and info on political prisoners so you can learn about their different circumstances, but check out Op Pen Pal http://oppenpal.wordpress.com/mailing-list/
and Mail to the Jail if you have a specific political prisoner you know you'd like to write to. http://mailtothejail.org/
We'll also have fun prizes for original hand made postcards!
You can just drop off your postcard on the way to Jazz Fest, or spend some time making postcards and learning about different political prisoners!
We'll be showing short films about various prisoners on the porch!
May 4 - May 5 Chalk Party https://www.facebook.com/events/543195785731834/
Let's make the sidewalks and streets around the Jazz Fest area beautiful before Sunday's Free The Music Parade!
Feel free to stop by Justice Fest for chalk ideas and some chalk, or just get out there and CHALK THE WORLD!
May 5 Sunday - Face Painting Party 2pm - 5:30pm https://www.facebook.com/events/118444485020416/
Come get your face painted in time to march in the Free The Music Parade! HERE: https://www.facebook.com/events/232432533555103/
We have face paint, and if you have your own face painting kit and skills, feel free to come by, set up, and accept donations.
Free The Music Parade 6- 8pm May 5 https://www.facebook.com/events/232432533555103/
Calling all musicians, buskers, artists, circus clowns, flag corps, dancers, lovers of music!
Free The Music parade will bring free music to the streets of the Jazz Fest neighborhood.
You don't need to buy a ticket.
You don't need a corporate sponsor.
Just come out Sunday, May 5, 6pm and be ready to play music and dance in the streets.
The Bywater Rising Protest/ Second Line in support of live music venues, musicians, buskers, artists, DJs was great. We decided we wouldn't stop there. DISCLAIMER
NOTE: These events are not sponsored by Shell Oil or Jon Bon Jovi, Bon Jovi, or in any way connected to them except some of them will be taking place at a location that holds the remnants of a Shrine devoted to Jon Bon Jovi that small affair made years ago.
Gulf Restoration Network: United for a healthy Gulf of Mexico
is holding a BP Disaster 3 year Memorial Demonstration on April 20 at 1pm.
Come on out to the Amphitheater at Washington Artillery Park across from Jackson Square!
On April 20, 2010, 11 people lost their lives and the biggest environmental disaster in our nation's history began. Three years later, BP's oil is still here, and it continues to impact the people, places, and wildlife of the Gulf.
Please join us on April 20, 2013, to mark 3 years of BP's ongoing disaster, memorialize all that has been lost, and join the call for justice for the Gulf.
The event will include simple visual demonstrations, using our people power, of the ongoing disaster and its impacts on the Gulf, which will be made into a short video and distributed on the internet to raise awareness about the urgent need for restoration and to hold BP accountable for the damages incurred.
Please wear black. The first 100 people to arrive will receive a free t-shirt designed for the event, which you can wear during the filming.
What: 3 year memorial of the BP disaster, visual demonstration
When: Saturday, April 20th at 1pm
Where: Amphitheater at Washington Artillery Park (across from Jackson Square in the French Quarter)
***Please wear black***
Contact Amanda at 504-273-4838 or Moorea@nwf.org with any questions. It will likely be hot! Bring a water bottle, we'll have cool water available for refills
Supported by National Audubon Society, Environmental Defense Fund, Gulf Restoration Network, NRDC, National Wildlife Federation, Public Citizen, Sierra Club, Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper, LEAN, Build a Better Planet, Epoca Verde, Green Living, Thomas Strategies & Waltzer Wiygul & Garside Law Firm
Legalize Louisiana Picnic and Rally 4pm till dusk!
This Revolution Will Be Televised (in the streets)!
TriLumination Guerrilla Projection Squad has launched in New Orleans! A few members of Occupy The Stage are projecting images and videos on public walls! For a long time, we've been wanting to share activism-related Indy Media with the general public. Our Free Anons Mardi Gras float was well-received, and locals made it clear that they were interested in learning more about political prisoners but didn't know where to find the information. We'll be bringing the revolution to the streets.
The First Few Days!
We've finally gotten a projector rigged up to a tricycle, complete with a car battery and charger! TriLumination Guerrilla Projection Squad embarked upon its maiden voyage on March 19th, 2013.
