Jay Arena, "PhD student in the Department of Sociology at Tulane University", offers a long screed entitled The War At Home: New Orleans, Public Housing, and the "Chilean Option" (also here).
Your call to action, should you accept it, is to:
Join the Working Class Fightback!: New Orleans Convergence, MLK Day 2006
In the meantime, enjoy this snippet:
The racist, anti-working class agenda being pursed by the ruling class is not going unchallenged. Local social justice activists, some of whom have the spent decades on the front lines in New Orleans fighting for economic justice and social equality are currently involved in ongoing struggles in the Greater New Orleans area to stop unfair evictions, reopen public housing, schools, and secure alternative housing for storm victims. They recognize that it will take a national movement to stop the post-Katrina offensive against affordable housing, public healthcare, public education and police repression now besieging the community. Yet, they also realize that this struggle must incorporate the people of New Orleans here and currently in exile.
While there's no doubt a grain of truth in some of what he writes, and more than a grain in a few points he raises, overall I don't believe the way to handle things is that socialism thing. It's been tried, comrade.
Just when you'd forgotten all about the Gretna Crescent City Connection incident, it comes roaring back in this:
A March to Gretna in protest of the actions of the Gretna police in the aftermath of Katrina and in support of displaced African-Americans from New Orleans, who continue to be denied access to participation and opportunity in the reconstruction process is planned for Monday, November 7...
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. It's alleged that if you were black or in the company of blacks, armed Gretna police with guard dogs blocked you from evacuating New Orleans. Reportedly, under orders from Gretna Police Chief Arthur S. Lawson, the bridge was sealed off and evacuees denied safe passage when Gretna police officers fired shots in the direction of the crowds.
The March to Gretna, organized by the Hip Hop Caucus and UP (United Progressives) for Democracy, will commence with a rally at the New Orleans Convention Center. It is expected to attract Howard Dean, Chairman, Democratic National Committee; Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, and Congressman John Conyers...
...The Hip Hop Caucus is also calling for a federal investigation of the events by the Justice Department...
Who stands in solidarity with those mentioned above?
The MARCH TO GRETNA is endorsed by Black Leadership Forum, Center for Social Justice, Cities for Progress/Institute for Policy Studies, Clergy & Laity Concerned About Iraq, Code Pink, ColorofChange.org, Common Ground, Community Labor United, Ella Baker Center for Civil Rights, Global Crisis Coalition, Global Exchange, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Healthcare NOW!, Hip Hop Caucus, Independent Progressive Politics Network, League of Pissed Off Voters, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, National Coalition for Black Civic Participation, National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, New Orleans Network, National Organization for Women, No Fear Coalition, People's Alliance for Community Empowerment, People's Hurricane Relief & Reconstruction Oversight Committee People's Institute for Survival & Beyond, Progressive Democrats of America, Project South, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, National Progressive Youth & Student Organization, Quality Education as a Human Right, Rebuild Green, Rebuilding Louisiana Coalition (NOLA), Rebuild Hope NOW, Saving Our Neighborhoods, Southwest Workers Union, TransAfrica Forum, United for Peace & Justice, United Houma Nation of Louisiana, Urban Heart, World Can't Wait.
I don't call them DUmmies for nothing. This thread discusses the issue covered in "AP discovers scandal: illegal aliens getting ripped off".
The title is "CNN/AP: Immigrant (Hispanic) workers stiffed for Katrina work (very sad)", and it includes this histrionic comment:
The consequences of voting for Bush and his conservatives. You church goers, who voted for Bush because he claims to be a "born-again" Christian, who has personal conversations with God...see the results of your votes? Can you imagine the Jesus you claim to be the Savior of mankind, condoning using illegals to do backbreaking, dangerous work, risking their health by exposure to all kinds of toxic substances, while the cronies of your "Godly President" stuff their pockets, and deny these people the already shamefully low pay they promised?
