Reporting by Mike Ludwig:
“Critics doubt the proposal is only intended to protect women and residents from the pimps and drug dealers allegedly lurking around strip clubs. Local activists say the proposal is backed by certain business owners and increasingly wealthy class of residents who have been actively pushing for new rules and heavy policing to “clean up” the French Quarter, even if that means squeezing out sex workers and other marginalized populations that have been part of the Quarter’s colorful culture since 19th century.
The proposal’s main opponents, who include club employees and owners along with sex worker rights and harm reduction activists, argue that shutting down strip clubs would rob dancers and club staff of their jobs, putting more pressure on the local job market and forcing some workers to accept riskier work in the illicit sex trade in order to support themselves.
Lyn Archer, a dancer who works at a club in the French Quarter, told Truthout that the impact of shuttering strip clubs would be seen spilling “literally out into the streets,” where sex is sold illegally. Archer emphasized that the proposal speaks for workers’ supposed interests without incorporating input from workers themselves.
“You can’t help people if you don’t listen to them,” Archer said. “[Otherwise] you’re attacking women, you’re destroying their livelihood and then saying, ‘We saved you.'”
Read it all (with quotes from Nia Weeks of Women With a Vision and references to Storyville): “Disney-fying” New Orleans: Sex Workers Rally Against Plan to Shutter French Quarter Strip Clubs