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Archive: 11/05

Wednesday  11/30/2005

Angry hurricane evacuees sue feds  11/30/2005 SF Bay View: "The recent spate of legal actions around the poor treatment of evacuees – from attempts to evict thousands to demands for equal justice and compensation comparable to that received by others, for example, 9-11 victims – is typical of the fighting spirit of southerners, especially Black southerners, who do not tolerate injustice. Hurricane evacuees in the Bay Area and elsewhere aren’t taking the shoddy treatment lying down. Now into court come 13 plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit filed Nov. 10 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The legal team consists of attorneys from the San Francisco-based Equal Justice Society, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law based in Washington, D.C., and Schulte, Roth & Zabel LLP, a New York law firm. John K. Pierre, Southern University law professor, is the local counsel on the lawsuit. Attorney Steve Ronfeldt of the Public Interest Law Project in Oakland and attorney Eva Patterson, president and CEO of the Equal Justice Society, also worked on the complaint. The lawsuit, the first filed against FEMA regarding its response to Katrina, says the agency violated – and continues to violate – federal law by failing to provide timely aid to victims of Hurricane Katrina living in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama."


Sunday  11/27/2005

Slave Traders In The Family  11/27/2005 Traces of the Trade: "D’Wolf, speaker of the Rhode Island House, U.S. senator, and one of the richest slave traders in American history, was the impetus for the family’s journey through Bristol, Rhode Island, Ghana and Cuba, They wanted to retrace the path of their most horrific ancestor, and they brought a film crew along to record the experience."

Traces of the Trade - Main Page  11/27/2005 Traces of the Trade: "Traces of the Trade is a feature documentary, currently in post-production, that tells the story of Producer/Director Katrina Browne's wealthy New England ancestors, the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. Cameras follow as Browne and nine fellow descendants undertake a journey of discovery to Rhode Island, Ghana, and Cuba. Retracing the steps of the notorious Triangle Trade, we uncover a family's, a region's, and a nation's hidden past. Simultaneously, viewers will follow descendants of the DeWolf family as they grapple with the contemporary legacy of slavery, not only for black Americans but for themselves as white Americans."


Saturday  11/26/2005

New Orleans Neighborhoods Struggling to Rebuild  11/26/2005 Alternet: "FEMA has so far been unable or unwilling to provide trailers to many who need somewhere to live while they rebuild their homes and lives."

Dec 1 - Boston Rosa Parks Human Rights Day  11/26/2005 brphrd.com: "December 1 - Mass March & Rally * No to Poverty, Racism & War! * Bring the Troops Home Now * Cut the War Budget, Not Healthcare, Housing and Education * Justice for Hurricane Katrina Survivors * Military recruiters out of our schools. * Jobs - A Living Wage - the Right to Organize"

Millions More Movement Launches Mobilizing Effort On Katrina Evacuees  11/26/2005 Black Electorate 

The Anger and Shock of a City's Slave Past  11/26/2005 NYT: "A white lawyer went into the booth twice to sort out his feelings. "This has just been devastating," he said. As he looked at the exhibition's array of documents, he said, he realized that the some of the laws used to isolate and dehumanize enslaved black New Yorkers became custom after the laws vanished and "contributed to the way whites look at blacks," even today. "It's striking for any of us who are New Yorkers to realize that the ground we touch, every institution, is affected by slavery," he said. Two young African-American brothers crammed into the booth together. "Slavery in New York was bad, and it's how New York became the richest city in the world," one of them declared."


Thursday  11/24/2005

Rescue efforts lead to arrest nightmare for N.O. businessman  11/24/2005 Times Picayune: "My family, neighbors, and friends call me a hero. The military that were in this city called me a terrorist. When that didn't stick, they switched it to looter. What a bunch of liars. My wife tried numerous times to reach me. They refused her all of her rights. She was not allowed to speak to me, visit me, or anything else. They said she had to speak with the District Attorney. She left many messages for them to call her back. Eddie Jordan never called her back. She fought for me to see a doctor. Yet no one ever came. She wasn't even allowed to see me at the trial/bond hearing. It was all done at the prison. No one was allowed to see me. She was told to come to court for me, she even brought people with her. No one was allowed in. I wasn't even convicted of anything. Yet I was treated like I had killed someone. My rights were violated, and so were my wife's. It is suppose to be innocent until proven guilty. In my case it was guilty until proven innocent. My wife asked me if I was read the Miranda Rights. You know, they didn't even do that. I guess that is why they didn't give me any rights. If they didn't read me my rights, then, I guess, that means I didn't have any."


