The National Guard Mustering at City Hall at Fayette & Holliday

Mustering at City Hall at Fayette & HollidayToday started with some trepidation, I have to be honest. When I got home from my bike ride yesterday I turned on the TV news. It’s hard not to do that when there’s a sense of urgency in the air, and it’s hard to stay vigilant against the sway of the news, its steady insistence that your city is going up in flames, that your neighbors aren’t your neighbors but your enemies, that suddenly it is the apocalypse, even when you know the apocalypse has been here for decades upon decades in the guises of deindustrialization, urban renewal, the drug war, the meteoric rise of mass incarceration–the list goes on and on and on. The problem with The Event, though, is that it collapses time, and those histories, and even the present moment, the murder of Freddie Gray, disappear, replaced with fears about a faceless mob on the attack. Continue reading

Trayvon Martin Protesters Gathered at City Hall To Demand Justice

Protesters Gathered at City HallThe clock clicked to 5:00pm and it was time to slather on the sunscreen and get on the bike for another ride down to McKeldin Square for another rally demanding justice in the Trayvon Martin case. That’s not a demand that’s going to be met following this particular rally, of course, but the rally brings like-minded folks together to feel community in anger, mourning, frustration, but also to revel in the pleasure of the crowd itself. My favorite moment from Sunday’s protest, for example, came when I was locking my bike up to the racks in the Inner Harbor (there’s a rack! As N. would say, wowwwwwwwwwwww!). Continue reading

New Orleans Congress of Day Laborers and Allies at the City Council Meeting

Yep, it’s still cold, but I remembered my ear warmer thing-y as I headed out for a day of errand-running and meetings. I locked up my bicycle outside City Hall for the 3pm meeting that promised a vote on an ordinance to limit the size of Orleans Parish Prison. Right now New Orleans incarcerates more people than anywhere else in the state of Louisiana. Louisiana incarcerates more people than any other state in the US. And the United States incarcerates more people than anywhere else in the entire world. In other words, there are more people under the control of the carceral state here in New Orleans than anywhere else in the world. Continue reading

Christ Church Cathedral at St. Charles and Sixth

Today’s ride took me down to City Hall for a meeting. I can’t really the terrible shape that building’s in. The restroom on the first floor has only one working stall, and that one’s got a plywood swinging door, no lock. I went to fill my water bottle from the sixth floor drinking fountain–until I noticed there was a big moldy growth over the drain. Yikes! Yep, that’s our public building where our public work gets done. Continue reading

Dwayne Boudreaux Reporting on Circle Food Store at the NOLA City Council Meeting

The Surly has been out of commission for awhile, through no fault of its own, but all is well now, and I was excited to put on my bike shoes, roll up my pants leg, and clip in to ride down to City Hall for the city council meeting this morning. Continue reading