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Many different Indymedia sites in the United States have been affected by Hurricane Katrina and have produced local media around how and why their communities are affected. The national indymedia site, indymedia.us, has compiled coverage from most indymedias in the US here: katrina.indymedia.us St. Louis Indymedia has compiled a listing of grassroots groups and Grassroots/Low-income/People of Color-led Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts. Grassroots mutual aid relief is being offered by many groups in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, including Common Ground Relief , The Rainbow Emergency Management Assembly, and Food Not Bombs.
St. Louis Indymedia has compiled a listing of grassroots groups and Grassroots/Low-income/People of Color-led Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts.
Grassroots mutual aid relief is being offered by many groups in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, including Common Ground Relief , The Rainbow Emergency Management Assembly, and Food Not Bombs.
New Orleans Rising: a Benefit for New Orleans
From the open publishing newswire: Siren Nation Proudly Presents:
"New Orleans Rising: Commemorating Hurricane Katrina & Celebrating New Orleans"
Thursday, August 28th
@ The Mission Theater, 1624 N.W. Glisan, Portland OR.
Doors at 8:00, Films begin at 8:30.
$10 suggested donation, 21+.
Featuring: "Finding Common Ground In New Orleans"--a short documentary by PDX filmmaker Walidah Imarisha + several short films by New Orleans women directors
People of Color Face Historic Wealth Loss
From the open publishing newswire: The subprime lending debacle should cause massive rethinking among those who have long proclaimed that the route to Black equality is through wealth accumulation. In a report titled, "Foreclosed: State of the Dream 2008," United for a Fair Economy details the catastrophic losses inflicted on Blacks and Latinos in the U.S. at the hands of predatory lenders - "the greatest loss of wealth to people of color in modern U.S. history." With more than half of Blacks in many cities caught in the subprime trap - and with even these usurious financing schemes disappearing in the wake of the bubble-burst - the prospects for Blacks to amass wealth have grown bleaker than at any time in living memory. At the current rate, it will take 5,423 years for Blacks to achieve homeowner parity with whites.
The money-lenders have already sucked the value out of whole communities, urban and suburban. The wealth loss is staggering: People of color have collectively lost between "$164 billion to $213 billion over the past eight years," with Latinos losing slightly more than African Americans. For the average American, wealth is passed on through the value of homes. That dream, as the report concludes, has been largely foreclosed.
Blackwater havoc, from Iraq to New Orleans to Portland??
From the open publishing newswire: Portland needs full assurance from local and State politicians that Blackwater, or another "security" contractor, is not scheduled to be in Portland during the Top Off / Vigilant Shield terror drill. That company is a destructive force the Neocons and Far Right are relying on to orchestrate the level of chaos that can thwart effective, practical response to repression, violence, and subterfuge.
Please read the article below, taken from today's antiwar.com front page, and think how screwed Portland would be if these lunatics just happened to have been hired for augmented security purposes, during the "largest-ever terrorism drill/exercise". Per reports from the drill press conference the other day, Michael Chertoff is supposed to be in town for the exercise in terror?! Given that he probably perceives US citizens to be the enemy, perhaps he'll have a Blackwater contingent for his security...
New Orleans -- Not lost to a hurricane, but by government betrayal
From the open publishing newswire: U.S. and state government officials refused to allow water or food relief into New Orleans. This was a brazen attempt to "starve people out" - a "war crime" under the Geneva Conventions. Hundreds of people died unnecessarily of thirst. And yet, there was no shortage of water or food being sent.
I spoke daily with Les Evenchick, a Green who lives in the French Quarter of New Orleans. I was also in touch with New Orleans residents Malik Rahim and Mike Howell; the areas in which they live were dry and they were holding out as long as they could. The story they tell is shocking: U.S. and local government officials ordered the local drinking water turned off and refused to allow water or food relief into New Orleans. Hundreds of people died unnecessarily as a result.
'Noble Resolve' begins
From the open publishing newswire: The U.S. military "experiment" known as "Operation Noble Resolve 07-2" begins today in Portland, with command centers in Virginia, Texas, Guam, Korea and two locations in Oregon: Salem and Portland. Despite the assurances of the US Joint Forces command that the exercise is "purely a computer-based simulation of an earthquake scenario in Portland", many people in the area are extremely concerned.
