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Jackson, Sharpton, AFLCIO complain about "low-wage workers" at rally

From Governor faults White House over rebuilding:

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, flanked by veteran Democratic activists and a union leader, criticized the Bush administration on Saturday for allowing hurricane rebuilding contracts to go to out-of-state firms and low-wage workers.
Speaking to a rally of about 1,000 union members and activists from the steps of the state Capitol, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton also charged the White House with using the crisis to remake the state's political map by discouraging the return of displaced blacks...

I don't know if anyone there said it, but those "low-wage workers" are, in fact, mostly illegal aliens. The article goes on to quote some race-baiting from Jackson, and I'm sure that from Sharpton was even worse. Perhaps they should concentrate on rebuilding jobs for Americans instead of their usual BS. I'm sure they'd get much more support from the rest of the country if they just concentrated on that.

Eased out of the Big Easy

From 10/4's Eased out of the Big Easy from Jesse Jackson:

After his administration's incompetence and indifference had lethal consequences in Katrina's wake, President Bush has been scrambling to regain his footing. He's called for an "unprecedented response to an unprecedented crisis." In religious services at the National Cathedral, he called on America to "erase this legacy of racism" exposed by those abandoned in Katrina's wake. He's called on Congress to appropriate more than $60 billion in emergency relief and outlined a recovery program likely to cost up to $200 billion, or nearly as much as the Iraq War.
All this has led the press to compare his plans to Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal or Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. Don't fall for it. A close look at the Bush plan reveals that this is a bad deal from a deck stacked against the poor who suffered the most in Katrina's wake.
[Davis-Bacon suspension, Alphonso Jackson of HUD's remarks,]
...The people of the 9th Ward are the maids and waiters who serve New Orleans tourists. They are the musicians who give the city its blues. They are the cops and government clerks who are struggling to bring the city back. Half of the houses there are owned, not rentals. Many of these workers are dispersed -- dispatched to over 40 states. Many still are in shelters.
No one could figure out why the Bush administration wouldn't give the evacuees housing vouchers to rent housing in and around New Orleans. Instead, FEMA has ordered tens of thousands of trailers and is struggling to build trailer parks -- Bushvilles -- to shelve Katrina's victims...

They are distributing vouchers; please enter facts and figures on that in the comments.

Now we know. Bush's isn't planning urban renewal, he's planning urban removal. The administration has given the victims of Katrina a one-way ticket out with no plan for their return. Instead, the planners will turn New Orleans into a gentrified theme park. They'll rebuild the white communities -- even those like middle-class Gentilly and wealthy Lakeview that are as prone to severe flooding as the 9th Ward.
Congress should insist that Katrina's victims have a right to return -- and FEMA should develop a plan to make their return possible. They should have preference for the jobs that will be created in rebuilding the city. They should be provided vouchers to use for nearby housing. If necessary, local military bases should be opened, with public transportation to get them to and from work. They should be paid the prevailing wage, with decent health-care benefits. The people of the 9th Ward should decide the fate of their homes, not urban planners intent on building a New Orleans without its black people. If their neighborhoods are not rebuilt, then affordable and public housing should be built in other parts of New Orleans...

Public housing? This would be a wonderful opportunity for an American president to try to lift NO's poor out of their previous poverty cycle, while at the same time allowing them to return to their city. That's going to require money, intelligent thinking, and a pro-American president. The first we have, but the last two are lacking.

Jesse Jackson urges people to direct their Katrina frustrations into activism

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans frustrated by the slow response to victims of Hurricane Katrina should channel their energy to changing their communities, Jesse Jackson told thousands gathered for the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March.
"We need millions more to act and react to what we saw in the gulf," the civil rights leader said. "Images were burned into our consciousness."
In 1995, the march called on black men to take responsibility for improving their families and communities. Women, whites and other minorities had not been invited back then, but all were welcome to the Millions More Movement, which intends to build on those principles and push people to build a movement for change locally and nationally...

You can read the DUmmies defending Farrakhan himself here, including this:

99% of what was said by Farrakan today I have read at DU in many threads.

