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Katrina Survivors Fight Back - Ongoing Coverage

Friday  8/24/2012

Katrina Pain Index 2012: 7 Years After  8/24/2012 Countercurrents: "1 Rank of New Orleans, Louisiana in world prison rate. Louisiana imprisons more of its people, per head, than any of the other 50 states. Louisiana rate is five times higher than Iran, 13 times higher than China and 20 times Germany. In Louisiana, one in 86 adults is in prison. In New Orleans, one in 14 black men is behind bars. In New Orleans, one of every seven black men is in prison, on parole or on probation."

Saturday  8/30/2008

The Failure to Learn From Katrina  8/30/2008 Guardian, UK 

Wednesday  8/27/2008

A City Still Searches for Recovery - Three Years After Katrina  8/27/2008 Counterpunch 

Monday  8/25/2008

46,000 Fewer Black Voters in New Orleans … Katrina, the Pain Index  8/25/2008 Counterpunch 

Thursday  8/21/2008

SCLC: Racism still alive in New Orleans  8/21/2008 Final Call: "While some were caught off guard by his recent description of New Orleans as one of the most racist cities in the United States, he says they shouldn’t have been given the city’s racial climate and its routine mistreatment of Black residents and tourists alike. “We were there before the storm and advocated that racism is still alive and well in New Orleans,” he told The Louisiana Weekly. “You have two different pay scales in New Orleans. We told Mayor (Ray) Nagin this, and the local paper admitted that the SCLC was right. “There are two different market scales within the city of New Orleans,” he continued. “You have a Black price and a White price in terms of the tourism market, which overlaps into the everyday market. You go into a restaurant as a Black person, you get a different menu than White folks.”

Monday  6/2/2008

Hungry for Justice: Modern-Day Slavery in New Orleans  6/2/2008 Common Dreams 

Friday  3/21/2008

U.S. contractor under fire for Katrina jobs Mississippi fines Florida firm for ‘negligence,’ weighs criminal probe  3/21/2008 MS NBC 

Thursday  3/6/2008

A Katrina Reader  3/6/2008 CWS Workshop 

Tuesday  3/4/2008

Half the City's Poor Now Permanently Displaced - The Cleansing of New Orleans  3/4/2008 Counterpunch: "Government reports confirm that half of the working poor, elderly and disabled who lived in New Orleans before Katrina have not returned. Because of critical shortages in low cost housing, few now expect tens of thousands of poor and working people to ever be able to return home. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) reports Medicaid, medical assistance for aged, blind, disabled and low-wage working families, is down 46% from pre-Katrina levels. DHH reports before Katrina there were 134,249 people in New Orleans on Medicaid. February 2008 reports show participation down to 72,211 (a loss of 62,038 since Katrina). Medicaid is down dramatically in every category: by 50% for the aged, 53% for blind, 48% for the disabled and 52% for children."

Saturday  12/22/2007

Shock and Tasers in New Orleans  12/22/2007 Alternet: "This is just one particular piece of this whole program. Public hospitals are also being shut down and set to be demolished and destroyed in New Orleans. And they've systematically dismantled the public education system and beginning demolition on many of the schools in New Orleans--that's on the agenda right now--and trying to totally turn that system over to a charter and a voucher system, to privatize and just really go forward with a major experiment, which was initially laid out by the Heritage Foundation and other neoconservative think tanks shortly after the storm. So this is just really the fulfillment of this program."

Friday  12/21/2007

Fury in New Orleans as housing demolition Okd  12/21/2007 LA Times: "The fate of the 4,500 public housing units has become a flash point as this city struggles to piece itself back together after Hurricane Katrina damaged more than 134,000 homes, many of them in poor, mostly black neighborhoods… City Council members -- some sipping water, others leafing through file folders -- looked on impassively as a man was tasered, handcuffed and dragged from the council chambers. Outside, dozens of locked-out people tried to force their way through iron gates and clashed with police, who used pepper spray and stun guns on them. One woman was taken away on a stretcher after being sprayed."

