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Common Ground relief workers in New Orleans arrested, threatened by NOPD

this is reposted from New Orleans indymedia...the audio file is far more detailed than the text....

The day after a common ground volunteer was arrested, threatened and brutalized by New Orleans Police, Rustbelt Radio spoke with Sakura Koné of Common Ground about the incident and the larger issues of repression and relief in New Orleans. (audio, mp3, 21:10, 14.5 megabytes)


background from Common Ground:

Last night, Thurs. November 10, 2005, three medical workers documenting
police harassment outside the Common Ground Free Clinic became the targets
of that harassment. This incident is the culmination of increased daily
harassment this week, and are just a few of the examples of abuse that
volunteer relief workers have faced over the past two months and that New
Orleans residents, especially African Americans, are facing everyday.

Greg Griffith, a volunteer relief worker, was arrested by the New Orleans
Police and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) near the Common Ground
Free Clinic in Algiers. Greg was thrown against the car, charged with
crossing a police line, resisting arrest, and carrying a concealed weapon- a
small pocket knife. While handcuffed in the back of the police car, he was
told that he would be "shot, and his body thrown in the river". He was
bailed out last night fearing for his safety and will go to court at OPP
this morning. Emily Westerholm, the Unit Coordinator was violently thrown to
the ground and Scott Weinstein a resident RN was verbally abused.

Common Ground Collective was founded by local activist Malik Rahim as a
relief organization in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Common Ground has a
team of volunteers including: medical and health providers, aid workers,
community organizers, environmentalists, legal representatives who have
supported thousands of Gulf Coast residents who stayed and who are returning
home. Says Rahim, "We're putting a call out for the establishment of a Human
Rights Watch in New Orleans, and for volunteer lawyers and human rights
organizations to help monitor the police behavior"

homepage: homepage: http://www.commongroundrelief.org

I guess the 15.Nov.2005 21:11

message is

We don't want you to help them colored people. We like that they are leaving, and you are helping them stay. Can't be having any of that, the big money wants their property for redevelopment. Besides, thems useless eaters, they aint no jobs fer the likes of them and we only want producers, lots of taxpayers! God sent that storm to help us white folk take back our city, it washed them slothful greedy coloreds away and I aint gonna see His work undone! Damn hippies always messin around things they don't unnserstand!

I guess you guessed correctly 17.Nov.2005 00:50

Guess who?

I think you've hit the nail on the head.

It's kind of..a darkly comedic, apocalyptic and ultra-modern scene isn't it? One can imagine a sinister plot by top capitalists, the military, and private sector opportunists to use New Orleans as a 'test case' in domestic counter-insurgency. No doubt they're analyzing the situation, and having disarmed the public through federal, local, and 'civilian contractors' efforts, can decide how the business climate will be, post-disaster. Meanwhile, the cops are much more volatile almost as if they're practicing psychological warfare--which, of course they are anyway.
But one doesn't need to imagine a sinister plot as such; rather, these events are just commonplace occurences given the modern social context's priorities. Restoring order and protecting property allowed what amounted to a casual conspiracy of psy-ops in the flesh to those forced to cling to survival in the face of desperate odds. Criminalized for seeking survival, the people of New Orleans who have died, been arrested or beaten or otherwise swindled by business as usual are an example of the human and environmental cost of a modern disaster, wrapped like a motive around the race and class coercions which underlie capitalism and hierarchies. The context is super-exploited land falling into the hands of those with the real power to shape a future business and security climate, to keep us all safe from mythic terror groups active as the foil for the will of the overall stage show...

is it not obvious 17.Nov.2005 08:51


look how they allowed all those black citizens to drown and die for days before they even started trying to help those people. And now with the fedral minimum wage repealed, they can work them like scum to rebuild their city. THIER city. New Orleans belongs, and always has belonged to afro-americans. If that was a white community, they would have gone in immidately to save thier lives.