...You greedy conservatives, who demand tax cuts like those dying of thirst demand a sip of water, you have no qualms at having billions of tax dollars funneled back into the same corrupt pockets, but when it comes to helping, by a few pitiful pennies, the ones who lost everything due to Katrina, you will squeal like hogs about to be slaughtered...
It goes on. The problem, of course, is that "liberals" are every bit as responsible for what's happening as "conservatives" like president Bush.
The only solution to this problem - the only way to make sure nothing like this happens - is to stop illegal immigration. And, "liberals"/Democrats are on the wrong side of this issue. No Democratic politician is opposed to it, and many are strong supporters.
It is literally impossible to both have illegal immigration and avoid the situation described in the AP article. If the "liberals"/Democrats want to prevent things like this, they're going to have to start acting like grown-ups.
Here's an example of them wanting to bash the GOP while cuddling poor undocumented immigrants at the same time. Check out the replies to "GOP mulls end of birthright citizenship".
The apparently "liberal" site called Halliburton Watch reports on the incident here.
Previously: "More on the illegal aliens at Belle Chasse Naval Air Station".
On 10/18, the National Council of La Raza ("National Council of The Race"), the National Urban League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Asian American Justice Center, and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights issued a joint press release concerning remarks made by NO Mayor Ray Nagin.
Let's see if we can help those putatively American organizations with their understanding of common words:
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's unfortunate comment at a public forum on October 6, "How do I ensure that New Orleans is not overrun by Mexican workers?" is an example of remarks that can divide Americans at a time when we need to be united.
Obviously, these organizations are putting their respective races ahead of their country and their abilities to think. The words "Mexican" and "American" represent disjoint sets: unless one has dual citizenship, one can't be both at the same time.
Nagin wasn't referring to "Hispanics", "Americans of Mexican descent", or "Mexican-Americans". He was referring to illegal aliens from Mexico who are coming to take jobs from American hurrican victims. Those illegal aliens are not "Americans", and no Americans should support them in their efforts to take jobs that Americans should be doing.
Those who gave Nagin a standing ovation after his remarks should explain to these groups just how "unfortunate" their press release really is.
Oft-arrested far-left activist, co-founder of CodePink and Global Exchange, and Cuban tourist Susan "Medea" Benjamin offers this:
Two months after Katrina, the residents of New Orleans most traumatized by the hurricane and its aftermath are now traumatized by their battle to return home. And many of the city's poor, black "Katrina survivors" are losing this second battle...
Similar fates are befalling residents of the city's 38,000 public housing units: they are coming home to find their apartments boarded up, even though the concrete block apartments -- ugly as they might be -- were among the best in withstanding the hurricane. Housing advocates say it is part of a long-term desire to cleanse the city of its public housing, recalling the crass comments of Representative Richard Baker, R-L.A.: "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did."
Before Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was a city of 485,000 people, 65% of whom were black. Today, officials estimate that during the day there are some 125,000 people, falling to 70,000 at nighttime when many leave to find shelter outside the city. Mayor Nagin predicted that New Orleans would lose about half its pre-Katrina population. And with government policies and market forces stacked against the poor, the "new" New Orleans is becoming whiter and whiter...
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 public schools, providing support systems to those returning, demanding that the poor be represented in the rebuilding decisions...
...At the grassroots level, there are remarkable community activists like Malik Rahim, who has turned his home on the dry west bank of Algiers into the Common Ground Collective... During Thanksgiving week, Nov. 22-29, Common Ground is calling for a mass convergence on New Orleans help clean up the Ninth Ward (see commongroundrelief.org)...
Community Labor United is also setting up communication/relief centers...
ACORN, temporarily based in Baton Rouge, is fighting home demolitions and reconnecting with its New Orleans base...
...A massive movement of solidarity is the only force that will rescue the people of New Orleans this time around.
Sure, Medea, you wait right over there. The 98% of Americans who aren't very far-left useful idiots will join you in solidarity soon. (Non-sarcastically: the mainstream interest in doing the right thing by NO's population isn't helped by the efforts of people like her. Please, visit Cuba and just stay there.)