We're still working out the technical aspect, but right now, we can project videos and slide shows onto walls by placing a projector, car battery, and inverter in the basket on the back of a large tricycle.
My car is so old, it doesn't have a working cigarette lighter socket, and logistically it seems easier to use the tricycle so we don't have to worry about finding a parking place AND a decent wall to project on. To figure out how to supply power to the projector while using a tricycle, we used the Projection Bombing tip sheet from Instructables and the great tip sheet from The Illuminator website. What we used:
- Trike with basket
- Optoma Projector
- MacBook with special adapter cord to connect to projector
- 750 w Power Inverter (where you plug the projector cord in)
- Car Battery (connects to inverter)
- 1 Amp Slow Charger Battery Charger (charges battery from electrical outlet)
- Plywood cut to size of trike basket
- Zipties and bungee cords to secure battery to basket
- Videos supporting Free Anons on YouTube
- PowerPoint to make slideshow if we weren't using internet connection
- Photos, facts, info about NDAA for NDAA slideshow
- Hotspot to give WiFi to laptop to show videos
- Backpack to carry laptop and projector while en route
- Headlamps to wear while riding bikes
- Android to livestream the experience
We don't have very loud speakers yet, so we made a slideshow about the NDAA and a playlist of Free Anons videos that had a lot of text on them, so important information would be accessible visually. We also had to come up with a name for our Guerrilla Projection project, and Other Possibilities Network helped us brainstorm. J (@ots_nola) came up with TriLumination!
- Tri - because the projector is on a tricycle!
- Lumination - because we want to light up the nation with information mainstream media isn't
- Squad - because we're a very small unit of OTS members focusing on Guerrilla Projecting!
Maiden Voyage March 19
With the battery partially charged and the projector and laptop in my backpack, J and I headed downtown to Frenchmen Street. I rode my bike and he maneuvered the tricycle through the construction on Esplanade.
A live band was playing on the street corner on Frenchmen, so we decided to set the projector up on a side street where we could project on a garage door. Music from the live band played as we first showed the NDAA slide show and answered questions as people walked by and stopped to ask what we were doing.
We're really looking forward to showing more Free Anons videos and slide shows, as well as videos and images related to activist causes, Indy media, the Occupy Movement, the NDAA, NOKXL, Walmart Strikers, and issues the mainstream media ignores! We'll be sharing #OpPenPal info when we show videos of political prisoners, so we hope this will raise awareness about the political persecution and help with Mail to The Jail!On a personal note, I seriously want to live in a city where less people ask me "Who is Jeremy Hammond?" A lot of people just aren't getting the information, so we are trying to change that.
If you have any videos or images that you'd like to share with us so we can project them, please CONTACT US or holler at @small_affair on Twitter. Videos that include text or captions in the actual video are ideal right now because we don't have a loud speaker system yet, and it's New Orleans, so there might be a band playing in the street at any time!
Thanks to everyone who offered technical tips and watched our first night of Guerrilla Projecting!
Check out our livestream of first TriLumination Guerrilla Projection Squad
Supporters of keeping Markey Park dog-friendly can attend the New Orleans Parks and Recreation Committee Meeting Wednesday, February 27, 2013
at 7:30PM Holy Angels Convent3500 St. Claude Avenue (@ Congress)New Orleans, LA 70117 Agenda:
- Markey Park renovation plans and maintenance- identification of maintenance company
- Update on Riverfront Park and Stallings
- Discussion of recreational activities in Bywater
The "Save Markey Park" cause has brought a number of New Orleans residents and ex-pats together in defense of Bywater residents' desire to keep Markey Park
dog-friendly, despite the city's latest development plan that excludes dogs and community input.
The following phrases have been exchanged among locals over the past few days:Occupy Markey Park!!! Power to the people!
*picture dog* slogan 'WE can't be GENTRIFIED'
Parks got bailed out - dogs got sold out
Please see our previous post Is there no home for gentrified dogs? NORD Markey Park Redevelopment Plan Is Not What Democracy Looks Like #ONOLA
for back story!On Monday, February 25, Markey Park experienced what seemed like a show of force from NORD when City Park and Rec workers arrived with a number of tractors. A worker interviewed said it didn't make sense that NORD sent so many people, in the rain, just to cut the grass. A city employee that was interviewed said it was un scheduled and that they received a call this morning to go out in the rain.
