Black People : Power to the victims of New Orleans

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by oldsoul, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Power to the victims of New Orleans
    With the poor gone, developers are planning to gentrify the city
    Naomi Klein Friday September 9, 2005 The Guardian
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1565939,00.html

    On September 4, six days after Katrina hit, I saw the first glimmer of hope. "The people of New Orleans will not go quietly into the night, scattering across this country to become homeless in countless other cities while federal relief funds are funnelled into rebuilding casinos, hotels, chemical plants. We will not stand idly by while this disaster is used as an opportunity to replace our homes with newly built mansions and condos in a gentrified New Orleans."
    The statement came from Community Labor United, a coalition of low-income groups in New Orleans. It went on to demand that a committee made up of evacuees "oversee Fema, the Red Cross and other organisations collecting resources on behalf of our people. We are calling for evacuees from our community to actively participate in the rebuilding of New Orleans."

    It's a radical concept: the $10.5bn released by Congress and the $500m raised by private charities doesn't actually belong to the relief agencies or the government - it belongs to the victims. The agencies entrusted with the money should be accountable to them. Put another way, the people Barbara Bush tactfully described as "underprivileged anyway" just got very rich.

    Except relief and reconstruction never seem to work like that. When I was in Sri Lanka six months after the tsunami, many survivors told me that the reconstruction was victimising them all over again. A council of the country's most prominent businesspeople had been put in charge of the process, and they were handing the coast over to tourist developers at a frantic pace. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of poor fishing people were still stuck in sweltering inland camps, patrolled by soldiers with machine guns and entirely dependent on relief agencies for food and water. They called reconstruction "the second tsunami".

    There are already signs that New Orleans evacuees could face a similarly brutal second storm. Jimmy Reiss, chairman of the New Orleans Business Council, told Newsweek that he has been brainstorming about how "to use this catastrophe as a once-in-an-eon opportunity to change the dynamic". The council's wish list is well-known: low wages, low taxes, more luxury condos and hotels.

    Before the flood, this highly profitable vision was already displacing thousands of poor African-Americans: while their music and culture was for sale in an increasingly corporatised French Quarter (where only 4.3% of residents are black), their housing developments were being torn down. "For white tourists and businesspeople, New Orleans's reputation means a great place to have a vacation, but don't leave the French Quarter or you'll get shot," Jordan Flaherty, a New Orleans-based labour organiser told me the day after he left the city by boat. "Now the developers have their big chance to disperse the obstacle to gentrification - poor people."

    For the rest, click here:Power to the victims of New Orleans
     
  2. river

    river Watch Her Flow MEMBER

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    Hey Brotha OldSoul,

    This is a great article. I grew up in a quiet world where activism was the academic discussion of events that happened years before I was born. But I guess things don't stay quiet for long. When the floor falls in the termites have already been at work for a long time.

    In the article about the Blackwater mercenaties that sista Karmashines posted the man said this is going to be a trend. Meaning I suppose that we're going to see more displacement of inner city residents. And it won't just be the poor. For many years whites have been oozing back into DC driving long term black homeowners out of their homes because for some reason when whites move into the neigborhood the property values go up and the taxes go up with it. I remember when I was visiting my aunt there who has a great big house in the good part of South east and we had to jump to get out of the driveway because the city was making repairs to the sidewalk thay had never thought of making before.

    This is crazy man--just now the song Back Stabbers came on the radio

    What they do
    They smile in your face
    All the time they want to take your place
    The backstabbers
     
  3. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    thankz for sharing this article here .......
     
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