UPDATE: "Jean" noticed that Medea or someone else had made a mistake, leaving out the first "l" in the phrase "reopening public schools" in the quote above. I corrected it.
Bill Quigley, who "teaches at Loyola University New Orleans School of Law", offers this:
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.
There are also New Orleans renters facing evictions from landlords who want to renovate and charge higher rents to the out of town workers who populate the city. Some renters have offered to pay their rent and are still being evicted. Others question why they should have to pay rent for September when they were not allowed to return to New Orleans...
[Dr. Arjun Sengupta's UN visit]
...The longer the poor and working class of New Orleans stay away, the more likely it will be that they never return. That, some say, is exactly what those in power in New Orleans and Louisiana and the US must want. Otherwise, why are they making New Orleans a ghost town?
See also Bush making conspiracy theories come true. This latest corrupt move from one of the most corrupt administrations ever is something that's going to haunt the GOP for decades.
The DU thread "BushCo. SUSPENDED immigration-enforcement sanctions against Companies", in addition to ungrammatical capitalization, has most DUmmies opposing Bush's moves against American workers. While it has a few politically-correct comments, most of the others seem to be on the right side of this issue.
Will the Dim leadership decide to support Americans rather than citizens of other countries? Let's wait, and wait, and wait, and see.
One comment is somewhat interesting:
The reason for the sad Democratic silence on this matter is that that too many Democrats are locked by political correctness and residual class-hatred into tacitly supporting illegal immigration.
The underlying political motive for the bourgeois (and therefore anti-labor) Democrats is nearly as obscene as the Republican motive: for the GOP it's bigger profits through cheaper labor; for the bourgeois/Democrats it's that more illegal immigration automatically means more jobs for social workers -- a major sub-constituency among the academic elite -- never mind illegal immigration also automatically means less work (and lower wages) for American workers in general.
Moreover, many of these same bourgeois/Democrats secretly regard the wound so inflicted on American working families as a delicious bonus -- like the Party's war on gun ownership, another expression of the unprecedented class-hatreds that grew out of the Vietnam Era and divide us to this day.
There's so much we could learn from Fidel Castro (D-Cuba). From 9/03's "The Two Americas" by Marjorie Cohn:
..."Cuba's leaders go on TV and take charge," said [Dr. Nelson Valdes, a sociology professor at the University of New Mexico]. Contrast this with George W. Bush's reaction to Hurricane Katrina. The day after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, Bush was playing golf. He waited three days to make a TV appearance and five days before visiting the disaster site. In a scathing editorial on Thursday, the New York Times said, "nothing about the president's demeanor yesterday - which seemed casual to the point of carelessness - suggested that he understood the depth of the current crisis."
"Merely sticking people in a stadium is unthinkable" in Cuba, Valdes said. "Shelters all have medical personnel, from the neighborhood. They have family doctors in Cuba, who evacuate together with the neighborhood, and already know, for example, who needs insulin."
They also evacuate animals and veterinarians, TV sets and refrigerators, "so that people aren't reluctant to leave because people might steal their stuff," Valdes observed...
Of course, there are only 50 50's-era TV sets and refrigerators on the island and they're all owned by Fidel, but don't be a hater...
Unlike in Cuba, where homeland security means keeping the country secure from deadly natural disasters as well as foreign invasions, Bush has failed to keep our people safe. "On a fundamental level," Paul Krugman wrote in yesterday's New York Times, "our current leaders just aren't serious about some of the essential functions of government. They like waging war, but they don't like providing security, rescuing those in need or spending on prevention measures. And they never, ever ask for shared sacrifice."
From the left comes this site. Hey, cute domain name even if it might be infringing on a trademark. It's got a blog, a timeline, links to far-lefties like Hatrios, and a body count chart. Despite that, it gets even lower traffic than this site.