VIDEO of city workers with tractors Monday (it was livestreamed) http://bambuser.com/v/3400659?v=The Bywater Neighborhood Association does not seem to be representing Bywater residents.Apparently, John Guarnieri, 2011 Chair of the Bywater Neighborhood Association Board of Directors, wrote to the Trust for Public Land requesting that they not support dogs in Micky Markey Park. This was sent about 2 weeks after original meeting on park with TPL on 10/26/11. This info was published on the official BNA correspondence section of the BNA website but was never published in the BNA newsletter. Link to pdf: http://www.thebywater.org/dbpdfs/Schmidt_ltr_111111.pdf .
In the fall of 2010, Bywater residents from primarily the south side of St. Claude completed a survey about Parks and Recreation (201 surveys were completed through door to door interviews and another 92 were completed online.)
Even though 50% of the survey respondents said they used Markey Park to play with their dogs, BNA "urged [the TPL] to prepare a design alternative that does not have space dedicated to off-leash dogs" because "Markey Park is for people and that it should be returned to its lawful and intended use."
The Trust for Public Land's website contains this little gem about the park:
"Soon after Hurricane Katrina, Bywater residents launched community meetings with the goal of revitalizing the neighborhood and renovating Mickey Markey Park was a top priority. This two acre park has been fenced off from the neighborhood because of lead contamination since early 2011...The Trust for Public Land is working in partnership with the New Orleans Recreation Department Commission and the Bywater Neighborhood Association to develop a community-driven design for Markey Park. Park improvements may include new landscaping, dog park area, lighting, and other amenities. The park may also include a Fitness Zone, outdoor exercise equipment for adults that The Trust for Public Land has already successfully introduced in Los Angeles."
Legally that fact that some entrances are accessible to handicapped people does not change the fact that the plans for River Front Park do not comply with Federal ADA guidelines.
People with service dogs will be especially affected, and one can't just say to them, oh, well use a different entrance.
Quotes from Advocates for Keeping Mickey Markey ParkPark Dog Friendly!
"BNA is, at best, a special-interest group that does not represent the will of the neighborhood, and, at worst, is a fraudulent organization getting kickbacks from private contracts, how do we proceed in taking back our park from these people?"
"How can a 'neighborhood association' be at odds with the neighbors?
Isn't that who they are supposed to represent, or is it just more self appointed government?"
"BNA has never had the interest of the bywater residents in mind."
"From my understanding, most of the neighborhood wanted a mixed use dog park and people park, with a dedicated off leash area. There is plenty of room, why didn't the BNA press this issue? It seems the city and the Trust for Public Land totally ignored the wishes of the community. This reeks of gentrification and developer influence."
"I don't know much about the history of the situation, but I'd be reluctant about blaming the Trust for Public Land. Yes, they are providing a lot of the money, and yes, the park design that that's currently planned appears to have been made by them or under their auspices. But I'm pretty sure at some point they did produce plans for a tri-partite park, didn't they? Their website page for the Markey Park project still includes discussion of a dog park among other amenities, and seems to envision a much more intensively used park than the current plan allows for. It seems to me the real responsibility here lies with NORD--they have the final say-so, and this is what they're planning. They had to put up the matching funds for it or it wouldn't have gotten done, they have to contract for it and oversee, etc. They're the ones who have it all on a schedule to close the park before any other facilities for kids or people with dogs are available in the neighborhood."
"The current poor condition of the entire park, including drainage, poor fencing, etc due to the city's lack of upkeep, doesn't have anything to do with the ability of the park to support a large dedicated people area, playground and small off leash dog area. The current off leash dog are is too large for regular dog users to maintain. Still, with any heavily used common ground the city has abandoned to its residents to maintain...only a small number of people step up to help. And people do maintain it as best they can, repairing fencing, etc. In my opinion, a much smaller off leash area with appropriate trash bins, etc would be easier for regular dog users and the city to maintain."
