Opposition to ABO/Surveillance Ordinance
In January 2017, Mayor Landrieu’s administration released a $40 million ‘Public Safety Improvements Plan’ which focused on largely on surveillance, cultural commodification, and infrastructure improvements, but invested nothing in opportunities for community members. We sharply criticized, the plan, you can read our statement here.
One of the most disturbing aspects of the plan was a proposal to install real-time surveillance cameras at all businesses that sell alcohol in New Orleans—every bar, most music venues and restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, etc. (over 1500 businesses in total) These cameras would have been linked to the ‘real time crime-monitoring center’ and the NOPD as well as local, state and federal law enforcement ‘partners’ would have had access as well. This would have meant that musicians would be under constant surveillance coming to and from gigs, service industry workers as they went to work, and small business owners would have been under intense scrutiny. Not only would this have raised privacy concerns, it would have also had a chilling effect on a culture that largely takes place in spaces that would now be constantly surveilled.
We built and led a coalition to defeat this proposal, which was withdrawn in the Spring of 2018. We are currently helping to push for an ordinance that mandates community oversight over surveillance technology in New Orleans.