Monday  10/29/2007

Band on the run in New Orleans  10/29/2007 Salon: "On the evening of Oct. 1, some two dozen of New Orleans' top brass-band players and roughly a hundred followers began a series of nightly processions for Kerwin James, a tuba player with the New Birth Brass Band who had passed away on Sept. 26. They were "bringing him down," as it's called, until his Saturday burial. But the bittersweet tradition that Monday night ended more bitterly than anything else -- with snare drummer Derrick Tabb and his brother, trombonist Glen David Andrews, led away in handcuffs after some 20 police cars had arrived near the corner of North Robertson and St. Philip streets in New Orleans' historic Tremé neighborhood. In the end, it looked more like the scene of a murder than misdemeanors. "The police told us, 'If we hear one more note, we'll arrest the whole band,'" said Tabb a few days later, at a fundraiser to help defray the costs of James' burial. "Well, we did stop playing," said Andrews. "We were singing, lifting our voices to God. You gonna tell me that's wrong too?" Drummer Ellis Joseph of the Free Agents Brass band, who was also in the procession, said, "They came in a swarm, like we had AK-47s. But we only had instruments." "

Tuesday  9/25/2007

HUD's Wrecking Ball - Tightening the Noose Around New Orleans  9/25/2007 Counterpunch 

Friday  8/24/2007

Greg Palast: Hurricane George: How the White House Drowned New Orleans  8/24/2007 Buzzflash: "Why on earth would the White House not tell the state to get the remaining folks out of there? The answer: cost. Political and financial cost. A hurricane is an act of God -- but a catastrophic failure of the levees is an act of Bush. Under law dating back to 1935, a breech of the federal levee system makes the damage -- and the deaths -- a federal responsibility. That means, as van Heeden points out, "these people must be compensated." The federal government, by law, must build and maintain the Mississippi River levees to withstand known dangers -- or pay the price when they fail. Indeed, that was the rule applied in the storms that hit Westhampton Dunes, New York, in 1992. There, when federal sea barriers failed, the floodwaters wiped away 190 homes. The Feds rebuilt them from the public treasury. But these were not just any homes. They are worth an average of $3 million apiece -- the summer homes of movie stars and celebrity speculators. There were no movie stars floating face down in the Lower Ninth Ward nor in Lakeview nor in St. Bernard Parish. For the 'luvvies' of Westhampton Dunes, the federal government even trucked in sand to replace the beaches. But for New Orleans' survivors, there's the aluminum gulag of FEMA trailer parks. Today, two years later, 89,000 families still live in this mobile home Guantanamo -- with no plan whatsoever for their return. And what was the effect of the White House's self-serving delay? I spoke with van Heerden in his university office. The computer model of the hurricane flashed quietly as I waited for him to answer. Then he said, "Fifteen hundred people drowned. That's the bottom line.""

Susan L. Taylor Calls for a ‘Day of Presence’ in New Orleans  8/24/2007 Final Call: "Enough is enough! It’s the shame of the nation,” stated Essence Editorial Director Susan L. Taylor to tens of thousands during the Essence Music Festival in the Crescent City in July. She was speaking of the still deplorable condition the city of New Orleans and the apathy of the United States government recovery efforts. “It’s a shame that the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast have been abandoned and are suffering without the most basic necessary supports while our tax dollars are directed toward war.” She has called for the Day of Presence: A National Focus on Recovery of New Orleans and Gulf Coast for Aug. 29 during the 2nd Anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita."

Thursday  8/23/2007

Echoes of 1927 flood seen in Katrina  8/23/2007 Toronto Star: "Canadian filmmaker shows similarities in appalling treatment of black residents"

Monday  8/20/2007

A House Divided - Infighting threatens efforts to reopen public housing  8/20/2007 New Orleans City Business 

You can help Food Not Bombs feed the survivors of Katrina  8/20/2007 Food Not Bombs: "PLEASE CONTINUE TO HELP! The people of New Orleans need drinking water. This is an emergency! Since the storm swept through the gulf we have been one of the only hot meals shared on a daily bases in New Orleans. We still need volunteers, tools and food to help the people displaced by Katrina. We need people to help us repair homes and cook meals for people volunteering to rebuild New Orleans. It's been difficult to locate our kitchens after the city kicked us out of Washington Square Park. We are now asking everyone to go to the Common Grounds in Algers. They can help you find Food Not Bombs. We also have a meeting place the Common Grounds 9th Ward Center off the Claiborne Ave exit on I-10 at the corner of N. Claiborne and Pauline in the 9th Ward."