Wednesday  11/23/2005

‘Nothing he did was worth a death sentence’ - Autopsy confirms West Oaklander Patrick Gaston killed by police last week  11/23/2005 SF Bay View 

No Home for the Holidays: Stop Evictions of Katrina Evacuees  11/23/2005 Dissident Voices: "Nationally, 54 members of Congress, including all the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, have co-sponsored HR 4197, the Hurricane Katrina Recovery Act. Ask your representative to co-sponsor this bill and to take action to force FEMA to assist those still left behind. There are also many other great grassroots, regional and national efforts underway to provide solidarity with Katrina evacuees. Many are listed at: www.justiceforneworleans.org."

Jamie Foxx speaks out about Katrina aftermath  11/23/2005 SF Bay View: "It was so sad, you feel overwhelmed by it. There were some bright stories. I'll never forget seeing the difference between Black generations in the grandmother speaking and the young girl speaking. The grandmother was in a wheelchair, and when I walked over and asked, "How're you doing?" She said, "Well, you know God told us to wade in the water. Jesus is good. We're strong, and we will survive. I know that this is just a test for us." And then, immediately, the daughter goes, "Tell him how they did us. Tell him how they changed the Superdome to the Niggerdome. Tell him how they held guns on us and forced us on buses. Tell him about the woman who asked for help to bury her husband who was told, 'Just throw his nigger ass in the water. That's all we're going to do with him anyway.'" So, that was interesting to see."

Police beat and jail Black and Muslim De Anza College students protesting visit by Colin Powell  11/23/2005 SF Bay View: "They [police] saw that we had the most energy and were not afraid of them and were riling up the crowd," said De Anza student Hanni Zaki, 22, who was hospitalized for injuries to the head from police, who stepped on his face and beat him with their batons. "They couldn't stand that we were dressed in Palestinian and Arabic clothes and weren't afraid of them. "They wanted revenge, so they chased down every one of us who were Muslim, until they could beat and arrest us. That's what they were waiting for. That's why they wouldn't let me go to my car."

Advisor calls Cal student Erika Williams ‘nigger’ and ‘bitch’  11/23/2005 SF Bay View 

Venezuela releases blueprint on Africa  11/23/2005 SF Bay View 

A dress rehearsal for massive arrests of political dissidents  11/23/2005 SF Bay View: "The Justice Department informed the body politic on April 14 that more than 10,000 fugitives had been arrested in a nationwide sweep from dawn April 4 to midnight April 10. One fugitive was even arrested in a foreign country. According to government officials, as reported by the Washington Post, the sweep, code named Operation FALCON, ranks as the largest single dragnet in U.S. history. The New York Times reported that the sweep required the deployment of 3,100 law enforcement officers, from 959 federal, state and local agencies. Of these fugitives, 1,500 were wanted for such violent crimes as murder, rape and kidnapping. About 4,300 of the outstanding warrants were for drug crimes, while another 1,700 people were wanted for assault. By all accounts, Operation FALCON was a success. In fact, as reported by the Post, the new attorney general Alberto Gonzales said - now hear this - the operation would serve as a model for future cooperation between federal and local agencies."

Each One Save One Campaign - Help publish the BayView in New Orleans and throughout the Katrina Diaspora  11/23/2005 SF Bay View: "The SF BayView newspaper has taken the lead in documenting the plight of the hurricane evacuees and is now poised to do even more. But we need our readers' help. Three months after the worst disaster in American history, the majority of hurricane evacuees still don't know where they will land. Many are out of money, food and are scheduled to be booted from hotels and motels on Jan. 7. The SF BayView has shared the evacuees' stories with you, but the victims have told us they need resources and information. To that end, the newspaper wants to launch the Each One Save One Campaign to help connect hurricane evacuees to resources and information, including their families, which can make the difference between life and death. However, we need funds to do this. So, we're asking you, our readers, to help save the lives of victims here, in New Orleans and beyond. The Each One Save One Campaign will work closely with organizers on the ground, especially the next mayor of New Orleans, Malik Rahim, shown here speaking Tuesday, Nov. 15, at SF State. Your donations and contributions will be used to print and distribute the SF BayView in New Orleans, initially, and in other cities where evacuees are, if and when funding allows. We'll be following in the historic footsteps of those great Black newspapers, the Chicago Defender and the Pittsburgh Courier. At other periods when masses of Black people were on the move, those papers were distributed far beyond their home cities, mainly in the South."


