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Four Directions Relief Project - in solidarity with Native Americans in Lousiana
Katrina Survivors Fight Back - Ongoing CoverageMonday 10/31/2005
Voodoo Practitioners Scatter After Katrina 10/31/2005 AP
Thousands of evacuees face eviction Other Katrina victims homeless after aid problems 10/31/2005 USA Today
Gentrifying Diversity 10/28/2005 Alternet: "With poor evacuees being discouraged -- via eviction, lay-offs, and lack of temporary housing -- from returning to New Orleans, hurricane Katrina may prove to be the biggest 'urban-renewal' project black America has seen."
Two Months Later, Katrina Survivors are Losing the Battle by Medea Benjamin 10/28/2005 Common Dreams: "The “whitification” of New Orleans, however, is not inevitable. There are many solutions: demanding a massive program for affordable housing, halting evictions and price gouging for rental properties, making it possible for evacuees who are scattered around the country to move to temporary shelters (trailers, vacant apartments, tents) back home, giving job priority to local residents, reopening pubic schools, providing support systems to those returning, demanding that the poor be represented in the rebuilding decisions. We need to support the movements, both at the grassroots and at the policy levels, that are supporting these policies." [lists activist groups focusing on this problem]
Louisburg Square tenants face bullying landlord 10/27/2005 New Orleans IndyMedia: "As Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco's emergency freeze on evictions in the New Orleans area lifted on Tuesday, landlords throughout New Orleans have begun to serve eviction notices to thousands of tenants. Please call the Gretna Mayor Ronnie Harris at 504-363-1505 to express outrage and dismay at the harassment and threats being made by members of the Gretna police department toward tenants in Terrytown. Over the last few days, members of the Gretna police force have harassed, intimidated and threatened residents of the Louisburg Square apartments at the request of the apartment complex's manager. The owner of the apartment complex, LES Realty Trust, filed eviction orders against the tenants Wednesday, October 26th, with a court date of Nov. 2nd. The tenants have a legal right to remain in their homes until the court orders an eviction or until their lease expires. LES Realty Trust has had workers from BMCI Contracting (407-522-4444, fax 407-855-0049) working and staying at the apartments for several weeks, although no permits have been issued by the city for the work that is being done. The apartment owners have also been having cars towed from the complex's parking lots (also illegally) by Quick Recovery Auto Salvage (504-392-3493). Please call these firms as well and inform them that they are party to illegal activities by working with LES Realty Trust on this matter."
Katrina: The Movement 10/27/2005 Alternet: "Groups like the Young People's Project's Find Our Folk initiative are out speaking directly to survivors across the Katrina Diaspora, listening to their issues and giving form and voice to their outrage. Local communities are holding tribunals and truth and reconciliation commission-style hearings to "try" the Bush Administration in ways that are helping communities make sense of the senseless. The U.S. Human Rights Network, a coalition of more than 100 U.S.-based organizations working on human rights issues here "at home" has been documenting abuses and working to involve the United Nations in an investigation and review. Community Labor United, Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights, Common Ground Collective, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Southern ECHO, ACORN, INCITE! and Project South are among the many regional and local organizations organizing for a just recovery and rebuilding. Many of these groups work together as part of the People's Hurricane Relief Fund and the Southern Relief Fund -- broad coalitions focused on addressing relief and recovery issues in Louisiana and Mississippi, respectively."
The Battle for New Orleans 10/27/2005 Black Commentator: "New Orleans represents a challenge to African Americans, unprecedented since the epic struggles of the Fifties and Sixties. The perverse reality, to which African Americans must rise, is that the man-made disaster in the Gulf provides what may be the last chance to build a real Movement, encompassing the broadest sectors of Black America. Cruel history presents the catastrophe as an unwanted opportunity, a test of Black people’s capacity for the operational unity craved by the vast bulk of African Americans. The pain and anger in Black America is all but universal, and demands collective action, the outcome of which will largely define the true State of Black America as it has evolved over the last two generations."
