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New Orleans

Appeals court rules 7,000 New Orleans teachers unfairly laid off post-Katrina

January 31, 2014

New Orleans teachers who lost their jobs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina were wrongfully terminated and deserve two to three years of back pay, an appeals court ruled Jan. 16. The ruling affects more than 7,000 teachers who were fired and comes after years of legal wrangling, The Times-Picayune reported. Katrina catalyzed the ground-up remaking of the New Orleans public school system, of which the mass layoffs of thousands of teachers was just one part. The layoffs also destabilized neighborhoods.

The cruel and unusual punishment of Herman Wallace

October 19, 2013

The Angola 3 say they were framed and held in solitary confinement for founding a chapter of the Black Panther Party in the Angola State Prison. But, says supporters Marina Drummer: “There was absolutely no evidence whatsoever. All there was was conflicting eyewitness reports and a prison administration that was determined to stop Herman and Albert from organizing in the prison.”

Katrina Pain Index 2013: New Orleans eight years later

August 29, 2013

Eight years after Katrina, nearly a 100,000 people never got back to New Orleans, the city remains incredibly poor, jobs and income vary dramatically by race, rents are up, public transportation is down, traditional public housing is gone, life expectancy differs dramatically by race and place, and most public education has been converted into charter schools.

New Orleans 1811 Slave Revolt tour raises funds to rebuild libraries in Haiti

July 1, 2013

Bibliotheque Parrainage, a New Orleans based non-profit, is working to rebuild libraries in Haiti. During the July 4th weekend in New Orleans, Bibliotheque Parrainage is hosting a fundraising bus tour of the Louisiana 1811 Slave Revolt, the largest slave revolt in the United States. Funds raised from this July 4th weekend adventure will be used for assistance to the Nationale Bibliotheque in Haiti.

Slashed budget leaves hundreds of indigent defendants lawyerless in New Orleans

March 16, 2013

Draconian cuts in the budget for lawyers who represent indigent defendants have come back to haunt the Orleans Parish criminal justice system. Upwards of 500 indigent defendants may have been locked up without the benefit of an assigned defense attorney over the past year, according to a brief filed in the state Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal.

A quiet revolution: ‘Not Meant to Live Like This: Weathering the storm of our lives in New Orleans’

March 4, 2013

One morning after Mass at the Poor Claire Monastery, Maria Victoire, a volunteer with the Fourth World Movement, broached the idea of a collaborative book written by extremely poor New Orleaneans scattered to the winds after Hurricane Katrina. She was asking my opinion as an author about what to do with the 50 or so interviews she had conducted and how to get them published as a book.

New Orleans police conviction vacated

January 29, 2013

A federal appeals court in New Orleans has overturned the conviction of former New Orleans police officer David Warren, one of the former cops tried and convicted of an assortment of charges related to the murder of Henry Glover, who was shot by police and later burned in an abandoned car by cops just days after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans more than seven years ago.

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Gulf Coast joins together to help those in need due to Hurricane Isaac

October 11, 2012

When Hurricane Isaac hit the shores of the states of Mississippi and Louisiana, Operation People for Peace was able to take a truckload of supplies donated by Hillcrest Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla., to Pearlington and Gulfport. Additionally, we visited Plaquemines Parish and LaPlace, La., passing out cleaning supplies, food and personal items to those in need.

A COINTELPRO story

September 13, 2012

This photo comes with a sad story. The child with the sign is Olga, Althea Francois’ daughter. This picture was taken by the FBI and sent to Althea’s parents. They told her parents that she was putting their grandchild in dangerous situations. This set off a chain of events that Althea wondered about for many years.

Mayor, police chief still silent in response to NYPD spying in New Orleans

September 5, 2012

When our mayor and police chief show that they don’t care about their citizens’ civil rights, and when our media and politicians treat these violations less seriously than it would be treated in other cities, it adds to New Orleans’ status as a “second-class” city, and gives all of us, as residents, second-class rights.

Seven years after Katrina, a divided city

August 30, 2012

New Orleans has become a national laboratory for government reforms. But the process through which those experiments have been carried out rarely has been transparent or democratic. The results have been divisive, pitting new residents against those who grew up here, rich against poor, and white against Black.

Katrina Pain Index 2012: Seven years after

August 29, 2012

There are 123,934 fewer people in New Orleans now than in 2000. How does New Orleans rank today, in comparison to other U.S. cities and the world, seven years after Katrina?

Food for thought

July 19, 2012

The red carpet at the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities was teeming with elegant, poised, radiant young HBO stars, ready to introduce the film about them, The Rethinkers, and discuss it. Inside it was standing room only, and barely that. “The Great Cafeteria Takeover” was premiering this night as part of the HBO series, “The Weight of the Nation.”

Jungleland? New Orleans community activist rejects NY Times depiction of 9th Ward

June 17, 2012

The New York Times Magazine recently ran a story on my home, the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, a place one of the most powerful newspapers in the world insensitively dubbed a “Jungleland.” Contrary to the article, residents don’t live in an untamed mess of overgrowth or in a forgotten wasteland. We are not resigned to anything; we are fighting to revive our community.

Two years after the BP drilling disaster, Gulf residents fear for the future

May 7, 2012

On April 20, 2010, a reckless attitude towards the safety of the Gulf Coast by BP caused a well to blow out 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. “People should be aware that the oil is still there,” says Wilma Subra, a chemist who travels widely across the Gulf. The reality she is seeing on the ground contrasts sharply with the image painted by BP.

Pow! You’re dead: Police murders enrage New Orleans

May 2, 2012

The ink was barely dry on the convictions and plea bargains of 10 members of the New Orleans Police Department in the Danziger Bridge murders and coverup, when NOPD police gunned down Justin Sipp and unarmed Wendell Allen. Hundreds marched in protest of ongoing police murders of Black youth. The African American community is beginning to fight back.

Standing up for Survivors Village and housing justice

January 25, 2012

Protestors chanted: This auction is illegal and immoral. It is a way to steal homes, redistribute wealth and prevent the right to return. The sale of blighted property is the city’s attempt to remove poor homeowners who have already suffered tremendously from economic and natural disaster.s.

Reflections on organizing towards collective liberation at Occupy NOLA

November 15, 2011

I have been invigorated and moved by the energy surrounding Occupy NOLA. Yet I’ve been faced with the tensions being articulated by so many folks on the Left: How can this energy be connected to and further long-standing organizing work for social and economic justice?

Dick Gregory protests BP’s treatment of oil spill victims

October 28, 2011

Veteran comedian and activist Dick Gregory was arrested Sept. 3 for blocking the entrance way in a protest against British Petroleum for its handling of a $20 billion victims’ compensation fund, yet his protests continue.

Six years after Katrina, the battle for New Orleans continues

September 1, 2011

As this weekend’s storm has reminded us, hurricanes can be a threat to U.S. cities on the East Coast as well the Gulf. But the vast changes that have taken place in New Orleans since Katrina have had little to do with weather and everything to do with political struggles.

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