By Nadia J.
Sunset in the Irish Channel found over 150 neighbors, families and children in Burke Park on Friday evening for the first DSA hosted Movie in the Park presented by the New Orleans Recreation Department. The movie, WALL-E, began promptly after dark, following camaraderie and a festive gathering of neighbors and visitors alike.
DSA members ran tables of literature and spoke to attendees interested in our organization while the New Orleans Public Library signed people up for library cards and the Irish Channel Neighborhood Association (ICNA) promoted family memberships. The weekend prior, ICNA had joined with DSA members to clean up the park, including painting and tree-trimming.
“As someone that was there with a kid, [we] had a great time and turnout seemed very good! My son is very shy (I guess it’s hereditary) and normally hates being in a crowd of so many people he doesn’t know, but the environment felt welcoming enough to put him at ease and he happily sat through the whole movie which isn’t a small feat for a 3-year-old. So thanks to everyone!” Blake A., Direct Service Committee co-chair
Both the DSA and Irish Channel neighbors pulled together to make the evening a success. A local family donated the use of their bounce house for the evening which was a huge hit with the kids. There was a steady stream of thirsty movie-goers lining up for free sweet tea and lemonade provided by a local chain restaurant. New Orleans DSA member Blake A. provided popcorn, and the popcorn machine fragranced the air all evening.
“I had a great time volunteering to lead the kid’s activities at our Movie in the Park. … The kids had a great time and were very curious about who we were, what we were doing, and so on. I think in the future, it might be fun to pass out some sort of socialism-themed coloring book as a parting gift, so they’ll have something with them to remember the event by.” Andrew S. New Orleans DSA Member
Andrew S. engaged children and parents at the kids’ activity table, blowing bubbles and providing red glow sticks and sidewalk chalk, while Frances G. spoke to neighbors on the right to health care.
Troy, a local man who is from the Irish Channel and currently resides in Central City, brought his food truck to the edge of the park, selling concessions such as snow cones and french fries. He plans on attending more Movie in the Park events and was glad to see so many people enjoying themselves outdoors on the warm October night.
The story of mutual aid and community building was exemplified on Friday. The absence of a profit motive or capitalism-driven competition means more opportunities for voluntary association and the leisure time we all need with our friends, families, and neighbors. By building these connections, we strengthen our collective power and prove that indeed, another world is possible.