Tens of thousands face eviction in New Orleans and Lake Charles 10/26/2005 SF Bay View: "The scheme to flush the remaining poor out of New Orleans and grab their land from them is quickly moving into a new phase. Recently, HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson said that he is opposed to rebuilding the Ninth Ward in New Orleans, and he is in a position to follow through with his menacing posture. As a follow-up, HUD officials have imposed a complete lockout of public housing tenants in New Orleans, forcing thousands out of their homes. In addition, New Orleans officials are now quickly moving to evict the thousands of remaining poor people from the city, and the eviction legal battles began yesterday, Oct. 25… Attorney Bill Quigley of the Loyola University law school, the same attorney who represents Father Jean Juste and other political prisoners in Haiti, filed suit in Gonzales, a town about 60 miles from New Orleans, to move the eviction hearings into the city. Since the hurricane, New Orleans court headquarters had been moved to Gonzalez. The judge agreed with Quigley that many tenants facing eviction would be unable to travel to Gonzalez and thus would be denied their right to due process."
Resist or die: Why we must act on Nov. 2 10/26/2005 SF Bay View: "We saw a taste of this, something in birth, during four days of outrage and protest a couple of weeks ago. From Thursday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 2, our party called on people, especially the basic masses, to protest what this system did - and is continuing to do - to the people of New Orleans. People wore black ribbons. They made banners to send to New Orleans. They put up the "Bush Regime WANTED" poster everywhere. What we saw and learned tells you something about how we can drive out Bush. More than once, when we took "Wanted posters" of Bush to people, they were moved to tears of rage. Finally, someone was telling the truth and giving people a way to do something about it. In a Dominican neighborhood in New York City, people marched through the community after church, after a minister asked people to hold up the "Bush Regime WANTED" poster and rally the community to stand with the people of New Orleans against the murderous crimes of the Bush regime. In Chicago, in places like car washes and McDonald's, thousands of "Bush Regime WANTED" posters and flyers to drive out the Bush regime were taken around and posted up."
The POCC National Tour - Part 1: The Black Cross campaign - by Minister of Information JR 10/26/2005 SF Bay View: "Between Oct. 11 and 13, Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. and myself led a Prisoners of Conscience Committee delegation of Black Cross Campaign members and a busload of supplies from Chicago to Lake Providence, Louisiana, which is on the border with Mississippi."
Hip Hop Caucus March on Gretna Nov. 7 10/26/2005 SF Bay View: "On Monday, Nov. 7, the people of New Orleans displaced by Hurricane Katrina, joined by Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. of the Hip Hop Caucus and other activists and students, will march on Gretna. We will march over the Crescent City Connection Bridge to Gretna’s Oakridge Mall, where buses were to transport evacuees to safety - a destination people from New Orleans never reached during the height of the crisis. In the aftermath of Katrina, New Orleans authorities directed people to evacuate the city by crossing the Crescent City Connection Bridge which spans the Mississippi River, linking New Orleans to the west bank city of Gretna." [Long list of march supporters and other news.]
Solidarity with Ninth Ward begins by Common Ground Collective 10/26/2005 SF Bay View: "The city and state governments have attempted to purchase land from the area's residents for decades in order to expand the Industrial Canal and allow a cruise ship line to build its hub in the region. The Ninth hasn't received any aid or cleanup efforts from any state, city or non-profit agencies. Local realtors and big businesses are pushing to have the entire area bulldozed so that the city can get a "new face." Garbage, decaying animals and other debris remain untouched while other areas in the city are receiving services. Common Ground volunteers are currently placing information sheets on every door of the Ninth Ward urging residents to return home, organize, help each other and resist the city's efforts to destroy their community for profits. Common Ground is addressing the city's lack of garbage and trash pickup by removing the trash from the neglected Ninth and placing it in the neutral area of main boulevards away from homes, thus forcing the city to do trash pickup."
Challenge Police Brutality 10/25/2005 Community Labor United: "The New Orleans Police and their cronies in the various federal agencies who have come down to New Orleans for ‘target practice’ (as one inmate reported overhearing guards at Camp Greyhound makeshift jail saying late one night) need to be held in check. Every night, the newly-formed ‘anti-looting squad’ of over 100 poorly-trained and unprofessional officers head out into the darkened streets of New Orleans and arrest, beat and imprison dozens of individuals."
