August 29, 2007

Katrina & Rita tribunal begins today


On December 8th and 9th, 2005 hundreds of Internally Displaced People from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita gathered in Jackson, Mississippi in a Survivors Assembly to demand accountability, reconstruction and restitution from all levels of the U.S. government. The Survivors Assembly was convened as a democratic institution to provide Survivors, with a vehicle for self determination. Their demands were in response to the government’s campaign of terror and genocide against the Katrina-Rita victims and survivors. Katrina and Rita were category 5 hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi leaving over 2000 dead or missing and over 800,000 without homes, jobs or help.

Why a Tribunal?

Since Katrina and Rita, the government has:

  • Forcibly removed tens of thousands of New Orleans and Gulf Coast residents
  • Disenfranchised tens of thousands of African-American voters;
  • Refused to adhere to its own policies and procedures pertaining to the security and well being of internally displaced persons (IDP’s);
  • Grossly mismanaged resources for the reconstruction of the region, including awarding no-bid contracts to big corporations connected to the Bush administration;
  • Eliminated environmental and worker protection laws;
  • Unjustifiably criminalized thousands of Survivors, particularly the displaced;
  • Set up a reconstruction process that excludes effective input, oversight, and control over the process by the majority African-American population;
  • Currently threatening to seize large portions of New Orleans owned and occupied by African Americans to ethnically cleanse the city to prevent the return of its historic majority.

I wish I could afford/had the time to go to this, since I live in New Olreans and all, but like Ron over at RealArt I've got no job and little money, but I will still be making a trip to Houston this weekend for a show with my band (hopefully).

I think a tribunal is an absolutely appropriate measure to take. The government is trying to get rid of the poor black populations of New Orleans and other places in the gulf coast, and there aren't nearly enough people fighting it, which includes myself. I hope they get what they want, but who knows if this will get any media attention at all? The corporate media, which means quite literally all media now, don't like to report on issues that might illustrate that there is still a huge racial problem in this country.

I'll just leave you with this thought: it's fucked up.

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