Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Music is Not a Crime: New Orleans Protest

'New Orleans means music'
So what word comes to mind when you hear the name 'New Orleans'? Other than 'flood' it's probably 'music'. But the city's live music scene is under threat of new restrictions from a proposed new 'Noise Ordinance'. 'The Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans' is on the case and last week (17 January), musicians and their supporters converged en masse to protest at a Council meeting at New Orleans City Hall. Hundreds of people protested outside and then inside complete with their musical instruments.

Picture from Louisiana Justice Institute

As summarised by Offbeat the proposal 'maintains the current city noise ordinance (which is decades old) mandate that noise ordinance violations in the City of New Orleans are a criminal, versus civil, offense, and therefore criminalizes musicians who receive a noise violation citation'. It also 'sets the legal limit for public music at 60 decibels, a sonic meter reading equivalent to that of an unamplified human conversation... This means that police officers can issue criminal tickets to musicians for performing at any volume level over 60 decibels in any public space, or if responding to a complaint, even inside a venue'.

'Music is not a crime'

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