Hip Hop Activist Set to Cross March to Racist Town of Gretna 10/25/2005 Davey D's Katrina Relief Efforts Forum: "PRESS CONFERENCE for this event will be held in Washington, D.C. on November 2 with representatives of sponsoring organizations (details forthcoming)"
New Orleans Community Organizer Malik Rahim Demands Inquiry into Hurricane Katrina Deaths and Amnesty for “Looters” 10/24/2005 Democracy Now
Thousands of Demolitions Are Likely in New Orleans 10/23/2005 NYT
Lewisburg Square Apartments tenants being evicted 10/23/2005 New Orleans IndyMedia: numerous pics
Illegal workers found at La. Base 10/21/2005 USA Today: "BE&K is a subcontractor for Halliburton, which is doing the bulk of the reconstruction work at the base. It was not clear whether BMS Catastrophe also is a Halliburton subcontractor."
Crime and New Orleans 10/19/2005 SF Bay View
Katrina reveals environmental racism's deadly force 10/19/2005 SF Bay View: "New Orleans, what we once called home, is now a toxic wasteland. But our communities were polluted even before Hurricane Katrina. The 85-mile stretch from New Orleans to Baton Rouge is home to many African-American communities, as well as 136 petrochemical plants and six refineries. At the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Xavier University, I work with these "Cancer Alley" communities."
The Blackout Boycott of Wal-Mart 10/19/2005 SF Bay View: "Over the last month, the Prisoners of Conscience Committee initiated the Black Cross Campaign to aid and assist the refugees fleeing the Gulf States. Yes, I did use the word refugee, because I believe that these evacuees were fleeing a war, not just the 500-year war that we have been in since we were shipped to Amerikkka at the bottom of slaveships, but also the war that was initiated by the U.S. military blowing up the levees in New Orleans while the hurricane was passing through."
Finding Common Ground: Lessons from Algiers, New Orleans 10/19/2005 SF Bay View
Katrina: Relocation or ethnic cleansing? 10/19/2005 SF Bay View: "FEMA has been entirely reshaped under the Bush administration. It's no longer designed to meet the needs of a natural disaster but rather to advance the political agenda of the current regime. It is clear by the way that FEMA employees did everything in their power to undermine relief operations for the people stranded by Hurricane Katrina. Their orders simply corresponded with Washington's intention to put the city under federal control and to forcefully evacuate the victims to locations around the Southwest."
That could be us! From the Bayou to the Bay: Learning from Katrina 10/19/2005 SF Bay View
'This is criminal': Malik Rahim reports from New Orleans 10/19/2005 SF Bay View
Black New Orleans residents being arrested for returning home 10/19/2005 SF Bay View: "With every type of police and federal officer in the U.S. - from the DEA to the FBI to the notorious New Orleans Police Department - roaming the streets of New Orleans, many former residents are afraid to come home. Some even wonder if the ongoing military occupation is being used to intimidate them into not returning."
The Economics of Return - Class, Color May Guide Repopulation of New Orleans 10/18/2005 Washington Post
The Latinization of the New New Orleans 10/18/2005 New America Media: "A wave of mostly Latino workers from across the U.S., Mexico and Latin America is seeking work in the hurricane-ravaged Gulf region. The migrants, often incorrectly labeled "Mexicans," are dealing with cultural ignorance, strained resources and tense race relations as they rebuild the Big Easy and other cities and towns."
ACORN Katrina Survivors Association Announced 10/18/2005 ACORN: "The AKSA will continue and expand the organizing that local ACORN chapters have conducted since Katrina first hit, which has already resulted in some notable actions and victories: On October 7th, the Houston ACORN Hurricane Survivor Committee brought together survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and their host families to confront Houston FEMA Director Tom Costello about a lack of response to the needs of the survivors. In negotiations a week later, FEMA agreed to a number of reforms to make services more accessible, including a shuttle bus to their service center, translated materials, and extension of benefits to Rita survivors. Displaced New Orleans ACORN members have organized in shelters in Baton Rouge and other part of Louisiana, advocating for a “right to return” to New Orleans. On October 15th, Louisiana ACORN members staged a caravan into the Lower 9th Ward to claim their right to return and placarded hundreds of homes with signs that state "Do Not Bulldoze.”"