See also "Final solution" advocated at Million Man March Katrina forum on CSPAN

AFL-CIO, Jesse Jackson to demand jobs, justice October 29

From our comrades at pww.org:

Gulf Coast union leaders hailed an action campaign launched by the AFL-CIO Sept. 30 to defend workers' wages and rebuild their hurricane-torn states while turning the nation in a new direction that puts "people before profits."
Julie Cherry, assistant to Louis Reine, secretary-treasurer of the Louisiana AFL-CIO, said the labor movement will stage a rally on the Capitol steps in Baton Rouge on Oct. 29 to press the campaign's demands, outlined in a statement, "America Needs a New Direction: Good Jobs, Stronger Communities and a Just Economy." Speakers will include AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition President Jesse Jackson and leaders of the NAACP.
"The demand will be fairness in rebuilding Louisiana and the Gulf Coast," Cherry continued. "It is abominable that Bush would suspend the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage act, take people in their darkest hour and crush them down a little lower. Louisiana is already at the low end of the wage scale and they would push us down even more."
Rebuilding, she said, "fortunately, or unfortunately, will be an opportunity to make money. We just want to make sure it is done fairly, that people who lost so much get jobs rebuilding at decent wages."

Oddly enough, there is nothing in there about the single biggest impediment to higher wages: cheap foreign labor flooding into the city. Maybe they'll learn they can't have it both ways before it's too late.

"Jesse Jackson says Bush trying to remake Louisiana politics"

I think it's time for pro-American conservatives - rather than the "compassionate" kind - to support something Jesse Jackson is doing. Or, at the least, take the issue away from him and do it better. From this:

The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Monday accused the Bush administration of using Hurricane Katrina to reconstruct Louisiana politics, saying the U.S. had no plan to return displaced residents.
Jackson also criticized the government's awarding no-bid contracts to outside contractors importing out-of-state and foreign workers to rebuild New Orleans, while thousands of displaced former city residents are "languishing in 40 states" looking for work.
"There is no plan for massive rescue, relocation or return of residents," Jackson said in St. Louis, one stop along a route that a bus caravan of Katrina evacuees is taking to New Orleans to claim those jobs. The evacuees, escorted by Jackson's Chicago-based Operation PUSH, are due to arrive in New Orleans on Tuesday.
He said the able-bodied workers who survived Katrina have a right to return home and rebuild their city, but that they are "last on the list."
Jackson said President Bush's chief political strategist, Karl Rove, is overseeing reconstruction of the Gulf Coast, and that he and others in the White House are using Katrina to push their political agenda. He said black, Democratic-leaning voters have been radically dislocated and are being kept in "permanent exile."
"Karl Rove is a political reconstructionist" who wants to "change the character" of Louisiana politics from the mayor's office to its congressional representation.
White House spokesman Allen Abney said Bush, working with Cabinet members, and not Rove, is leading the Gulf Coast reconstruction effort...

Regarding the last, see "Karl Rove in charge of disaster management", which has this para from the NYT:

Republicans said Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, was in charge of the reconstruction effort, which reaches across many agencies of government and includes the direct involvement of Alphonso R. Jackson, secretary of housing and urban development.

I'm going to trust the NYT on this one.

Jesse Jackson leading jobs caravan to New Orleans

The Right Reverend is finally doing something positive for once, but I'm sure his latest plan has some serious downsides and perhaps even outright racism.
Nonetheless, he's leading a jobs caravan of a sort:

The Rev. Jesse Jackson said Wednesday his Chicago-based Rainbow-PUSH Coalition has formed a commission in New Orleans to help Hurricane Katrina survivors return home and find work.
Jackson met with political, religious and community leaders in New Orleans Tuesday. He said the new commission will help returning New Orleans residents get jobs, training and contracts.
The commission plans to form a caravan to leave Chicago on Sunday. It will head to cities like St. Louis, Memphis, Tenn., and Jackson, Miss. to pick up evacuees and workers who want jobs cleaning up and rebuilding on the Gulf Coast.
Jackson said those who join the caravan will be placed in temporary housing in New Orleans.

