NEW ORLEANS -- The City of New Orleans has agreed that it will refrain from harassing or arresting environmental activist Luke Fontana at this week’s French Quarter Festival in response to a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana.
“We’re glad that the city has agreed to allow Mr. Fontana to exercise his First Amendment rights free from harassment or arrest this weekend as our lawsuit against the city’s unconstitutional Clean Zone ordinance proceeds,” said Katie Schwartzmann, ACLU of Louisiana legal director. “New Orleanians have the right to express their views — without being intimidated, harassed or jailed by their government.”
On Monday, the ACLU of Louisiana filed suit in federal court challenging Fontana’s arrest for setting up an informational table about his organization, Save Our Wetlands, during the French Quarter Festival in April, 2018. The lawsuit, filed in federal court, asserts that New Orleans’ “clean zones” unconstitutionally restrict the right to free speech.
Under the consent agreement signed today, “New Orleans Police Department will not enforce the Clean Zone ordinance or other municipal ordinances against Mr. Fontana for engaging in speech on behalf of Save Our Wetlands at the 2019 French Quarter Festival.”