Some have mentioned the possibility of the simulation "going live", as happened with the Vigilant Guardian exercise on September 11, 2001. But even without it "going live", there is the little fact that the US military is NOT the organization commissioned by Congress to respond to disasters, and by doing so, as they did in New Orleans following Katrina, they violate the long-standing tradition of 'posse comitatus', which forbids the military from engaging in domestic policing activities.
Audio: Interview with Captain May on Atmoic blast scenario for Portland | Established Pattern for Such Drills to go "live" | Tracking Supply Chains With RFID? | 2005 Articles about Noble Resolve/Top Off | Potential Targets | Staging the Portland Nuke (A Comedy of Terrors) | Previous feature on Noble Resolve
Review of Finding Common Ground in New Orleans
From the open publishing newswire: [this played at Hollywood Theatre may 24] The context of this film is important: Hurricane Katrina and its after math are supposed to be resolved issues now... The mainstream media is more likely to approach New Orleans now as a story of statistics, (how many people have returned), of the allocation of federal relief money and the problems associated with that, of developer's dreams for the city, etc...These are all important issues, but they don't give a continuing, lasting picture of the Dust Bowl-like tragedy of the Gulf Coast region in the aftermath of Katrina.
From what I remember, Katrina was presented as a regional story, and not something that affects all of us in this country. Walidah's film gives the on-the-ground perspective that I, personally, haven't seen on the topic of post-Katrina New Orleans, save for one or two Nation articles, and possibly some other journalists' reports. We all need to sense what it's like to drive (or walk) through a landscape of chaos like that, passing by military vehicles. Far from being a resolved matter, post-Katrina New Orleans is a matter that needs to be continually looked at from new perspectives such as the one that this film brings. Thanks to Walidah and Suncere for presenting the two films and for the after-film discussion.
Comment: I thought the discussion afterwards was very powerful as well. My favorite memory was Walidah's statement to the effect of "A lot of people believe that the US Government blew the levy. It's important to recognize that that is something that people not only in New Orleans, but all over the country are willing to believe very easily, given the daily lived experience of black folks. Whats most important, is that it doesn't really matter whether or not the US Government specifically acted to blow the levvies, fifty years of neglect, knowing that a category five-storm would blow them, the outcome is exactly the same. They just managed to save themselves that certain amount of dynamite or c4 that they can instead drop on Iraq."
REMAINS and REBIRTH: An Evening Around Katrina
From the open publishing newswire: Join media activist Walidah Imarisha and Orleans-based organizer Suncere Shakur for a screening and presentation on the continuing aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, and the rebuilding and rebirthing that is going on from the ground up.
Thursday, May 24th
Kansas Mutual Aid Reports from tornado devastated Greensburg, Kansas
From the open publishing newswire: On Saturday May 12, four members of Kansas Mutual Aid, a Lawrence based class struggle anarchist collective traveled to the small South Central Kansas town of Greensburg. Our intention was to go as a fact-finding delegation, to report back to the social justice movement in Lawrence on what exactly was happening in the city.
On Friday May 4, 2007 Greensburg was almost completely destroyed by a F5 tornado. 97% of the buildings in the town of 1500 were destroyed or damaged beyond repair. Nearly every single resident was left homeless, jobless, and devastated. Shortly after the tornado, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) took control of the recovery efforts in Greensburg. The United Way became the coordinating organization for relief volunteers but, after orders came from FEMA, halted the flow of volunteers into Greensburg. FEMA demanded that Greensburg needed to be "secured" before the area could be opened to real recovery efforts. So, as hundreds of recovery volunteers were told to not come to Greensburg by the United Way, hundreds of police from dozens of Kansas jurisdictions were mobilized to enter the city and establish "control." No agency in the city besides Americorps was offering to help with the removal of this debris, or the recovery of people's homes. FEMA's mission was to safeguard the property of businesses in the area and offer "low interest" loans to property owners affected.
Kansas Mutual Aid is in the midst of organizing a more permanent and structured relief effort, to offer relief in the form of solidarity and mutual aid, and not as charity. Please join us if you can. Please, if you have anything you can offer, or want to help in the relief, e-mail us at email@example.com
AUDIO FILES: How Bush Drowned New Orleans and the Theft of 2008
From the open publishing newswire: Greg Palast, investigative reporter visited Portland Wednesday evening, April 24, 2007, promoting the addition of two chapters to his most recent book, "Armed Madhouse." The event was co sponsored by KBOO Radio, and was a benefit for the Portland Alliance Newspaper.
