Friday, January 27, 2006

The Battle for the Future of New Orleans!

Though most of the major media outlets have found it high time to 'move on' from the devastated Gulf Coast region and the story of New Orleans in particular, as the Black Commentator recently pointed out the struggle is only beginning. The overwhelmingly Black New Orleans diaspora is returning in large numbers to resist relentless efforts to bully and bulldoze them out of the city's future and as a spokesman for the African American Leadership Project (AALP) pointed out: 'Struggle on the ground has intensified enormously".

This is an important time for all of us to stay focused on what is going on in New Orleans and to give support to the local black leadership that is fighting to rebuild their city and their cultural heritage in their own image. Jordan Flaherty's latest essay called 'Privatizing New Orleans' is an informative read for those who want to know what will eventually happen to the city if we dont collectively succeed in pushing back the onslaught of big business which is licking its chops at a city full of hotels, convention centers, and well lots of white people. Jordan was also on the radio show CounterSpin today which you can download and listen to online.

The fight to save New Orleans has been difficult, especially with a very fractured (and in general fairly weak) Left movement in the US. The deadly legacy of COINTELPRO and the mass incarceration of Black militants (and people in general) in this country over the past three decades has of course played no small roll in hindering some sort of mass popular response to what has been going on. There are of course some very inspiring projects going on like the work at the Common Ground collective, but even parts of that work is not without its own set of contradictions, as you have a situation where a huge number of white (mostly college) students are coming into New Orleans to help out and rebuild the city.

Left Turn is doing a big joint fundraiser with Common Ground down in Washington DC on Febraury 3rd, the night before the NCOR conference starts. Malik Rahim, the founder of Common Ground (also in the picture above) is flying up for the event, and will also be a part of a big panel discussion that we are organizing called 'Building Our Levees' at NCOR itself.

The Fundraiser Will be at:

Before It's Too Late
People's Media Center at Al-Fishawy Internet Cafe
4132 Georgia Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20011
(between Taylor and Upshur near Shell gas station, 3 blocks north of the Petworth Metro on the green line, on the #70/71 bus line)

Hope to see yall there!

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