Tuesday  7/10/2007

School Reopened in Lower 9th Ward, But Struggle Isn’t Over  7/10/2007 Common Ground Relief: "Following numerous months of arduous struggle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School for Science and Technology finally had something to celebrate the morning of Sunday, June 10, at its rededication ceremony. Outside the school the jubilant crowd cheered as Joseph Recasner, dean of students, called on the community to “take pride in what has been done. Let the world know that the city of New Orleans is coming back and the Lower 9th Ward is already back.” King school is the first to reopen in the Lower 9th Ward since Hurricane Katrina. The Original Pin-Stripe Brass Band and the Zulu Walking Warriors paraded into the auditorium with dancing guests in tow. In front of an arc of yellow and white balloons with a large portrait of Martin Luther King on stage, they entertained nearly one thousand people in true New Orleans style. Parents and friends excitedly greeted one another and waved fans with images of Martin Luther King Jr."

Sunday  4/29/2007

Most Katrina Aid From Overseas Went Unclaimed  4/29/2007 Washington Post: "As the winds and water of Hurricane Katrina were receding, presidential confidante Karen Hughes sent a cable from her State Department office to U.S. ambassadors worldwide. Titled "Echo-Chamber Message" -- a public relations term for talking points designed to be repeated again and again -- the Sept. 7, 2005, directive was unmistakable: Assure the scores of countries that had pledged or donated aid at the height of the disaster that their largesse had provided Americans "practical help and moral support" and "highlight the concrete benefits hurricane victims are receiving." Many of the U.S. diplomats who received the message, however, were beginning to witness a more embarrassing reality. They knew the U.S. government was turning down many allies' offers of manpower, supplies and expertise worth untold millions of dollars. Eventually the United States also would fail to collect most of the unprecedented outpouring of international cash assistance for Katrina's victims. Allies offered $854 million in cash and in oil that was to be sold for cash. But only $40 million has been used so far for disaster victims or reconstruction, according to U.S. officials and contractors. Most of the aid went uncollected, including $400 million worth of oil. Some offers were withdrawn or redirected to private groups such as the Red Cross. The rest has been delayed by red tape and bureaucratic limits on how it can be spent."

Monday  4/16/2007

The Katrinians  4/16/2007 Unknown News: "The people from Louisiana and Mississippi are refugees of both a natural and a political disaster, and like most refugees before them, they're not welcome by the communities where they've washed up."

Saturday  3/17/2007

Nagin Suspects a Plot To Keep Blacks Away  3/17/2007 Washington Post: "New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin has suggested that the slow recovery and rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina -- which has prevented many black former residents from returning -- is part of a plan to change the racial makeup and political leadership of his and other cities. "Ladies and gentlemen, what happened in New Orleans could happen anywhere," Nagin said at a dinner sponsored by the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a trade group for newspapers that target black readers. "They are studying this model of natural disasters, dispersing the community and changing the electoral process in that community.""

Monday  3/5/2007

New Orleans, Giant Alka Seltzer Tablet  3/5/2007 Huffington Post: "Land is dissolving into the Gulf of Mexico so quickly that unless major restoration projects get underway more or less now, the sinking coast may disappear altogether. That would be a multi-headed catastrophe - cultural, economic, ecological. The bayou country is a unique American resource. And losing it would also make it much harder to protect the city from hurricanes, large and small. Once marshes disappear and you get the Gulf lapping at your levees, you've already lost the battle. Sadly and unsurprisingly, the major obstacles are not scientific or logistical, but entirely political and bureaucratic. Coastal restoration was held up for years by a lack of attention from Washington, conflicting agendas, and special interests from national property-rights advocates to oystermen. Post-Katrina, things have changed a bit - more money is coming online, for one. But just approving the necessary programs can take years."

Newt on New Orleans 9th Ward Residents: A "Failure of Citizenship"  3/5/2007 Blog for our future: "How can you have the mess we have in New Orleans, and not have had deep investigations of the federal government, the state government, the city government, and the failure of citizenship in the Ninth Ward, where 22,000 people were so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn't get out of the way of a hurricane."

Thursday  2/15/2007

Breaking Ground - Winter 2007  2/15/2007 Common Ground Collective 

Monday  1/15/2007

Louisa Hanoune, Algerian National Peoples Assembly Deputy agrees to serve as International Convener  1/15/2007 International Tribunal on Katrina: "Kali Akuno, Executive Director of the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund (PHRF), conducted an international organizing tour in Algeria and France from November 26th through December 11th, 2006 to promote and build the International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The tour was organized with the support of the International Liaison Committee (ILC) and Black Workers for Justice (BWFJ)."

