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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
March 25, 2011
A legal dispute in the rural Louisiana town of Waterproof has attracted the attention of national civil rights organizations and activists. Waterproof Mayor Bobby Higginbotham has been held without bail since May of 2010.
January 12, 2011
One year after an earthquake devastated Haiti, much of the promised relief and reconstruction aid has not reached those most in need. Less than 2% of the $267 million spent so far has gone to Haitian firms, the rest to “masters of disaster,” big U.S. firms that hire Haitians to do the back-breaking work for $5 a day.
December 20, 2010
On Dec. 9, 2010, thousands of prisoners in at least six Georgia state prisons initiated the largest prisoner strike in U.S. history, uniting across racial boundaries to demand an immediate end to the cruel and dehumanizing conditions that damage prisoners, their families and the communities they return to. Readers are invited to add their names to this solidarity statement.
December 20, 2010
With 3,500 beds in a city of about 350,000 residents, Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) is already the largest per capita county jail of any major U.S. city. Sheriff Marlin Gusman, the elected official with oversight over the jail, has submitted plans for an even larger complex.
September 6, 2010
Just as Hurricane Katrina revealed racial inequalities, the recovery has also been shaped by systemic racism. According to a recent survey of New Orleanians by the Kaiser Foundation, 42 percent of African Americans – versus just 16 percent of whites – said they still have not recovered from Katrina. Thirty-one percent of African-American residents – versus 8 percent of white respondents – said they had trouble paying for food or housing in the last year.
July 5, 2010
As BP’s deepwater well continues to discharge oil into the Gulf, the economic and public health effects are already being felt across coastal communities. But it’s likely this is only the beginning. From the bayous of southern Louisiana to the city of New Orleans, many fear this disaster represents not only environmental devastation, but also cultural extinction for peoples who have made their lives here for generations.
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.
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.
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.
June 4, 2009
“Malcolm X would love to make mixtapes, have those out on the streets. The same reasons they boycotted and had protests in that era are our reasons too. We’re coming from that same mindset, but we’re using new tools, trying to get our inheritance.”