'Let us dance': Protesting strip club workers take over Bourbon Street for the second time this week_lowres

Strip club workers at a Feb. 1 protest on Bourbon Street. 

In January, Alcohol & Tobacco Commission (ATC) raids shut down several French Quarter strip clubs with no notice, putting dancers and other club staff out of a job.

The ensuing protests and speakouts, which took place at a city press conference, on Bourbon Street and at City Planning Commission hearings, drew national media attention — read a Feb. 12 Gambit cover package on what happened here and here — and put pressure on officials to reopen the clubs.

Although some clubs have resumed operations, some New Orleans dancers (as well as dancers from Detroit and Columbus, Ohio) recently spoke to The Cut about what's changed since the raids, as well as the overall criminalization of their work. Locally, many raided clubs' licenses were returned under probationary settlement terms by ATC, and there is fear that the clubs could be raided again.

"The first club that was raided in New Orleans closed last week without notice. People went to show up to work and the doors were shut," one New Orleans dancer, named Devin, told The Cut. "Business had dropped dramatically because of how strict the rules were being enforced because they were on probation."

Read more of what they have to say at The Cut.