Monday  11/21/2005

Hate Crimes in Prison  11/21/2005 Alternet: "Twenty-one of the defendants are eligible for the death penalty, making the Aryan Brotherhood indictment the largest death penalty case in the history of the American justice system. It is a decapitation attack… In one example, the indictment alleges that in 1997, AB leaders responding to an outbreak of racial violence inside the federal penitentiary in Marion issued a "formal declaration of war" on black inmates throughout the federal prison system by using coded phone calls and messages written in a secret double alphabet invented by Sir Francis Bacon in 1652. When they received their orders, AB operatives in the federal pen in Lewisburg, Penn., executed a carefully coordinated, simultaneous attack on black inmates, killing two and severely wounding four."


Friday  11/18/2005

Cuba and the Lessons of Katrina  11/18/2005 Monthly Review 

'We all gonna have a good time'  11/18/2005 Guardian: "The venues are filthy, the crowds are thin, there's a 2am curfew and the army's on the street. But in post-Katrina New Orleans, some musicians are refusing to let the town die. Can the Big Easy bounce back?"


Wednesday  11/16/2005

Post-Katrina conference at UCLA: Experts say Katrina not over  11/16/2005 SF Bay View 

Where are the children?  11/16/2005 SF Bay View: "Joriel, Randy and Ramon are three of the nearly 2,000 children still missing after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Where are the children? That’s the question the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has asked in several speeches around the country. He repeated it during his keynote address to the Millions More Movement mass assembly on Oct. 15."

Leg 3 of the POCC National Tour - New York and Chicago  11/16/2005 SF Bay View 

Blacks in Congress Urge FEMA to Extend Deadline for Evacuees in Hotels  11/16/2005 Black America Web 

Slave wage, er, slavery, in the Gulf  11/16/2005 Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch: "Halliburton and its subcontractor KBR hired hundreds of undocumented Latino workers to clean up, treated them like animals, and threw them out without paying them."


Tuesday  11/15/2005

Miss Parks and Robert Williams - Rosa's Wreath  11/15/2005 Counterpunch: "Nine years before her own passing, Rosa found her way to the small community of Monroe, North Carolina to speak at the hometown funeral of a man who unlike Rosa was often vilified by the civil rights movement as a dangerous radical who threatened to jeopardize the meager gains of the civil rights movement. She told the mourners of a close friend of Malcolm X that the work of a fiery defender of the world's oppressed should go down in history and never be forgotten. But Robert Franklin Williams attained international status in the late 1950's after being forced to flee from North Carolina after forming a black self-defense group that was a precursor of the Black Panther Party. He life is an apt reflection of the saying that a prophet is without honor in his own country… But why did he remain such a precious man to Rosa Parks? She was always personified as docile, far in temperament from Williams' calling for armed guerrilla warfare in the cities of America. Although it is just conjecture, is it straining very much to wonder if Rosa Parks harbored some resentment at her own exile from the South after starting the Montgomery bus boycott?"

New Orleans evictions ''soaring''  11/15/2005 Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch 


Monday  11/14/2005

After Katrina: The Bad Times Continue to Roll  11/14/2005 Confined Space 

Secrets of the Katrina Gold Rush  11/14/2005 Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch: "Post-hurricane contracts are still marked by secrecy and lack of oversight. And what happened to the re-bidding?"


Saturday  11/12/2005

George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People - by: The Legendary K.O.  11/12/2005 the Black Lantern: legendary video


Thursday  11/10/2005

Whose Plan for New Orleans  11/10/2005 Black Commentator: "Katrina has set African American forces in motion on a scale not seen since the Civil Rights Movement entered its mature phase in 1963, when, according to NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, "there were more than 10,000 anti-racist demonstrations." Just three months into a Gulf saga that will unfold over a period of years, we are already witnessing an impressive mobilization across the political spectrum of Black America, and among many traditional allies. So deep and wide has the Katrina wound cut, it seems clear that activity among high-profile organizations represents only the "tip of the iceberg," so to speak. Every consciously Black grouping appears to be working on, or is contemplating, a Katrina-related project, and numerous non-Black organizations are engaged in solidarity activity."