Friday  12/29/2006

Angela Davis Speaks Out on Prisons and Human Rights Abuses in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina  12/29/2006 Democracy Now 

Why is HUD Using Tens of Millions in Katrina Money to Bulldoze 4,534 Public Housing Apartments in New Orleans When It Costs Less to Repair and Open Them Up?  12/29/2006 Counterpunch 

Saturday  12/16/2006

Foundations, Nonprofits and the Second Looting of New Orleans - A Catastrophic Failure  12/16/2006 Counterpunch 

Sunday  10/8/2006

A Heck Of A Mistake - Schieffer: Bush's Protection Of Power At Expense Of FEMA Leadership Is Wrong  10/8/2006 CBS: "The White House served notice that the president would not abide by new Congressional rules which require the next head of FEMA — that's Brownie's old job — to have five years' experience in disaster management. Why would the president have a problem with that? The White House says it would encroach on his constitutional power to appoint anyone he chooses for top government jobs. In other words, if the president wants to appoint someone as incompetent as Old Brownie, he will fight for his right to do that. Now let's make sure you understand we are talking about Brownie, of "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" fame. Brownie, you may recall, had a lot of experience as a horse show judge and no experience managing emergencies which is why Congress decided to write a new job description for the next emergency manager."

Tuesday  9/26/2006

New Orleans is Back ... Without Blacks  9/26/2006 Counterpunch 

Tuesday  8/22/2006

The 'New' New Orleans Blues  8/22/2006 Alternet: ''Spike Lee's HBO doc about Hurricane Katrina is a haunting and expertly told story that shows how little our government truly cares about many of its citizens.''

Sunday  8/20/2006

Spike Lee points lens back to New Orleans  8/20/2006 Chicago Sun Times: NEW ORLEANS -- Spike Lee is not hiding his anger about New Orleans' devastation by levee breaks and the government's slow response to save lives. He hopes his documentary on the subject will bring attention back to the region, where it's needed, he said last week.

Thursday  8/10/2006

New Orleans residents frayed by stress  8/10/2006 AP  

Wednesday  8/9/2006

ACLU National Prison Project Report on Orleans - Abandoned & Abused: Orleans Parish Prisonners in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina  8/9/2006 ACLU  

Thursday  8/3/2006

Club: video contradicts claims about Hilton Ruiz death  8/3/2006 AP: "Bouncers at a Bourbon Street dance club threw the late jazz pianist and composer Hilton Ruiz face-first into heavy wooden doors and then onto the floor after he was attacked by a patron of the club, his daughter claims. But a representative for Club Utopia says its tapes show Ruiz signing a tab for more than $200, leaving by himself and walking straight down the alley. Tapes from a sister club next door show him tripping minutes later and hitting his face on the curb, said Jacques Chrysocoos (kris-AH-kohs), who said he is a business representative for some of the owners. Ruiz, of Teaneck, N.J., was hospitalized after falling near the club on May 19, and died June 6 without regaining consciousness. He had come to New Orleans May 18 to make a video to go with a Hurricane Katrina benefit recording."

Wednesday  7/5/2006

Ten months after Katrina: Gutting New Orleans  7/5/2006 SF Bay View: "Not a single dollar of federal housing repair or home reconstruction money has made it to New Orleans yet. Tens of thousands are waiting. Many wait because a full third of homeowners in the New Orleans area had no flood insurance. Others wait because the

Friday  6/2/2006

Jeremy Scahill on Blackwater in New Orleans - "A Mercenary Army"  6/2/2006 Counterpunch 

Thursday  5/25/2006

An Interview with Malik Rahim - Finding Common Ground in New Orleans  5/25/2006 Counterpunch  

Monday  4/24/2006

Vote for Mayor Points to Change in New Orleans  4/24/2006 NYT: a delicate title for ethnic cleansing - "Black residents, whose neighborhoods were the most devastated by the storm, voted in much smaller numbers than whites did on Saturday, even more so than usual. White turnout is usually higher than black turnout, but the gap was about double what it is normally, analysts said Sunday. As a result, most of the votes here were cast against Mr. Nagin, who is black, even though he came out on top in a crowded field, with 38 percent of the vote. If that trend holds, New Orleans will elect its first white mayor in nearly 30 years on May 20, when Mr. Nagin will face Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, who got 29 percent, in a runoff. If Mr. Landrieu receives two-thirds of the 30 percent received by the white candidates who finished behind him, Mr. Nagin's days as mayor will be over. Adding to his difficulties, Mr. Nagin must mobilize the citizens who were displaced from the city by Hurricane Katrina and who failed to turn out for Saturday's voting."

