What is wrong with all of you? You're really debating permits and the original intentions of the ARK? That's you're response? I dont really understand how all these people can say that they dont mourn the closing of these community resources because they werent aligned with the original intentions of the ARK? The ARK is a dead issue, it was replaced by something much more rare and valuable to the community. This is an actually functional resource that is being threatened by the police for no better reason than NOPD's habits of random harassment and terrorism towards anyone they choose to single out. To hell with a bunch of half wits that can accept an unchecked police state because the ark fell by the wayside of frankly more important things. And what does what they paid in rent have to do with what is happening here? Has everyone on the internet completely lost the ability to look at information and recognize what the central issue even is? You bunch of pompous, cowardly, anonymous, windbags need a reality check.
No, I was not a member, I just have many friends who are. I know that that was one of their expenses, one of the few they had which allowed them to provide such inexpensive services to everyone. And non-profits and collectives are not the same thing, though not mutually exclusive, and why would it matter? What the building owners at 511 marigny chose to charge was what they did, a landlord has that option.
Two things: One, the Iron Rail is not business with an owner; it is a collectively run, collectively maintained space; so it is with Plan B, collectively owned, collectively run.
And as a personal friend of Paul's, I can attest to the fact that he is the building's caretaker, as well as caretaker of other Doerr properties; he provides maintenance and collects rent from tenants.
markmayhew, its pretty hard to 'squat' a welknown, owned warehouse. Especially with an on-location landlord.
On that note, both Iron Rail and Plan B have been paying rent in that building, as have the artists for their studio space, and Hasbin Wilby's. markmayhew, I believe it is up to the owner to decide what they want to rent and who to rent to; they did, thankfully, to further three great community projects. The people who ran the Ark did not own the building, they probably had some say as to what went on in their allotted space, but in a gigantic warehouse I'm sure the owner can decide how to divide and rent space to others; no one ran anyone out.
Another point, judging a library (which was what much of Iron Rail was) by the people that frequent it is absurd. To turn anyone wanting books or a membership away? The point is to provide a service to people that wanted it, any person, which if they could not pay for a membership they could volunteer instead. So, "gutterpunks" hung out there? So did tourists, moms with kids, college professors, and neighborhood folks. Often visiting Plan B, I met more older neighborhood people fixing their only mode of transportation.
There are plenty of horrible slumlords, unlicensed businesses (http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/201…), and other sketchy dealings that the city often turns a blind eye to. They choose to harass for whatever reason they like, like street musicians arrested for not having permits; permits that don't exist.
In this case, a collective that helped arrange lawyers for people arrested in the Eris Parade was mysteriously shut down days later. Does it seem like a coincidence? Are there bigger issues the 5th district police could focus on, like the numerous murders committed in their district this year so far? It seems like the answers are obvious.
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