Wednesday  11/9/2005

Stop the eviction of the ’Welcome Home’ Kitchen in New Orleans  11/9/2005 Bella Ciao: "The only kitchen serving fresh, nutritious meals to the people of New Orleans east of Canal St. is being threatened with closure by city officials. The loose-knit coalition of groups known as ’the Rainbow Family of Living Light’, best known for their yearly 4th of July Rainbow Gatherings at rotating locations throughout the country, have been instrumental in the relief effort following Hurricane Katrina. The mobile kitchen they founded in Waveland, Mississippi, the area hardest hit by the storm, has been consistently serving 2,000 people a day since its inception in early September. In New Orleans, the Rainbow Family established a kitchen over a month ago serving three meals a day to the homeless, nearly homeless, and underserved people of New Orleans. A half mile away is a facility with huge tents and serving areas set up by FEMA, but it is for FEMA contractors only, and large signs posted outside say "No public services available". In fact, FEMA has been very visibly absent in the city of New Orleans, from their initial arrival five days late to their inexplicable lack of public centers in the city itself… Please call ms. cynthia sylvan lear, the deputy chief administrative officer of the new orleans emergency operations center at 504-658-2180 and Mayor Nagin at (504) 658-4924, Fax: (504) 658-4938 to express your dismay that such a resource would be unilaterally dismantled by the government while it is providing such an important resource for the community."

Bush's failing grade on racial issues  11/9/2005 Boston Globe: "HISTORIAN John Hope Franklin has lived through 16 presidents and has met many -- or tried to. In 1934 as a college student here at Fisk University, he attempted in vain to deliver a petition to President Roosevelt to protest a 1933 lynching of a boy who had been seized by his killers only three blocks from the campus chapel. In 1976, President Ford appointed him to the National Council on the Humanities. In 1980, President Carter sent him to Belgrade as a member of the American delegation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization conference. In 1997, President Clinton appointed Franklin to chair the White House's Initiative on Race. Asked to rate the presidents on their contributions to America's racial climate, Franklin cited Clinton, Carter, Johnson, even Ford, a Republican whom he described as a ''nice man" who ''didn't conspire to destroy people." No such niceties were reserved for the 16th president of Franklin's life. ''President Bush is not even on the ratings scale where I can rate him," Franklin told the Trotter Group of African-American newspaper columnists Monday at his alma mater. Franklin, 90, is on tour to promote his autobiography, ''Mirror to America.""

Malik Rahim: Community organizer eyes New Orleans’ top office  11/9/2005 SF Bay View: "What Rahim has learned from the collective, he says, is “Not all blacks are for us and not all whites are against us. People call me an Uncle Tom for working with whites, but I’d rather be an Uncle Tom than an old Black militant who is talking loud and doing nothing. “When I got death threats for speaking out against injustice, two white men sat on my porch with shotguns to protect me. And three white medics walked the public housing developments to see if anyone needed medical services.” Not one to rest on his laurels, Rahim and the collective are also reaching out to the first nation tribes in Louisiana. “We were one of the first relief organizations to help the Houma Nation. Now they’re asking how they can help us.” The collective is planning to acquire three buses to bring exiled New Orleanians back home for a big Thanksgiving celebration. “Watch us light up the Ninth Ward for Thanksgiving and Christmas; watch us for Mardi Gras. We’re taking our city back. The plantation syndicate will not take over this city again.”"

Paris is burning: Racism and repession explode in week of uprisings  11/9/2005 SF Bay View: "The trigger came on Thursday, Oct. 27, as a group of 10 high school kids were playing soccer in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois. When police arrived to do ID checks, the kids ran away and hid, because some of them had no ID. Three of the children hid in an electrical transformer building of EDF and were electrocuted. Two of them, Ziad Benn, 17, and Banou Traoré, 15, died; the third, Metin, 21, was severely injured."