Friday  4/21/2006

Howard Dean: Katrina Will Put GOP Out of Business  4/21/2006 ABC: "In one of those odd political moments that combine a poignant message with somewhat opportunistic maneuvering, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean took part in a cleanup effort in flood-ravaged New Orleans and used the moment to take a shot at the Republicans. In his first post-Katrina visit to the Crescent City, Dean helped Acorn, a nonprofit community group that works with low-income families, to clean out Vincent Cooper's flood-damaged home on Derbigny Street in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans."

Howard Dean: Katrina Will Put GOP Out of Business  4/21/2006 ABC: In one of those odd political moments that combine a poignant message with somewhat opportunistic maneuvering, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean took part in a cleanup effort in flood-ravaged New Orleans and used the moment to take a shot at the Republicans. In his first post-Katrina visit to the Crescent City, Dean helped Acorn, a nonprofit community group that works with low-income families, to clean out Vincent Cooper's flood-damaged home on Derbigny Street in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans.

Thursday  4/20/2006

Back from New Orleans  4/20/2006 Black Commentator: "After a week spent volunteering in New Orleans, I left overcome with two feelings: one, of the converging influences of racism, classism and capitalism preventing a just rebuilding process; and two, of the way my college delicately skirts challenging these forms of oppression."

Wednesday  4/19/2006

Common Ground Action Alert: Ninth Ward demolitions  4/19/2006 SF Bay View: "Residents of the Lower Ninth Ward have requested assistance in gathering information for contacting homeowners dispersed across the U.S. who may be unaware that their home is slated to be demolished in coming weeks. In this email, you will find out how you can help from home! Thanks to all of you for your feedback and support since we sent our first update. In coming weeks, we will concentrate specific project needs and action alerts into periodic updates. These electronic newsletters will help you to remain involved with Common Ground Relief and stay abreast of the latest breaking news out of the Gulf Coast! "

Wednesday  4/12/2006

On Common Ground  4/12/2006 SF Bay View: "When people ask, “Where is the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense,” one would have to reply, “It’s in New Orleans, where Common Ground is operating 100 percent on volunteer fuel – a people-driven operation. In a video produced just a few months after the hurricane, when most of the operation was located at Malik Rahim’s home in Algiers (SF Bay View readers probably recall the history), the spirit of self-determination, economic development and cooperative economics coalesced into a model of self-governance which could be duplicated elsewhere – and should be wherever there is homelessness, poverty and visible disenfranchisement due to manmade disasters like a war in Iraq. Volunteers sleep in tents, take cold showers, do skilled and unskilled labor, eat dorm style – the food not California cuisine … which translates into “not many vegetables,” Nutmeg told me. She said she’d like someone to come from California to cook – and that they should bring fresh vegetables, something the volunteer diet lacks."

Wednesday  4/5/2006

It's time to take Katrina failures to the world stage  4/5/2006 SF Bay View - Katrina Information Network: "From people desperately clinging to rooftops surrounded by water to survivors pushed onto planes with no idea of their final destination, the horror of Hurricane Katrina survivors wasn't simple bureaucratic bungling. It was a series of human rights violations that are drawing world attention in mid-March as the United Nations reconvenes in New York."

Sunday  4/2/2006

Election plan sparks protest  4/2/2006 AP: "Nearly 2,000 protesters, led by civil rights activists Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton rallied yesterday, saying the city's election plans will disenfranchise voters displaced by hurricane Katrina. The system of mail-in voting set up for the April 22 election for mayor and other positions in the largely black city will make it difficult for voters living elsewhere to cast a ballot, Jackson and other activists said."

Saturday  4/1/2006

Picking Up The Pieces  4/1/2006 Shelterforce: "At the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, Oprah is on the PA system. It’s early September 2005, and the stadium is full of evacuees from New Orleans. Oprah is telling them that God is going to take care of them. An organizer with The Metropolitan Organization (TMO) tells a colleague who has just arrived that it’s going to be hard to get the PA system away from Oprah. Celebrities have been parading in and out all the time, being extraordinarily patronizing, he says. Not deterred, a leader working with the newly formed Survivors Leadership Group, which TMO has been organizing since the evacuees got here, grabs the mic as soon as the big shots are done. “We’re still having this survivors meeting, and if you think God might want you to get off your duff and be part of the solution, you might want to come,” is how TMO lead organizer Renee Wizig-Barrios remembers the announcement."

