Bywater second-line protests city live music "crackdown"

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wwltv.com

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 10:25 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 25 at 10:54 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- Dozens of people took to the streets Thursday night in the Bywater for a second line. It's a musical protest against what some are calling "the city's crackdown" on New Orleans culture.

Like most second lines, the brass, drums and foot traffic wound its way from the Bywater to the Marigny, stopping at two bars that have been embroiled in permit battles with the city -- Mimi's and Saint Roch Tavern.

"It's all about music. It's all about the fun we have here in New Orleans. They just don't want it surpressed," said Jimmy Anselmo, who owns Jimmy's Music Club.

The Uptown venue is also fighting to renew its liquor license after the city voted to temporarily ban any new alcohol licenses in the Carrollton area.

The signs and pins worn by these second-liners offered a clear message to the city: this isn't Disney World.

"This is about everything from a small business owner to a busser to the street musicians," said community activist Justin Warren.

He says the city's outdated laws and recent crackdown is harmful and not helpful to the local economy.

"Recently, [the city] is making a push and it's making an effect on people's livelihoods," said Warren.

"What I would like to see happen is a way of preserving New Orleans culture by improving the quality of it," said Christoph Jackson, co-director of Save New Orleans Sounds Initiative.

Jackson says the only way the community and city can move forward is by striking a balance.

"If we enforce rules that restrict culture its gone, and at the same time if we don't have a good neighbor policy then we also run a second risk of losing that culture through laws," added Jackson.

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