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New Orleans

Right to Return Weekend: Housing IS a human right!

June 5, 2010

The Right to Return Weekend challenges the forced removal of all public housing residents following Hurricane Katrina and the discriminatory policies of the government to permanently displace low-income Black communities from the “new” New Orleans.

New clues emerge in post-Katrina vigilante shooting at Algiers Point

May 27, 2010

Three days after Hurricane Katrina turned New Orleans into a ghost town, somebody shot Donnell Herrington twice in Algiers Point, ripping a hole in his throat. Herrington, who is African-American, says he was ambushed by a group of armed white men who attacked without warning or provocation.

Fire on the bayou: Non-stop river of oil heads to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida

May 4, 2010

The Coast Guard estimates 5,000 barrels of crude oil a day, 210,000 gallons a day, are pouring out of a damaged British Petroleum well in the Gulf of Mexico. Plans to set parts of the Gulf on fire have been pushed back by bad weather. In 1975, the New Orleans group, The Meters, released their album, “Fire on the Bayou.” In 2010 the idea of a fire on the bayou may well be coming true.

Katrina victims see their reflection in Haiti, offer help

April 17, 2010

Many survivors of Hurricane Katrina, which struck New Orleans and the U.S. Gulf Coast in August 2005, have been seeing their own reflection in media images of Haiti earthquake victims and feel personally driven to help organize assistance for the people of Haiti.

Haitians seek shelter and survival, New Orleanians send bargeloads of aid

April 12, 2010

We have learned the lessons of Katrina, and we seek to work for the accountable reconstruction that New Orleans never had. The Louisiana-Haiti Sustainable Village Project seeks to support the Haitians in leading their own recovery.

New Orleans’ heart is in Haiti

March 21, 2010

Many New Orleanians have roots in Haiti. The 500 enslaved people who participated in the 1811 Rebellion to End Slavery – the largest armed uprising against slavery in the U.S. – were directly inspired by the Haitian revolution. We are also linked by first-hand understanding of the ways in which oppression based on race, class and gender interacts with disasters.

Cop pleads guilty to massive murder cover-up during Katrina

March 21, 2010

Fighters for justice welcomed the guilty plea by a New Orleans police lieutenant Feb. 24 that he spearheaded a massive cover-up of the police shooting of six unarmed Black civilians as they walked across the Danziger Bridge Sept. 4, 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

NOLA vs. the po-po

March 10, 2010

The veil of authority and legitimacy shielding most urban police forces against popular suspicion and distrust simply doesn’t exist in New Orleans. Hardly anyone likes or trusts the po-po. The actual point of this piece is to reflect a little on the war currently raging between the people of New Orleans and the NOPD.

Save Wesley United: 8th oldest Black church in U.S. threatened with demolition

December 24, 2009

Historic Wesley United Methodist Church, the second oldest African American church in New Orleans, the eighth oldest in the United States and a symbol of the struggle for emancipation and human rights in the state of Louisiana, is in jeopardy. Unless those who are trying to save it acquire financial support soon, the church may be torn down due to hurricane damage and replaced with a parking lot.

Support Roots of Music jazz classes for New Orleans children: Vote Derrick Tabb CNN Hero of the Year

November 10, 2009

Because of charter schools grounded in the massive privatization movement that’s rapidly engulfing New Orleans “public” schools, we see the deliberate “disappearing” of Black music being taught in schools. One of the leaders of the movement to restore the New Orleans music education system, Derrick Tabb, has been nominated to win the CNN “Hero’s Award.”

Lebanon rebuilds, New Orleans still waits

November 1, 2009

In the U.S, the richest country in the world, Washington is coordinating the recovery effort. In Lebanon, a tiny poor and war-torn nation, Hezbollah, a grassroots resistance movement that Washington called “terrorist,” organizes most of the reconstruction. Hezbollah receives substantial aid in this effort from Syria and especially Iran, countries Washington also calls “terrorist.”

Congresswoman Maxine Waters expresses ongoing concerns about New Orleans housing

November 1, 2009

More than four years after Hurricane Katrina, I am concerned about the availability and sufficiency of affordable housing in New Orleans, where rents have risen 52 percent since the storm and 41 percent of families pay more than 50 percent of their income in rent. More than 35,000 families recently applied for 3,500 Section 8 vouchers, indicating the overwhelming demand for affordable housing.

Gulf Coast Civic Works Campaign applauds extension of Recovery Office and creation of Long-Term Recovery Working Group

October 3, 2009

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Campaign welcomes President Barack Obama’s decision to create a federal working group to examine our nation’s long-term recovery policies in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and to extend the mandate of the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Recovery.

Katrina survivors’ struggle for justice

September 29, 2009

Four years after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, survivors living in Houston are still fighting to keep a roof over their heads. Three women spoke recently at a news conference at the Kensington Club II townhome apartments to expose the owner’s corruption and the squalid living conditions he allows.

Fight heats up over discriminatory housing laws in New Orleans area

September 15, 2009

Rebuilding efforts in St. Bernard Parish, a small community just outside New Orleans, have recently gotten a major boost. One nonprofit focused on rebuilding in the area has received the endorsement of CNN, Alice Walker the touring production of the play “The Color Purple” and even President Obama. But an alliance of Gulf Coast and national organizations are now raising questions about the cause these high profile names are supporting.

Let’s get New Orleanians back home

September 3, 2009

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., wrapped up two days of hearings by the House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, which she chairs, by focusing on the status and availability of affordable, quality public housing due to the near total demolition of the “Big Four” public housing developments in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. After the hearing, Congresswoman Waters, panelists and other guests participated in a bus tour of the Big Four sites – B.W. Cooper, C.J. Peete, Lafitte and St. Bernard – and visited the future site of a new public housing development in Iberville, which may be the next development to be demolished and redeveloped.

On the eve of our eviction:

September 3, 2009

ask the question, “Did we cause the hurricane?” There is no one that can answer, yet there are those that state to me and my family – all Katrina survivors – “It has been four years. Everyone should have put that behind them and moved on.”

An open letter to Speaker Pelosi: Make good on your promise to rebuild the Gulf

August 31, 2009

On Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina took the lives of more than 1,836 people, displaced more than 1 million residents, and damaged more than 200,000 Gulf Coast homes in a 90,000 square mile area. The damage caused by the flooding, storm surge and high winds destroyed schools, hospitals, roads, community centers, bridges, parks and forestlands. In the end, the Gulf Coast suffered more than $100 billion in damage, making Katrina the costliest and most deadly hurricane in the history of the United States.

Katrina Pain Index 2009

August 17, 2009

This month marks four years since Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. The world saw who was left behind when Katrina hit. The same people have been left behind in the “rebuilding.” In the rebuilding, those with money have done OK. Those without have not. It is the American way. Here is a statistical snapshot illustrating some of the legacy of Katrina and the U.S. response.

U.N. advisors host town hall on forced evictions in New Orleans

July 30, 2009

A group of advisors who will report to the director of the U.N. Habitat agency held a town hall meeting in New Orleans on Sunday, July 26, to hear from resident experts and other community members about housing rights violations along the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina.

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