Crime and Corruption in New Orleans 10/17/2005 Alternet: "Police misconduct in the 'Big Easy' has reached a frightening fever pitch. In the last year, seven young black men have been killed by police, and none of the officers have been punished." [Then they complained about taking sniper fire during the hurricane…]
Road Trip for Relief! Reclaim the Gulf! 10/17/2005 Common Grounds Collective: "We hope you will join us as we converge on New Orleans Nov 20-27, to clean up for returning evacuees and begin the massive rebuilding project. To help us organize the people-power that we need (see flyer above), please send an email to email@example.com or check out our Caravan Forum Discussion."
Totally Bootleg: Cops and Jails in New Orleans 10/17/2005 New Orleans IndyMedia: "The public beating of 64 year old Robert Davis (5) is not an isolated incident either. Talking with him after his release he described being hit from behind and then beaten on the ground after merely asking a cop what time the curfew started. His right eye was still swollen shut when I met him, and there were visible wounds on his face and chest. The images and video of Davis being beaten have been broadcasted across the world; with all of the media attention, the NOPD was quick to distance itself from the beating and call for internal investigations. What the news didn't report and the police won't distance themselves from are the dozens of similar incidents that have occured both on the street and inside the jail. Throughout my interviews I've talked to many of the victims of this violence. One man was beaten, maced, and shot with bean-bag rounds while in custody for “talking too loud” (6). Another youth in Algiers was beaten on the street and arrested for allegedly stealing an ice chest, then released without seeing a judge. A lot of the people being brought in and attacked have no idea what they were charged with. A man I talked to yesterday described being beaten, dragged by his hair, and shot with bean bag rounds in the jail before he was even searched. The next morning, officers fired indiscriminately into the cage with bean bag rounds. The stories go on and on."
TAKING THE WHEEL - To some he is a thug, but to the 60 people on the school bus he commandeered as Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters rose, Jabar Gibson is nothing short of a hero. 10/16/2005 Times Picayine
Farrakhan Blasts Federal Katrina Response 10/16/2005 AP: "Pointing to the broad spectrum of participants, Farrakhan said the march included an ``unprecedented'' array of black leaders of organizations ``coming together to speak to America and the world with one voice.'' ``This tells us that a new day is dawning in America,'' he said. Ten years ago, Farrakhan urged black men to improve their families and communities - women, whites and other minorities had not been invited. On Saturday, all were welcome at the Millions More Movement, which organizers said would build on the principles of 1995 and push people to build a movement for change locally and nationally."
Update for medical clinicians coming to New Orleans How to donate services and funds to Common Ground Clinic, inspired by Malik Rahim by Michael Kozart, M.D. 10/15/2005 SF Bay View
City in exile: Katrina's displaced move to defend New Orleans from elite visionaries 10/15/2005 SF Bay View
Katrina: Direct Action vs. Government Guns 10/14/2005 Common Ground Collective
Disaster area becomes wireless test-bed 10/14/2005 AP: "Meinrath's project has lit up two dozen evacuee centers with Internet as well as a medical clinic in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans. A month after the disaster, teams are training local groups. Malik Rahim, co-founder of a the Common Ground clinic in Algiers, praised the efforts and the pace at which the technology was deployed. "Within a matter of hours, not days, we had functioning communications established," he said."