Friday  3/24/2006

Help Katrina Evacuees Vote: If you are an eligible New Orleans voter, request an absentee ballot until April 18 to vote in the primary  3/24/2006 Louisiana Elections Division 

Tuesday  3/7/2006

Fifty Dollars and a Dream: Angola 3 and Common Ground Collective  3/7/2006 IndyMedia: "According to the National Coalition to Free the Angola Three (now with multiple international chapters), King, Wallace and Woodfox were set up. So why does the Coalition believe that these innocent men would be framed, then left rotting in solitary confinement for 33 years? Because in 1972, while the civil rights movement was taking some time to make its way into Louisiana, the Angola Three were outspoken political activists and self-professed Black Panthers. The then-governor of Louisiana had publicly vowed not to let the Panthers get off the ground in his state, and King, Wallace and Woodfox were just three of hundreds of casualties of J. Edgar Hoover's COINTELPRO program, which used illegal tactics to demonize the Panthers. Years before Rahim, also a former Black Panther, took up the cause of the Angola Three, he had also faced a lifetime behind bars when he was arrested on a host of charges, including the attempted murder of police officers. Miraculously acquitted of all charges, Rahim has been a tireless advocate for the poor ever since. When he took a look at the evidence -- or the lack of it -- against the Angola Three, he thought if other people knew their story, they would care. He was right."

Wednesday  3/1/2006

Don't let Katrina survivors' voting rights get washed  3/1/2006 SF Bay View 

Wednesday  2/22/2006

Tell Congress to act now to get Katrina recovery efforts on track  2/22/2006 SF Bay View 

Common Ground continues to make changes in New Orleans  2/22/2006 SF Bay View: "If you were here in November or December, here's what's changed: The community center, the church, the medical clinic and the distribution center in the Upper Ninth now form a compound. It's grown into a much bigger hive of activity. The community center now has tarp walls and is now filled with bunk beds. There's a dining room, bulletin boards and a medic cave, and the kitchen has been fully set up. The community center is running electricity off of the church. The church also has tarp walls and bunk beds and the sanctuary, where people have been sleeping, is being cleared out for a series of bioremediation trainings. CGC offices have been set up in both buildings. There's a large work and building area in the parking lot of the church. The living areas at the compound are completely full. At the same time, they really need people in St. Bernard and Plaquemines, so they're diverting volunteers to those centers. I haven't been there but will try to get there to see what the areas are like and what work is being done. Sometime soon, there will be 200 volunteers arriving. I can't imagine how that's going to work, but I know CGC will make it work."

What about the levees, toxic soup and 645,000 mold spores per cubic meter?  2/22/2006 SF Bay View 

Black college students heading to work on post-Katrina reconstruction  2/22/2006 SF Bay View 

Gulf Coast Housing Crisis - Statement of the People's Hurricane Relief Fund  2/22/2006 SF Bay View 

Democrats call for independent investigation of FEMA response to Katrina  2/22/2006 SF Bay View 

Wednesday  2/15/2006

A FAILURE OF INITIATIVE - Final Report of the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina  2/15/2006 U.S. House of Representatives: 6MB download

Friday  1/27/2006

New Orleans May Lose 80 Percent of Blacks  1/27/2006 AP: [that's called ethnic cleansing when it happens in another country]

Thursday  1/26/2006

Study: New Orleans could lose 80 percent of black population  1/26/2006 AP: "The city of New Orleans could lose up to 80 percent of its black population if people displaced by Hurricane Katrina are not able to return to their damaged neighborhoods, according to an analysis released Thursday by a Brown University sociologist."