Jesse Jackson: "Martial law on civil rights"

Showing up unannounced:

Rev Jackson said it is "corrupt" that storm survivors have been left jobless and about half of the city's public servants are being laid off in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, while contracts to rebuild the region are primarily being awarded to out-of-state corporations.
"There is no job being done right now by Halliburton and Bechtel that can't be done by people who live here," Rev Jackson said.
...speaking on a roadside in the hard-hit Ninth Ward neighbourhood, Rev Jackson said that responding to the crisis by suspending minimum wage laws, environmental regulations, and race considerations in employment and subcontracting is tantamount to declaring "martial law on civil rights".
..."If the mayor says he doesn't have the money, then where is the money?" Rev Jackson asked.
"Maintaining the local workforce should be a priority. All displaced citizens should have a right to return home to jobs, job contracts, and training."
...Preventing people from returning to New Orleans might alter the demographics of the city, he added.
"It is more than just a black culture... Everyone that was hit by the hurricane, whether they are white or black or brown, those who have been displaced have a right to return home," he said.
He said not rebuilding the Ninth Ward would amount to "racial profiling".

A slush fund for the left?

CNS provides "Katrina Cash Could Create 'Slush Fund' For Left", but doesn't offer anything overly damning. It describes how the NAACP, Jesse Jackson, the National Urban League, and the Southern Christian Leadership Council have all established relief funds, and it suggests oversight of those.

"Some black areas may not be rebuilt, HUD chief says"

According to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson:

"Whether we like it or not, New Orleans is not going to be 500,000 people for a long time...New Orleans is not going to be as black as it was for a long time, if ever again."

This from the Houston Chronicle's "New Orleans' racial makeup up in air".

He said he isn't sure that the Ninth Ward, a predominantly black and poor neighborhood devastated by flooding, should be rebuilt at all. If it is, the new construction should be designed to withstand disaster, he said.
In a meeting with the Houston Chronicle editorial board, the housing secretary, who is black, also criticized the Rev. Jesse Jackson and other black leaders, saying they were stirring up racial animosity in their comments about Katrina.
"I wish that the so-called black leadership would stop running around this country, like Jesse and the rest of them, making this a racial issue," the HUD chief said.

They caught up with Jesse Jackson at the airport, and he said he didn't start the race-baiting, it came to him:

The news coverage of the evacuation and relief efforts made it clear that a great many of those affected were black, poor and unable to leave on their own, he said.
"Those are the images that were burned into the consciousness of the world and became so embarrassing," he said.

More quotes from "leaders" in "HUD chief foresees a 'whiter' Big Easy".

Jesse Jackson informs us that the looting isn't over

No, not as long as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Howard Dean, and the rest of the Democrats are in charge the looting will continue. However, in "Hurricane looting not over yet", the Right Rev is concerned with the more Republican form of looting:

...Already Halliburton is on hand with a no-bid contract for reconstruction.

Actually, I think what they're doing is covered by a pre-existing contract.

...Fluor, Bechtel, the Shaw Group -- Republican-linked firms -- are lining up for contracts. Lobbyists like Joe Allbaugh, close friend of George Bush, and James Lee Witt, close friend of Bill Clinton -- both former heads of the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- are advising their corporate clients to get teams on the scene. Normal rules of contracting and competition are being waived in the emergency. Big bucks are on the table. It is a time to be wired politically.

Actually, the Shaw Group appears to have some Democratic connections...

The ideologues are in the hunt, too. Newt Gingrich is circulating memos calling for turning the region into a massive enterprise zone, slashing corporate taxes, reducing regulations. The oil lobby is pushing for drilling in Alaska and off the shores of the United States. Right wing activist Grover Norquist calls for cutting taxes on the wealthy even more to stimulate the economy. Arizona Republican Rep. Jeff Flak [sic, appropriately enough it's "Flake"] suggests conservatives use the crisis to try out their favorite ideas -- vouchers for education and health care...
The Bush administration's inaction and indifference after Katrina hit abandoned the poor and added to their suffering. It would be tragic now if action by the Republican Congress and the Bush administration added to the misery...

He does have some semi-good ideas, like reviving the pseudo-socialistic Civilian Construction and Conservation Corps. The problem, of course, is that behind the good ideas flows a river of race-baiting and Democratic looting.

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