Anger, frustration greet New Orleans mayor at Shreveport shelter 10/13/2005 Shreveport Times
Hurricane Song 10/13/2005 hurricanesong.com
FEMA pulled Jeff's plug - Antenna unhooked days after Katrina 10/12/2005 Times Picayune: "As if the kick by the deadliest storm in Louisiana history didn't create crisis enough, Jefferson Parish officials say the Federal Emergency Management Agency knocked out their radio communications with field workers for several critical hours on Aug. 31, two days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall. Telecommunications Director JoAnn Becnel said Tuesday that a contractor investigating the failure discovered that radio cables and equipment leading to an antenna atop the Galleria office building in Metairie had been disconnected and replaced with cables and equipment belonging to FEMA. The contractor called Becnel from the Galleria's roof. "
Spike Lee plans film on Katrina disaster 10/12/2005 Detroit News: "Asked about the possibility that the rumors of government involvement had any truth, Lee said it wouldn't surprise him. "It's not too far-fetched ... I don't put anything past the United States government," Lee said. "I don't find it too far-fetched that they tried to displace all the black people out of New Orleans." "\
Keep FEMA's feet to the fire! 10/12/2005 News from Underground
Losing Hope in Louisiana 10/12/2005 Washington Post
Jackson's buses bring job seekers to N.O. 10/12/2005 Baton Rouge Advocate: "A small group mildly protested at the restaurant, holding signs that said "Housing-Eviction-Help-Me," "Affordable Housing For All" and "Hands Off Iberville" -- a reference to the Iberville housing development that was damaged by Katrina."
Louisianans get few post-Katrina contracts 10/12/2005 USA Today
FEMA Restricts Evacuee Data, Citing Privacy 10/12/2005 Washington Post
Republicans To The People Of New Orleans: Drop Dead 10/11/2005 Confined Space
As others profit, Katrina survivors suffer 10/11/2005 Chicago Sun Times: by Jesse Jackson
The SeeingBlack.com 411 - October 2005 10/11/2005 SeeingBlack.com: "As floodwaters recede in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region, it is clear that the lethargic and inept emergency response after Hurricane Katrina is a disaster that overshadows the deadly storm itself. Questions linger: Is government equipped to plan for, mitigate against, respond to, and recover from natural and manmade disasters? Can the public trust government response to be fair? Does race matter? Using case studies dating back more than seven decades, government response to Hurricane Katrina can be examined in a historical context of response to other public health emergencies, natural disasters, industrial accidents, toxic contamination, epidemics (natural and manmade), and terrorism threats in African Americans communities. Generally, emergency response reflects the pre-existing social and political stratification, with communities of color receiving less priority than White communities. Equity issues revolve around which community needs are addressed first and which community is forced to wait."
New Orleans police plead not guilty 10/9/2005 USA Today: "Two of the officers in the video appeared to be federal officers. Numerous agencies have sent police to help with patrols in the aftermath of Katrina, and Defillo said it would be up to their commanders to decide if they would face charges."
New Orleans Police Department Challenged by Its Own Instability 10/9/2005 Chicago Tribune: "A decade ago, the department was rocked by corruption charges, including officers helping drug dealers murder rival gangsters. The force was purged of about 200 corrupt cops in the late 1990s, and leaders reorganized the way the department fights crime and how it oversees police conduct. The force's reputation has improved in recent years, but the department is still struggling. Riley was appointed after the sudden resignation of his boss two weeks ago. And many of the 249 officers under investigation will likely be fired."
Cronies, Contracts and the No-Fault President Katrina and the Growls of Greed 10/9/2005 Counterpunch: by Ralph Nader
New Orleans Police Beating Caught on Tape 10/9/2005 AP
Race, Lies and New Orleans 10/6/2005 Alternet: "The Guardian may have been an isolated, and to some suspect, media voice with its counterspin on the mythical violence, but it wasn't the only press skeptic that tried to separate fact from fiction about alleged Katrina violence. Reporters for the Associated Press and the Chicago Tribune, which could hardly be tagged left-leaning, also found no credible evidence that marauding gangs terrorized anyone, or that they even existed. A month after these lonely press voices took the time to check facts, rather than run with gossip, a few newspapers did a tepid mea culpa and admitted that the apoplectic frothing tirades by a legion of talking-head commentators and their bloodthirsty headlines about "Baghdad on the Bayou," rape, murder, incest, stockpiled bloated corpses, mass looting, the breakdown of civilization and the dark side of America were exaggerated, or more bluntly a pack of lies."