Saturday  1/21/2006

KATRINA AND THE SECOND DISASTER: A Twenty-Point Plan to Destroy Black New Orleans  1/21/2006 Environmental Justice Resource Center 

Fighting the Theft of New Orleans: the Rhythm of Resistance  1/21/2006 Black Commentator: "Mayor Ray Nagin's commission has presented residents of flood-battered, mostly African American neighborhoods with a Catch-22, carefully crafted to preclude New Orleans from ever again becoming the more than two-thirds Black city it was before Hurricane Katrina breached the levees. Authored by Nagin crony, real estate development mogul and George Bush fundraiser Joseph Canizaro, the plan would impose a four-month moratorium on building in devastated neighborhoods like the lower Ninth Ward and New Orleans East. During that period, the neighborhoods would be required to come up with a plan to show how they would become "viable" by reaching an undefined "critical mass" of residents. But the moratorium, itself, discourages people from rebuilding their neighborhoods - just as it is intended to do - thus creating a fait accompli: residents will be hard pressed to prove that a "critical mass" of habitation can be achieved. "It's circular reasoning," said the AALP's Sanyika. They talk about "some level of neighborhood viability, but no one knows what that means. What constitutes viable plans? What kinds of neighborhoods are viable? Everywhere you turn people are trying to rebuild, but there is this constraint." The commission is empowered only to make recommendations, but with the help of corporate media, pretends their plan is set in stone. "They keep pushing their recommendations as though they are the gospel truth," said Sanyika, who along with tens of thousands of other evacuees has been dispersed to Houston, five hours away. "There is confusion as to all of these recommendations, issued as if they are policy. The Times-Picayune contributes to that confusion. None of this is a given." Activists believe the way to play this situation is for residents to forge ahead on their own. "Trying to figure out the logic of that illogical proposal is a wasted effort - all you're going to do is wind up going in circles," said Sanyika. He emphasizes that the commission's recommendations are not binding on anyone - certainly not on the majority Black city council, which claims authority in city planning matters. They're not buying the nonsense. "The city council has rejected it. Nagin says ‘ignore it.' I think it's dead in the water," said Sanyika."

Thursday  1/19/2006

Thousands still missing after Katrina - Medical examiner wants search to resume in hardest-hit areas  1/19/2006 CNN 

Wednesday  1/18/2006

Congressional housing hearing turns up the heat on FEMA  1/18/2006 SF Bay View: "No facet of government was spared the wrath of Katrina evacuees and Black leaders assembled Jan. 12-14 in New Orleans for the Institute of the Black World and Congressional Black Caucus hearing on housing Katrina evacuees. At those meetings and other events planned in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, government leaders, especially those up for re-election, tried to distance themselves from what is being viewed by Blacks as the federal, state and local government’s racist reaction to the Katrina disaster in view of the much delayed assistance begged for by Katrina victims before, during and after the hurricane."

Race moves to forefront of post-Katrina debate  1/18/2006 SF Bay View 

Sunday  1/15/2006

Time running out on levee repairs for New Orleans  1/15/2006 AP: "It's an enormous task. It will take about 4-million cubic yards of fill - a nearly Superdome-sized pile - to repair the 170 miles of levee destroyed or damaged by Katrina. "So far we're on schedule and we're doing pretty good," said Col. Lewis Setliff, leader of the repair effort. There are many who fear that may not be good enough. "This is just a few Band-Aids, really," said Ivor van Heerden, a civil engineer at Louisiana State University. "We really need to go the step further and start implementing projects now that would make New Orleans safe." Setliff says he understands such concerns. But as commander of Task Force Guardian, his mission is to repair the levees in time for hurricane season, and that is what he vows to do. New Orleans will simply have to live through 2006 with about the same protection it has had for the past 30 - even though that wasn't enough to fend off Katrina."

Wednesday  1/11/2006

New Orleans Hip-Hop radio station unites displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina  1/11/2006 SF Bay View 

Wednesday  12/28/2005

New Orleans hip-hop radio station teams with BroadcastUrban to unite displaced victims of hurricane  12/28/2005 SF Bay View 

People of New Orleans' Ninth Ward stop home demolitions  12/28/2005 SF Bay View 

Thursday  12/22/2005

White House Door Opens for Some Black Critics  12/22/2005 NYT: "But on Wednesday, the new president of the N.A.A.C.P., Bruce S. Gordon, and another prominent black leader - Donna Brazile, who managed Al Gore's campaign for president in 2000 against Mr. Bush - joined 30 people at the White House to talk with Mr. Bush about the rebuilding effort in New Orleans."