Twilight of the Oil Age  11/9/2005 Alternet: "Author of the recently published Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy, Simmons is founder of Simmons & Company International, an investment bank that handles mergers and acquisitions among energy companies, and counts among its clients Halliburton, General Electric, and the World Bank. A graduate of the Harvard Business School, he served as an energy-policy adviser to the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. Conservative credentials aside, Simmons has been boggling the minds of people across the political spectrum with his recent prediction that the price of a barrel of oil could hit the high triple digits within a few years. To postpone economic meltdown, he says we should be drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other hotly contested spots. At the same time, he's calling for a massive shift in energy policy, including radical improvements in efficiency, as well as a return to local farming and manufacturing. With his unconventional opinions, he's single-handedly reinventing the image of the post-oil energy crusader."

A post-Katrina expulsion of four Black students  11/9/2005 SF Bay View: "A student at William Carey College, in Hattiesburg, Miss., reportedly took a small campus generator out of a storage shed that was damaged by the storms and brought it to a dormitory, where students used it to charge cell phones to try to communicate with their loved ones. It is not clear who took the generator, but four Black students say that they were expelled - without the opportunity to defend themselves - because of the incident. The students say that while they were among those in the dormitory who benefited from the generator, they are being treated unfairly because they are Black, and that white students who used the generator are not being punished."


Saturday  11/5/2005

No Place to Call Home - People of the Dome, Revisited  11/5/2005 Counterpunch: "Les Evenchick is an independent Green activist who lives in the French Quarter of New Orleans in a 3-story walkup. He points out that people were told to go to the bus depot to evacuate, but the bus station had closed down the night before. Unless you owned a car, Les continued, FEMA and state police would not let you leave. Hundreds attempting to walk out of New Orleans were forced off the road and ordered back to the Coliseum or Superdome, where no water or food was available. As a consequence the vast majority of the so-called looters were simply grabbing water, food, diapers and medicine. "Itâos only because of them that old people, sick people, small children were able to survive," Les says. "But the 'anti-looting' hype was used to militarize the area, place it under martial law and disperse the population, mostly Black people, mostly the poor."These were the people who had twice voted in huge numbers against the candidacy of George Bush, the only area in the state to have done so. The previous year, they also fought off attempts to privatize the drinking water supply, battled Shell Oil's attempt to build a Liquified Natural Gas facility, and tried to prevent the teardown of public housing -- battles in which Mayor Ray Nagin, who had contributed funds to George W. Bush's presidential campaign in 2000 and who was a registered Republican until a few months prior to the 2002 Mayoral election, sided with the oil companies and wealthy developers...Gulf Coast resident Latosha Brown reports that the first group to send emergency supplies was TOPS, The Ordinary Peoples Society, a prison ministry in Dothan Alabama founded and staffed by ex-offenders. They organized food, pooled their money for additional goods and brought the supplies to a second organization of former prisoners in Mobile who distributed them, while they went back to Dothan for more.... Currently, thousands of poor homeowners and rental tenants - including those unable to return to New Orleans just yet, having been evacuated to the far away domes -- are being evicted, says Mike Howell, who is organizing tenants to resist eviction. The phony "reconstruction" of New Orleans begins with the landgrab and with Mayor Nagin proposing gambling casinos, which he says would "rescue" the city (while destroying the remaining wetlands). Many people are resisting this blatant confiscation of their lands and homes. If the resistance grows, New Orleans may soon become known as the first battle of the new American revolution."

Tender mercenaries: DynCorp and me  11/5/2005 SF Bay View: "Take the words of Brig. Gen. Karl Horst, deputy commander of the Third Infantry Division in charge of security in Baghdad. In September he said this of DynCorp and other security firms in Iraq: "These guys run loose in this country and do stupid stuff. There's no authority over them, so you can't come down on them hard when they escalate force. ... They shoot people, and someone else has to deal with the aftermath. It happens all over the place." "


Friday  11/4/2005

Acceptance of Torture in the United States  11/4/2005 Monthly Review: "Without much examination of the concept, Americans are quick to declare that they live in a civilized society. Indeed, many Americans believe that their country is the most "civilized" country in the world. Without much digression on the arrogance of such a belief, it is sufficient to say that at least the rest of the world has serious doubts as to the accuracy of that position. Those doubts deepen as the United States' Vice President, Dick Cheney, takes the position that employees of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) should be exempt from proposed legislation that would bar the use of cruel and degrading treatment of any prisoners in the custody of the United States. Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, was the principal sponsor of amendment #1977 to the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill. The Senate voted 90-9 in favor of the Amendment over the objection of the Bush Administration. Vice President Cheney tried repeatedly to persuade Senator McCain to modify his proposal so that it would not be a complete ban on inhumane treatment. Last summer, President Bush vowed that he would veto the measure and the Senate prepared for an override. The haunting images of the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisoners are still imbedded in the world psyche as Cheney lobbies for permission to visit yet more torture around the globe."