"the BNA board took and official position against dogs in the park around a year ago. It's in one of their newsletters. In the board minutes. Only input they cite on their decision is from John Messinger, a board member who had resigned and was trying to start his own neighborhood assoc. Not aware of any time the BNA advocated on behalf of the popular dog park in the renovation plans."
"I didn't realize that BNA was receiving over $200,000 from the city for Markey Park either (http://www.thebywater.org/dbpdfs/Markey_Park_Funds_Palmer_100924.pdf
"Has anyone found out who came up with the "one dogpark per district rule" I keep hearing about?
- NORD, TPL, or the Mayor's office?"
"BNA's aim of "total residential redevelopment" going strong."
"BNA did that AGAINST their own membership survey results ( results of which they published in their own newsletter). The BNA board in effect straight faced lied. There should be some legal recourse for their intentional misrepresentation on this an other issues (zoning anyone?). It is unfortunate that so many of us who care so passionately don't have the time due to having to work too support our homes and families..."
"After having directed the TPL to submit a design with no offleash area for dogs, NORDC, at its June 5th meeting, approved the TPL’s plan for Markey Park. There was no discussion of a dog area, and no one came forward to offer public comment." .. Oh HELL NO! I came forward at that meeting, 7 months pregnant, and loudly asked what the hell they thought they were doing and VIc Richards, Larry Schmidt and the guy from BNA all tried to silence me. My blood pressure got so high I realized it was dangerous for my health. I was there with at least 10 other people who were voicing opposition.
"it sounds exactly like UTNA, Uptown Triangle Neighborhood Association, in the Black Pearl where I live. These NA's are stacked with real estate 'professionals' whose ONLY concern is THEIR OWN property values. The hell with everyone else, including long time residents. They do not represent their neighborhoods nor do they care. Their houses are 'investments', not 'homes'."
"BNA to receive $200,000 for park. From BNA online archive and unearthed by Jon Bodarky. http://www.thebywater.org/dbpdfs/Markey_Park_Funds_Palmer_100924.pdf
"They are a 501c3, a private non-profit. They more or less are a private entity. A lot of neighbors have increasingly felt they are not represented by the group, but city government tends to recognize BNA as a formal mouthpiece of the neighborhood."
Members of Occupy NOLA
and Occupy The Stage support Bywater residents who would like to see Markey Park
remain dog-friendly, despite the city's latest development plan that excludes dogs and community input.
New Orleans residents have been reaching out to Occupy NOLA using Facebook and Twitter.
A Bywater resident posted the following on the Occupy NOLA Facebook Page on Wednesday, February 20:
"Just a heads up to the Occupy community: On Monday, February 25, [The New Orleans Recreation Development Foundation
] NORD is going to close down Markey Park in the Bywater. There were a series of lively, well-attended meetings about how to redevelop the park with a grant from the Trust for Public Land. Overwhelmingly the neighborhood wants part of the park to remain an off-leash dog park. The design firm observed the daily use of the park for a week, remarked how highly-used it is, then came up with three plans, all of which divided the space in thirds, for a playground, a dog park, and a free space. The meetings were a testament to civic involvement, cooperation and democracy. Then, Vic Richards, the head of NORD, surreptitiously commissioned his own plan, without dogs and rammed it through. This park is an integral community meeting place and it is about to go from being highly used to a drive-by "show park" for developers. The community is angry that we were told we'd have a say, and then clearly did not. P.S. The proposed "dog run" at the Riverfront Park will be much smaller, on-leash, and is, at this point, is not constructed."
Meanwhile, community members have been organizing to bring their dogs to protest the closing of this community space. The following Op-Ed appeared in NOLA Defender on Friday, February 22: BYWATER RESIDENTS LEFT OUT OF MARKEY PARK PLANS
"The Trust for Public Land
(TPL) had several public meetings to get input on the redesign of Mickey Markey Park. The first meeting had a very large turnout, and the facilitator, a professor of social work at Tulane, declared it a great public meeting. At the second meeting, TPL’s landscape architects presented three great designs that included space for off-leash dogs. The process ended there. The final, approved design (Editor's Note: Design plans are available here http://www.thebywater.org/dbNewsletters/022013.pdf
) was rammed through the system. It has no space for dogs, and there was no chance for dog owners, parents or anyone else to give public input into this last design." ~ Randi Kaufman.
