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New Orleans

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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New Orleans six years later: The disaster is not over

August 26, 2011

The storm that brushed by New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2005, was never the cause of the disaster. The real disaster began immediately after the storm when the city’s white supremacist economic elite and its “colored” collaborators decided to remake the city in their image, which strongly resembles a 21st century plantation. All people who believe in social justice should make it a point to march on Aug. 29 from the base of the Industrial Canal in the 9th Ward at 10 a.m. to Hunters Field.

Blacks win Katrina suit

August 17, 2011

New Orleans – Black homeowners and two civil rights organizations announced July 7 a settlement in a post-Hurricane Katrina housing discrimination lawsuit brought against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the state of Louisiana regarding the “Road Home” program.

From heroes to villains: NOPD verdict reveals post-Katrina history

August 12, 2011

In an historic verdict with national implications, five New Orleans police officers were convicted on Friday of civil rights violations for killing unarmed African Americans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and could face life in prison when sentenced later this year.

Prosecution rests case in Danziger trial

July 31, 2011

The prosecution rested its case last week in the Danziger Bridge police violence trial with one final witness testimony, perhaps the most moving, from Lesha Bartholomew. Bartholomew broke into tears as she described seeing her mother wounded, with her arm nearly shot off.

Devastating report exposes unequal treatment of BP illness claims

July 31, 2011

Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) set up in the aftermath of the BP drilling disaster, has denied all damage claims for illnesses associated with exposure to the toxic BP crude oil and/or toxic chemical dispersants that were applied to the oil spill.

New Orleans young Rethinkers take on ‘Candy Bars, Prison Bars’

July 28, 2011

Two of the nation’s most pressing issues involving young people — childhood obesity and violence — are indeed connected. How so? Just ask the Rethinkers. The correlation between unhealthy food choices and crime and violence was at the focal point of this year’s Rethink press conference.

New Orleans police violence trial begins

June 29, 2011

Opening arguments begin today in what observers have called the most important trial New Orleans has seen in a generation. It is a shocking case of police brutality that has already redefined this city’s relationship to its police department and radically rewritten the official narrative of what happened in the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina.

Louisiana Legislature votes to parole some elderly prisoners

June 28, 2011

The American Civil Liberties Union hailed the passage of a bill in the Louisiana legislature making it easier for elderly prisoners to get a parole hearing as an important step towards reducing the state’s unnecessarily high prison population.

New Orleans news from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

May 16, 2011

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund Project Vote and New Orleans attorney Ronald Wilson filed a complaint in federal court alleging that Louisiana is disenfranchising minority and low-income voters by failing to offer them the opportunity to register to vote as required by the National Voter Registration Act.

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