"Katrina Cough" Floats Around  11/4/2005 LA Times: "But the condition could be more serious for people whose health is otherwise compromised — for example, organ transplant patients; people who are undergoing chemotherapy; or people who suffer from emphysema, asthma, chronic bronchitis or other ailments. "It could be life-threatening to those people," said Dr. Peter DeBlieux, associate medical director of the Spirit of Charity, a MASH-style clinic that has been set up in downtown New Orleans. "Those people are already living on a precipice and could be pushed off. Those people are encouraged not to come back to the city." Some community and environmental advocates say that message is not getting through to the public. "People are going back in and getting sick," said Wilma Subra, a Louisiana environmental consultant and activist. "They are letting people in without any information or any warning.""

If He Lied, He Must be Tried - A Majority Now Favors Impeachment  11/4/2005 Counterpunch 

Knight Ridder Reporter Warns of Hostile Takeover--with Political Twist?  11/4/2005 Editor & Publisher: "As reports swirl that KR could or should be sold, under new pressure from what he calls a "pro-GOP" big investor, a longtime Philly Daily News scribe charges that this would be "bad news" for the chain--and all of American media… As you probably know if you're a newspaper junkie, and may not know if you're a normal human being, a Florida-based investment group -- with zero fanfare -- has bought up 19% of the stock of Knight Ridder, Inc., the owners of the Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer, not to mention the Miami Herald, the San Jose Mercury News, and a bunch of other big names in the dead-tree world."


Thursday  11/3/2005

The Worst Overt Act of Racism in the 21st Century? An Occurrence at Gretna Bridge  11/3/2005 Counterpunch: By Rep. CYNTHIA McKINNEY

'Katrina Cough' Lingers in the Wake of Hurricane  11/3/2005 Drudge Report: "Dr. Dennis Casey, an ear, nose and throat doctor in New Orleans, called the condition ``very prevalent.'' And Dr. Kevin Jordan, director of medical affairs at Touro Infirmary and Memorial Medical Center in downtown New Orleans, said the hospital has seen at least a 25 percentincrease in sinus headaches, congestion, runny noses and sore throats since Katrina."


Wednesday  11/2/2005

“Bush - Nazi Dealings Continued Until 1951” - Federal Documents  11/2/2005 Global Research: "After the seizures in late 1942 of five U.S. enterprises he managed on behalf of Nazi industrialist Fritz Thyssen, Prescott Bush, the grandfather of President George W. Bush, failed to divest himself of more than a dozen "enemy national" relationships that continued until as late as 1951, newly-discovered U.S. government documents reveal. Furthermore, the records show that Bush and his colleagues routinely attempted to conceal their activities from government investigators. Bush's partners in the secret web of Thyssen-controlled ventures included former New York Governor W. Averell Harriman and his younger brother, E. Roland Harriman. Their quarter-century of Nazi financial transactions, from 1924-1951, were conducted by the New York private banking firm, Brown Brothers Harriman."

Black Studies professor arrested  11/2/2005 SF Bay View: "According to their accounts, Akom came to campus around 10 p.m. on Tuesday evening to pick up a book he needed for teaching his class. When he arrived in the front of the Ethnic Studies Building, where his office is located, he was approached by a security guard who asked him what he was doing there. Akom reportedly told the security guard that he was a professor and he was going into his office. He then proceeded to go inside. “When he came out, there was a white cop to meet him and told him to put his hands behind his back,” said Shenoda. Akom said the unidentified campus police officer was called by the security guard while he was inside of his office getting the book. He said that he asked the officer why he was getting arrested, but the officer had no answer. “The officer didn’t tell him anything. It wasn’t until he was arrested that they told him he had assaulted a police officer,” said Moore, a SFSU student."