Palast was in town last year on his Armed Madhouse Tour, and this visit presented some of the same information. Though he did review much of the earlier material, the additional two chapters added much that was new, especially his investigation of the Federal Debacle in New Orleans leading up to and after Hurricane Katrina.
The event was extremely well attended, filling up the majority of the seats at the First Unitarian Church, probably about 300-350 people.
BlackWater USA and the Cascadian Subduction Zone Mega-Earthquake
From the open publishing newswire: "AMY GOODMAN: Jeremy Scahill, yesterday you talked about being in New Orleans after Katrina, seeing the Blackwater guards come in, being paid $350 [a day] by Blackwater, but Blackwater charging $950. What about other places in the United States, deploying here, like the border?
JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, Blackwater really viewed New Orleans as an opportunity to begin a whole new division, and they started, after Hurricane Katrina, a domestic operations division. Blackwater representatives, a few months ago, met with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger about doing disaster response in the event of an earthquake. The company has simultaneously applied for operating licenses in all of the coastal states of the United States. Their new training facility, they call it -- I call it a private military base -- is opening up now in Illinois. In fact, they just released yesterday their new training schedule, and there's grassroots resistance in Illinois happening to the opening of this private military base in Mount Carroll, Illinois, which is a few hours outside of Chicago. Blackwater is also struggling to open a new facility in San Diego -- near San Diego, California. Once again, local people are rising up and saying, "We don't want these men with heavy weapons coming into our community. We don't want the rattle of machinegun fire." So Blackwater really, I think, views the domestic feeding trough in the United States as a frontier to conquer.
3 Common Ground Volunteers Arrested at Woodlands Complex
From the open publishing newswire: Three Common Ground volunteers were arrested Friday evening by two New Orleans police officers. The three had spent the day at the Woodlands apartment complex in Algiers helping residents who were being evicted move out of their homes. One of the officers was previously involved in another controversial incident at the Woodlands.
"Common Ground is concerned that this incident represents a new trend in police harassment of Common Ground volunteers. The fact that the same police officer, Officer Lusk was involved in both events is troubling and an unlikely coincidence," says Sakura Kone' of Common Ground Relief.
Indy Media Activists: Support Katrina Evacuees in the Puget Sound Area
From the open publishing newswire: Since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, New Orleans has remained in a state of devastation in many areas, especially poor and black neighborhoods. The city is in danger of losing its cultural diversity and character as a result of the plans of big developers to buy up land that poor people cannot afford to remediate and turn NOLA into a theme park version of itself!! In some neighborhoods such as the Lower Ninth Ward, many residents have been able to remain and retain a sense of community, albeit changed, through the support and solidarity of organizations such as Common Ground Relief. As many as 5,000 New Orleanians are displaced to Seattle and the Puget Sound. Many of these people are living in FEMA funded housing, but the assistance will run out.
Assistance is needed to help create a multimedia website that will also serve to help reunite people who have been separated since the hurricanes. Independent media support is needed to help record audio and video interviews with evacuees and build global awareness and support for Lagniappe Caravan and hurricane survivors in the Puget Sound and all around the nation. There will be a meeting for independent media support for this project in Seattle Dec. 16 or 17th. Please respond ASAP if you would like to attend.
August 25th Katrina Anniversary Critical Mass for Climate Justice
From the open publishing newswire: August 25th marks the 1-year anniversary of Katrina reaching hurricane strength. In the days that followed the storm would strengthen rapidly over an unnaturally warm Gulf of Mexico, ultimately striking the coast and leaving thousands dead and homeless, victims of an uncaring
government, centuries of racism, and an ever more chaotic global climate.
A strong scientific consensus agrees that the 2005 hurricane season was fueled by global warming -- and the crimes of the oil industry in the Gulf go beyond global warming. Ride Critical Mass Against Climate Change - demand Climate Justice - for Hurricane Katrina's survivors! Portland will be joining 26 other cities - see the complete list.
The goal of this ride is to take to the streets with a reminder that the racist tragedy in the Gulf continues, a demand that it never be repeated, and to raise awareness about the role of the oil industry and global warming in environmental injustice. We'll also be fundraising at rides around the continent for advocacy and relief groups in New Orleans.
related links: Beehive Collective creates new artwork for August 25th Katrina Anniversary Critical Mass | Post-ride movie showing | Rising Tide North America | portland indymedia katrina aftermath page | katrina.indymedia.us