Fuck Partiarchy and the Prison Industrial Complex
A Feminist Account of the Events of November 30 in New Orleans
On November 30, concerned residents of New Orleans took to Canal Street to demonstrate our ceaseless and vehement disappointment with the local police and judiciary. We took to the streets on this day to mark the 10th anniversary of the WTO Demonstrations in Seattle, celebrating our often suppressed History of Resistance and recognizing the long-term relationship that has blossomed between capitalists and prison industrialists. Additionally, as an act of solidarity, this demonstration decidedly took place just following the recent convictions of hometown artists, Lil Wayne and Lil Boosie, who are both facing years of jail time for reasonably minor infringements, exposing the inherent racism of law enforcement.
In New Orleans fashion, we drank and danced in the streets, accompanied by a mobile sound system (BIG UPS!), ‘fuck-tha-police’ confetti, streamers, balloons, and several banners. While we were setting up, two sickly-pale and bloated officers with shamefully tasteless haircuts stopped by to assess our soiree. They removed a streamer or two, and unsuccessfully attempted to ridicule us like a pair of insecure junior high bullies. As soon as they pulled away, we took our party off of the side walk and began transform the street into a revolutionary dance floor! Not long thereafter, a party-goer was hit by a motorist and taken across a 6-lane intersection on the hood of the car where they were met by an overzealous, and apparently confused, officer with gun drawn. Miraculously, no one was hurt, and we urged the crowd onward.
What a better place for a party than the French Quarter during a Saints game? 11-0, baby! To keep our dance floor uncluttered with cars and cops, we used whatever it was we found laying around to trail our path. To clue onlookers in on what was happening, we politely distributed flyers that detailed the link between capitalism, the penal system, racism, and how Lil Wayne and Lil Boosie fit in, and how women and children are affected as women and children by the abusive and callous prison industrial complex.
Supposedly some off-duty cops, who apparently have nothing better to do with their time, reported the spectacle. We proceeded through the Quarter before two wagons pulled up behind us, causing the party to end prematurely and the crowd to disperse. Unfortunately, six people were arrested. We are still awaiting the release of two of them.
Felicitously, we received a good amount of press. Disappointingly, although unsurprisingly, the party was invariably and explicitly gendered as male. Perhaps even more disappointing, our male allies, the first to respond to the media, found it unnecessary to take it upon themselves to correct this misconception, so allow me.
The party was well attended by several very active women, at least some of whom, view capitalism, police violence, and the PIC as not only issues of injustice and liberation, but also as issues that effect women as women in ways that are different and distinct from the ways that they might effect men. The invisibility of women’s participation reminds us of the multifarious struggles that women and all oppressed groups must fight. We take action against capitalism, but we also take action against patriarchy and sexism, whether it’s found within the dominant culture or our own radical community. Whatever the presiding topic at hand, every one of our actions is an attack on gender stereotypes as well.
No gods, no husbands, no masters.