After the Deluge: How Do Blacks Get to the Table 10/6/2005 Black Commentator: "We need look no further than the rapid resort to no bid contracts going to well placed corporations like Fluor, Bechtel, Kellogg, Brown and Root (Halliburton) – in other words, the usual suspects who are the prime private sector beneficiaries of the war in Iraq. Bush moved quickly to waive prevailing wage requirements for contractors working on hurricane relief projects. That was reassuring to the conservatives in Congress who had been fighting to strike that provision altogether. They now have a beachhead. Beyond that, it is not likely that many in the displaced population will benefit from construction and other jobs due to limited skills and low labor force participation rates before Katrina. Even with the lower wages others likely will get those jobs."
Malik Rahim Speaks About the Grassroots Response to Hurricane Katrina 10/6/2005 IndyBay: "On October 4, Malik Rahim, a longtime community activist in New Orleans and San Francisco, spoke at the Women's Building in San Francisco about the situation in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the disastrous response by the Bush administration and other government agencies. Malik, who lives in the Algiers community of New Orleans, discussed the grassroots community relief and rebuilding efforts underway through the Common Ground collective. (39:39 minutes)"
Katrina, Three Strikes and dirty elections - Race and class still matter in America 10/5/2005 SF Bay View: "FEMA under Michael D. Brown, secretary of Homeland Security for emergency preparedness and response, stopped truckloads of water from being delivered to the Superdome, stopped the delivery of 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel docked on a Coast Guard vessel, cut all emergency communication lines and promised the 82nd Airborne Division would act, on Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's order, to "shoot to kill" people trying to survive by taking water and shoes from stores. The Thursday before, Brown's deputy, Butch Kennedy, told National Public Radio that the government had no responsibility to rescue people who didn't leave New Orleans when first warned."
Malik Rahim speaks in Berkeley 10/5/2005 SF Bay View: "Two days ago I went to a speaking event in Berkeley where Malik Rahim, a veteran of the Black Panther Party in New Orleans, was speaking about the governmental atrocities that went on in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, which we call Hurricane Amerikkka, since it was the Amerikkklan government that blew up the levees, abandoned the people, put shoot-to-kill orders on Black people, refused materiel and personnel help from world leaders Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, and is in the process of stealing Black people’s land and whitening New Orleans."
Flood of Emotion 10/5/2005 Philadelphia Weekly: "It's been a month since Katrina leveled New Orleans, and some evacuees are finally returning to their former lives. But for African-Americans across America, the hurricane left scars that will last a lifetime."
Black Bodies Remain Still..... 10/4/2005 Scout Prime: "Searchers and residents insist there are still plenty of dead to find in New Orleans. Once again, they say the Ninth Ward is being ignored because it is poor and black."
Tale of the forbidden pillow offers insights into FEMA work 10/4/2005 Colombia Tribune
Iraq war delayed Katrina relief effort, inquiry finds 10/3/2005 Independent, UK: "Relief efforts to combat Hurricane Katrina suffered near catastrophic failures due to endemic corruption, divisions within the military and troop shortages caused by the Iraq war, an official American inquiry into the disaster has revealed. The confidential report, which has been seen by The Independent, details how funds for flood control were diverted to other projects, desperately needed National Guards were stuck in Iraq and how military personnel had to "sneak off post" to help with relief efforts because their commander had refused permission."
A Flood of Money - In the Gulf, a gold rush for government funds 10/2/2005 US News & World Report
Accounts of New Orleans violence may have been overblown 10/2/2005 Reuters
Media deserve blame for New Orleans debacle 10/2/2005 Chicago Sun Times: "The facts they put in front of us were wrong, and they didn't talk truth to power. They talked to goofs in power, like New Orleans' Mayor Nagin and Police Chief Compass, and uncritically fell for every nutso yarn they were peddled. The media swallowed more bilge than if they'd been lying down with their mouths open as the levee collapsed. Ten thousand dead! Widespread rape and murder! A 7-year-old gang-raped and then throat-slashed! It was great stuff -- and none of it happened. No gang-raped 7-year-olds. None."
|"Hezbollah is ready to embark on it's new project, rebuilding New Orleans. Sure they're muslim terrorists, but at least they're not FEMA!'" - the Daily Show, 8/16/06|
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