New Orleans to become dry city by 2008
La Lune de la presse internationale
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
"Prohibiting the consumption of alcohol in the city will allow New Orleans to experience a rejuvination of its spirit in the wake of hurricane Katrina," said City Hall spokesman Jay LeSelle. "We intend to introduce effective measures to curb continuing problems due to the near-destruction of the city, total breakdown of social services and government, and ensuing generalized urban warfare."
Opponents of the measure argue that it will simply drive the demand for alcohol underground, nourishing a black market in a city with struggling judicial oversight, a burdened court system and an often-youtubed police force. They suggest investing money in infrastructure and public transport, to reinvigorate neighborhoods that have had a population loss of 80% or more.
Moreover, some dissenters say, the federal government has done nothing to punish Cuba for its alledged involvement in the 2005 Hurricane disaster. With Fidel Castro on his deathbed, anti-prohibition activists say, now is the perfect time to engage in a military-coup type adventure to distract residents from the complete and total failure of public policy and government services.
"Making New Orleans a dry city shouldn't be a priority," said a local professional, Bart Ender. "We need to stick it to the people who did this to us, who brought us this horrible disaster. And that means attacking Cuba for its use of weather of mass destruction."
Some proponents of the "dry city" measure disagreed, however.
"This initiative will improve conditions here in the city," explained City Council spokesman Shaydee Marquette. "By creating a 'dry island' policy, where alchohol is off limits in dry areas of the city, we can reduce the violence, looting, murder, corruption, destruction and chaos that we're experiencing here in New Orleans."
The measure comes up for a vote in front of the City Council of New Orleans before the end of the month. If passed, it would take effect in January, 2008. The measure is expected to pass by a wide margin, given the deep financial and personal ties between Council members and underground trafficking groups that would benefit from just such a measure.