We’ll call her Ms. C.
It’s a tale of cute little knitted baby caps and police state thuggery.
For some strange reason the State of Louisiana thought it would be a good idea to put their Supreme Court Building in the middle of the French Quarter, where the streets surrounding the building turn into a virtual outdoor mall, straight out of something John Carpenter would imagine. Musicians, magicians, jugglers, and jugs battle for space. Royal St. in particular is shut-off to traffic which makes it one of the nicest strolls you’ll ever experience in any city.
And here it the middle of all this is the State of Louisiana State Supreme Court Building with the widest most beautifully shaded sidewalks, that the State will not allow vendors to use. Understand that the State claims to own all the land including the sidewalks. And from the documents received this seems to be so. But this writer has only seen the digital version. The hard-core will be demanded next.
The glorified security guards that call themselves the authorities, that make-up the Supreme Court Police, are mostly made-up of retied police, or those that can wrangle through connections a job that allows them to exercise their authority, with little danger, and part of that authority seems to be bullying a little, old, lady, who knits cotton, baby-caps, that resemble fruit. Hence; Fruit Caps.
Ms. C has been going to the same spot on the sidewalk every weekend since 2006. She sits and knits and she is a delight to talk to. Tourists return year after year, and some bring the children, so that they can introduce them to the women that made their very first hat.
Well, no more.
Filled with hubris the would-be Gestapo have now hung themselves. After harassing yours-truly, and thinking they had seen the last of me, I was only laying in wait.
The City Ordinance states that as long as a vendor leaves 4-feet passage, and does otherwise not block an entrance or exit, you’re good. The SCB being ringed by a beautiful iron fence and Magnolia Trees though is off-limits. Or so the would-be Gestapo SCB (GSCB) guards claim.
I’m claiming that the “right of passage,” and the streets and sidewalks are, as far back as villages birth, have been the domain of the people and vendors. The GCBG also cannot claim it’s a law when by evidence it is sporadically, or otherwise selectively enforced.
How could the GSCB miss Ms. C in all these years? Why now are they enforcing this alleged law? Does it supersede the City Law? Is it because that after harassing yours truly, that this now an issue, and they are suddenly enforcing this “law?” With force. Stories of the GSCB thugs beating up defenseless people are common with those of us that work these streets.
Pressure has been building. For the first time at that location a uniformed NOPD went out of his way to ask if I had a license.
I asked for what? To give stuff away? And I started handing him information, and asked him to go arrest some of the people I was giving him information on. I said if he wanted to arrest me for practicing my 1st Amendment Right, that I was all up for that, because then I could become famous, (along with him). He then went on for 10-minutes telling me how much he hated the federal government, shook my hand and left.
But someone sent him over. He did not come of his own volition.
So today I turned-up the heat. Today when the GSCB thugs came out to show us their “a-thor-it-die” I couldn’t help myself and started shouting Sieg Heil! And goose-stepping up and down the street.
But this get’s better. After the GSCB throw Ms.C and her fruit-caps in the gutter and they go back into their air-conditioned fortress, thinking they had pretty much sent-out the word not to mess with the GSCB. Beating-up on little-old-ladies they think is their way of doing that, something happened I’ve never seem and it happened as if by design. For the next 6-hours, vendors filled in every spot there was on the sidewalk of the SCB, as Ms. C sat watching in dismay from across the street.
After a time, one of the GSCB thugs comes out and sees the sidewalk filled with venders. You could see his blood-pressure rise from across the street. He sees me filming, probably convinced I organized this event, and bows-up and yells “WHAT!?”
To which I shrug my shoulders and laugh. Which of course only pissed him off even more.
This next week should be fun, I hope to get as many street-people as I can to pepper the SCB, and as many people as I can to raise some hell.
If you don’t own the streets, you own nothing.