The Bywater Neighborhood Association
posted the following updates on its Facebook page
on February 21 and 22 in response to queries regarding closing the dog park on February 25 ( while this seems rather unofficial, it is the only communication we've found from them so far).
To quote one community member who responded on the Bywater Neighborhood Association 's Facebook page, "This reeks of gentrification and developer influence."
The Bywater Neighborhood Association's February minutes
include the plans for Markey Park and are worth studying.
NOLA Defender's article RIVER FRONT Park Plans, Process Raise Ire of Marigny-Bywater Residents outlines the plans for the River Front dog park.
An immediate concern is the proposed dog park at the River Front’s lack of compliance with federal handicap accessibility laws, which could certainly pose a problem for people with service dogs.
The greater concern is that the democratic process was subverted in a discussion of public space. This will not be the first time democracy has been held hostage by the City of New Orleans
Moreover, CEO Victor N. Richard III's position appears questionable according to an article published in Louisiana Weekly in January of 2012. Matt Davis explained: "The recruitment process is unfolding as members of the recreation commission have fought to counter suggestions that the Landrieu administration is pulling the commission’s strings. WDSU-TV reported in May about the administration’s efforts to script the meetings, providing lines for each of the board members." The fact that the River Front Park was supposed to be finished in time for Super Bowl XXVII can only make one wonder if Mayor Landrieu is attempting to create a more permanent Verizon Super Bowl Boulevard.
See the community members' Facebook Event SAVE Markey Park
for details.As more of this story unfolds, advocates of democracy can write to Councilwoman Kristin Giselson Palmer and Victor N. Richard, CEO of NORD to express their displeasure.
Councilwoman Kristin Giselson Palmer
504-658-4900Victor N. Richard III firstname.lastname@example.org (NOTE: email link was not working on NORD website and may not be correct)NORD CEO800 Race St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
The Trust for Public Land has a Louisiana State Office
1137 Baronne Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70113
On a side note, we are delighted to see a NOLA resident using the hashtag #OccupyMarkeyPark on Twitter, but that should not be taken as any indication that we intend to start an encampment in the Bywater at this time.
As much as we love cats, Occupy The Stage will stand with dogs, humans, and advocates of democracy and public space.
We'll be participating in Tent City United
Day of Action April 1, 2013 in solidarity with Occupy Austin
, Occupy Wall Street NY, Occupy Oakland, and all homeless people, occupiers, and people who value public space.
Working groups will meet TBA to plan creative, strategic actions. Since this is a solidarity event, we are sharing the link to the Tent City United Facebook Event
and encourage people to follow Twitter hashtag #TentCity and account @TentCityUnited
Plans can include:
- March of the Tentmonsters
- Make and place Tiny Tents in strategic places.
- Pitch tents in strategic public spaces
- Parade with tents in front of surveillance cameras
NOTE: The Occupy NOLA GA
reached unanimous consensus to participate in this action when it convened on February 19.
Free Bradley Manning! Solidarity Chalkupy and Jail Mail
NOLA 2pm Fortier Park
This Saturday, February 23rd, will mark the 1,000th day in prison without trial for US Army PFC Bradley Manning, accused of releasing classified military documents to Wikileaks.
If you’re in New Orleans, you can join Occupy NOLA
and show solidarity with Bradley Manning! Meet in Fortier Park around 2pm to go on a Chalkupy excursion to chalk messages in support of Manning on sidewalks. Paper, envelopes, and stamps will be provided to write letters to Manning.
If it rains, the time might be delayed, so but we’ll post the information here and from our Twitter @OccupyNOLA2013
Bring water, signs, a snack, sidewalk chalk, but most importantly yourself.
for details or follow @OccupyNOLA2013
If you can’t make it, you can sign Daniel Ellsberg’s petition
to free Bradley Manning.
You can write to Bradley at the following address, but be sure to read the details
about what he is allowed to receive:
Commander, HHC USAG
Attn: PFC Bradley Manning
239 Sheridan Ave, Bldg 417
JBM-HH, VA 22211