New Orleans (AFP) - Strippers shouting "my body is not illegal" marched Thursday to protest the closure of clubs in and around Bourbon Street, the main artery of New Orleans' raucous nightlife district.
Eight strip clubs in the French Quarter have been shuttered for prostitution or drug violations, officials said this week as the famed Mardi Gras destination readies for its annual celebrations. Some of those clubs have since been allowed to reopen.
The hundreds-strong crowd of strippers, other club workers and backers shouted slogans like "Strippers' rights are human rights."
The demonstrators complain that the closures will cost people jobs and that the city is trying to make the French Quarter too family-friendly.
"We are protesting because they are trying to shut down most of the clubs on Bourbon Street to make it some kind of Disneyland-cruise ship port," said one exotic dancer, Emily Hernandez.
Another marcher held aloft a sign that read, "Bourbon Street not Sesame Street."
Yet another sign, hoisted right behind two police officers, read, "Boobs R Awesome."