Second line in Marigny protests noise crackdown

New Orleans, La. - Marching silently past Mimi's in the Marigny, organizers of a second line hope their message is loud and clear.

"We are the city of jazz, we are the city of music and we're treating our musicians like complete garbage and it needs to stop," says Alex Fleming, one of the organizers and a resident of the Bywater.

A group of artists, musicians and residents put together the second line to show their support for music in neighborhoods like the Marigny, Bywater and St. Roch.

Mimi's in particular has seen a number of complaints against it in recent years.

Nick Scramuzza, owner of the Lost Love Lounge down the street, says it's a select few making the most noise.

"You have a small, fringe element of people who have moved in that want to change things and they're very vocal," he says. "For some reason, [they] moved from somewhere else to project their views onto what this city is and try to change it."

Five homeowners living near Mimi's recently filed a lawsuit against the bar.  Lorelei Cropley is one of them.

"Before I moved in, I checked the ordinances, I checked the zoning -- no live music, no amped music," she says. "First week I was here, the music starts and it goes loud until 2:00, 4:00 in the morning and so loud that you can't sleep... I put ear plugs in, white noise box, and I can still hear it."

Mimi's doesn't have a permit for live or amped music, and city officials say the bar has never begun the process to get one. That would require a zoning change and businesses usually need the support of their neighbors to get the approval of the planning commission or city council.

A city spokesperson says other bars along St. Claude have successfully gotten permits for live music, but no one's allowed to exceed sound levels established by city code.

Alex Fleming thinks the places he loves are being unfairly punished and says he won't stop until he's heard.

"This is one of the few cities where you are allowed to dance in the streets," he says. "Take advantage of it, love it, nourish it, let it grow."