More Demons Loose in Bolivia - The Reappearance of the Nazis  11/2/2005 NarcoNews: "Now, this is hardly surprising… for generations, the whites in this country have lived off the labor of the indigenous peoples and other ethnic groups, exploiting them and treating many human as beasts of burden. They are less than twenty percent of the population (at most), but they keep insisting on their “right” to govern, to rule unquestioned, to put the common wealth of the Bolivian people at their own disposal."

Reparations: Good for Jews but not for Blacks? by Queen Mother Dorothy Benton Lewis  11/2/2005 SF Bay View: "Why are Zionists actively campaigning against Black reparations? If I were to write an article entitled, “Holocaust Slavery Reparations: Just Say No!” or “Aid to Israel: Just Say No More!” I would be called an anti-Semite. But Mr. Eric Rozenman, director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, a media watchdog for Israel, has no similar restraints."

Sunshine after floodwater - a report from New Orleans  11/2/2005 SF Bay View: "The idyllic quality of this scene, like a poster picture of racial harmony and community, is all the more remarkable because a month ago this community was on the verge of a race riot. Immediately after Katrina, when much of the Louisiana National Guard was in Iraq and the police failed to keep order, white vigilante groups were roaming the streets, shooting at any young Black man they suspected of being a looter. Black citizens were arming themselves in response, and the neighborhood was on the verge of a race riot. Then Malik Rahim, a neighborhood organizer, Green Party member and former Black Panther, put out a call to some of his long time allies and the activist community in general for help. Scott Crow, a young white organizer from Austin, came down and sat on the porch with Malik to defend against the vigilantes… There are two National Guard in camoflauge fatigues wandering through the crowd, and Baruch tells me they are guarding us from the police, who have been systematically harassing clinic personnel along with the general citizenry. Across the river, police arrested three of the young volunteers who were helping Mama D, who is cleaning up her Seventh Ward neighborhood so that when people return, they will have something to come back to. Two were white, one was Black. They beat the Black kid severely, kicking him viciously in the chest, and stole his money. They were in jail with lots of people who were arrested simply sitting on their own front porches. In the French Quarter, someone videotaped a group of cops viciously beating an old man, and this makes the news and provokes outrage. But there are a hundred incidents like it every day that no one sees."


Tuesday  11/1/2005

Acceptance of Torture in the United States  11/1/2005 Monthly Review: "Police brutality and torture in New Orleans is not a new phenomenon. In 1973, a group of men and women alleged to be members of the Black Panther Party were captured in New Orleans. Word of their arrest quickly spread throughout the country. Representatives from the police departments of Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco rushed to New Orleans and interrogated several of the arrestees in between torture sessions conducted by members of that city's police department. The torture and interrogations lasted over a period of 4-5 days. Despite the fact that more than one court has found that the statements extracted from the torture victims were inadmissible in court, law enforcement personnel have persisted in harassing them and their families for over thirty years. From 1972 to 1991, at least 135 arrestees in Chicago were tortured by local police using methods eerily similar to those used by the New Orleans police including beatings, suffocation, and the use of electric shock probes place on the genitals. The horrors of the Chicago arrestees were recently reported before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.5 The cruelty of the Chicago Police Department, like that of the New Orleans Police Department, is commonplace.6 It was the brutality of the Chicago Police Department and the resultant coerced confessions that were responsible in part for then Illinois Governor Ryan declaring a moratorium on the death penalty, finding that too many convictions had been obtained through questionable means."

A Thousand Evictions a Day for Weeks Why are They Making New Orleans a Ghost Town?  11/1/2005 Counterpunch: "Fully armed National Guard troops refuse to allow over ten thousand people to even physically visit their property in the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood. Despite the fact that people cannot come back, tens of thousands of people face eviction from their homes. A local judge told me that their court expects to process a thousand evictions a day for weeks. Renters still in shelters or temporary homes across the country will never see the court notice taped to the door of their home. Because they will not show up for the eviction hearing that they do not know about, their possessions will be tossed out in the street. In the street their possessions will sit alongside an estimated 3 million truck loads of downed trees, piles of mud, fiberglass insulation, crushed sheetrock, abandoned cars, spoiled mattresses, wet rugs, and horrifyingly smelly refrigerators full of food from August."

Lack of FEMA data slows relief  11/1/2005 USA Today: "Relief groups trying to help Hurricane Katrina evacuees find new homes and reunite with families say they have been stymied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's failure to provide information about evacuees."


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