The Honor of Your Presence is Requested at the Wedding Between Big Oil and The State of Louisiana.
credit: Anthony Ford
Saturday, May 10, 2014
710 Clouet Street
New Orleans, LA
Immediately followed by a second line with Slow Danger Brass Band.
see press release below:
For Immediate Release
Wetlands Second Line – An action of protest
New Orleans, La. – In light of recent legislation in the State Senate targeting lawsuits by a local levee board, there will be a protest this Saturday, May 10, in the St. Claude neighborhood. The protest will take the form of a satirical wedding and second line. The wedding will take place at 5:30 in Clouet Gardens (710 Clouet Street. New Orleans). Actors will stage the symbolic nuptials of the state of Louisiana (Evangeline) with the oil industry (Earl). A permitted second line will follow, concluding at the corner of Mandeville Street and St. Claude Avenue at 7pm.
The action will mark the recent passage of SB469, in which the Louisiana Senate acted to retroactively revoke Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s (SFLPA) right to file litigation. “In doing so,” organizers say, “the Senate superseded the courts and chose to protect 97 oil and gas companies who violated permits and contributed to the degradation of the wetlands that protect the region.” According to a report by Jeff Williams of the USGS, at least 30% of damage in the region is attributed to dredging and construction of channels by oil and gas companies.
In explaining the action, organizers said, “The flag of Texaco flies over the Louisiana State Capitol was an adage that described our state government’s close ties to the energy industry. Until now, those ties and the environmental destruction that resulted were relatively hidden from public view. But fallout, including actions by Governor Jindal, from the SFLPA lawsuits began to make those ties evident. And when a 20-year owner of a natural gas company and present consultant for the industry (Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton) sponsored six bills that directly targeted SLFPA (with “lazer-like precision,” according to Sen. JP Morrell), government ties to that industry became blatant.”
“This action on May 10 seeks to show off those ties in full parade form. With the parade, we are not by any means making light of the situation. We’re being realistic about providing people a means to express their hopes, pains, and frustrations about the way they are being governed. We will both mock and bereave an increasingly visible and barefaced relationship between our state government and the industry that has helped to destroy its coast. We also hope to draw the attention of our fellow residents (those who are and will continue to be the most affected by the ongoing environmental degradation of this place).”
“And with the second line, we’re also being deliberate. The cultural quirks and celebrated carelessness that have made Louisiana famous have come at the cost of our coast. And that same beloved culture – the second lines, the music, the endless party – is what will be lost if we continue in our complaint, passive ways.”
The event will coincide with the Wetlands Art Tour, in which 20 venues around the St. Claude Arts District will showcase works concerned with the environment of the Louisiana coast. The second line will salute various galleries along its route. “The Wetlands Art Tour,” organizers wrote in a press release, “seeks to increase community engagement with the urgent issue of coastal restoration through different perspectives and artistic mediums. The goal is to inspire participants to continue to have conversations about this topic and to take action.”
Questions can be forwarded to Bern Weatherly