Friday, July 6, 2007
I was sitting in traffic today in New Orleans. The "Essence Festival" seems to me to be drawing a lot of Black American tourists in town. (I measure this by the increase in inner city congestion i.e.: on foot, in the shops, lines outside of restaurants, and traffic congestion (basically along Canal Street by the casino and by the Superdome).
(The Essence Festival seems to be somewhat positive for the city. I am told by the small business owners not included in the areas mapped out for the festival goers, that all the needs of the festival goers are provided by the casino's, hotels, and local participating shops - (my interpretation: then there is no need for the tourists to stray from areas that may reflect ongoing suffering, as well as it is more profitable to manage the needs of your festival attendees. There are some vendorson the street who have set up tents with their wares.
Secondly, the Essence Festival is being held in the Superdome. I have 2 questions about this. Why are the other festivals like the Jazz Festival held outside, but the Essence Festival which is a primarily Black American experience, held (a). indoors and (b). in the Superdome, of all places, where so much suffering for so many Black Americans has occurred? I can see how some promoters would think, "okay this might be a healing thing". But was it a wise decision when so many Black American New Orleaninas continue to suffer from Katrina 2 years on?
A local Black American New Orleanian told me he felt that it was held indoors as compared to other festivals as a way to keep the people who haven't paid for the privilege, from listening to the music. If this is true then it is truly a shame - especially right now in New Orleans. There are many, primarily but not all, Black American New Orleanians, who continue to suffer here and it might have lifted spirits a bit for some of them to have the chance to "overhear" some of the great music being offered.)
Back to the purpose of this post - the photo...
Today, as I sat in traffic, I watched as the 3 women in this photo (purposely distorted to protect anonymity) innocently took pictures of the Humvee's in the "public" parking lot and then of each other by the Humvee's. They never entered the public parking lot.
(How do I know they are "tourists? Because I have learned in my time here in New Orleans that local Black American New Orleanians would not have the time nor the inclination to take pictures of themselves in front of their "police force". How do I know the 3 women were innocently taking pictures? You could tell by the way they were acting.)
On the right in this photo you can just make out the figure of a National Guardsman running across the parking lot, he is behind a sign on the gound. (His intent? To chase them away and "stop them from taking pictures" near/of the Humvee's.)
I haven't read either of the documents below in their entirety - if you have, then perhaps you can you tell me where it states that it is illegal or against the laws of our Government for United States citizens to take pictures in front of and/of - 'our' as in We the People - National Guard Humvee's, on a public parking lot, in a United States city?
I don't know the laws regarding photographing military humvee's parked on public American streets. Is this a right that has been rescinded or or a right that We the People never had?