Wednesday  12/21/2005

Report from the devastated frontlines: Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans  12/21/2005 SF Bay View 

Thursday  12/15/2005

From outrage to action: Justice after Katrina  12/15/2005 Final Call: "With the continued stress of being displaced from their homes, thousands of survivors of Hurricane Katrina returned to New Orleans to demand a change and the right to return to their homes in a demonstration organized by the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund (PHRF) and Oversight Coalition Dec. 10. Marching from Congo Square to City Hall, they demanded that city leaders restore the catastrophic areas of New Orleans."

Wednesday  12/14/2005

Death, Abundance and New Orleans  12/14/2005 SF Bay View: scroll to bottom for list of links - "I put out a call to all the anti-war and counter recruitment organizations after the flooding of N.O. to point out how crucial it is for us to use all of our resources and work together to help create a nationwide movement, similar to a Freedom Summer of the 1960s to support the people from New Orleans in particular and the Gulf Coast in general. With your help, I went to New Orleans during the Thanksgiving week and was able to see with my own eyes the destruction that this administration has perpetrated against the people of New Orleans."

New Orleanians plan rally in Washington, D.C.  12/14/2005 SF Bay View 

Eviction moratorium stalls ethnic cleansing in New Orleans  12/14/2005 SF Bay View 

Wednesday  12/7/2005

Battered by Katrina, Gulf Coast workers stand up  12/7/2005 SF Bay View 

New Orleans Now: Bay Area volunteers share shocking stories  12/7/2005 SF Bay View: "“The interesting thing about going down is that there’s almost nothing happening on the ground, except what the grassroots is doing. The Common Ground Collective is about the only group on the ground doing anything. There are almost no city workers. When I see them, they look like little ants on a mountain of destruction. The National Guard is roaming the streets in humvees. They drive by and you want to say, ‘Get out and start working.’” Perplexed by the useless activities of the National Guard, Dedrick, who is volunteering in honor of her mother, an activist and artist who passed away five years ago, asked a national guardsman about his work. She was told the National Guard was in the fourth phase of a national recovery program. “The first, second, third and fourth stages are patrolling. They’re patrolling what? It’s a ghost town. The fifth phase is the clean up, which will start in January. But then, that will only be done by the Louisiana National Guard. The other units are pulling out. We (Common Ground Collective) were able to do 30 houses and give out food. It was a lot, but that’s nothing,” compared to the work that remains. “I couldn’t be more disgusted,” she adds, about the hidden agenda of some involved in the reclamation of the city. “There’s no mistake. It is ethnic cleansing … just the fact there is no electricity. What is that? No schools. No electricity and hot water. How much work is down there? An endless amount of work, and residents can’t get jobs. Where are the jobs?”" [discusses housing situation]

Katrina victims mobilize, battle for New Orleans to heat up  12/7/2005 SF Bay View: "Because of the ongoing suffering of Katrina victims, the Peoples' Hurricane Committee ( is sponsoring a weekend of struggle from Friday to Saturday, Dec. 8-10, where the voice of the victims of Hurricane Katrina will finally take center stage. The group sees the government as having failed the people of New Orleans before and after the hurricane. An indicting statement on its promotional flyer states: "The government failed to repair the levees, the government failed to have any evacuation plan for those without funds or cars, the government failed to plan to rescue those left behind, and now the government fails to include us in any decision making about money meant to relieve our misery." PHRF is a diverse coalition of organizations formed to aid the victims of Katrina. New Orleanian Malcolm Suber, a longtime activist who is now based in the Houston area, is a PHRF founder and board member. He is also one of the coordinators of the Youth Forum, Survivors Assembly and the March on New Orleans, scheduled for Dec. 8-10… The Peoples' Hurricane Relief Fund can be contacted at 2812 Live Oak by calling (713) 751-7990 or toll free 1-888-310-7473. Among the Houston-based organizations that have been supporting evacuees and will be going to New Orleans are the National Black United Front, New Black Panther Party, Nation of Islam Muhammad Mosque #45, Millions More Movement Local Organizing Committee and the S.H.A.P.E. Community Center."

Tuesday  12/6/2005

Katrina victims blame racism for slow aid - Emotions flare as black survivors testify before special House panel  12/6/2005 NBC 

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."

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."

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

Dec 1 - Boston Rosa Parks Human Rights Day  11/26/2005 "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"

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

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."

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."

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:"

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

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."

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."

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

Tuesday  11/15/2005

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

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."

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.”"

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."

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

"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.""

Thursday  11/3/2005

'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

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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