3-9-07 Woldenberg Riverfront Park, USS New Orleans, $1.3 Billion

A letter to the editor sent on the date above to the T-P (and of course went unpublished):

As I watched families, couples, and school children stand in lines longer than the USS New Orleans battleship for tours this past week, I couldn’t help but question this nation’s priorities when $1.3 billion could help the city and region construct affordable housing, rehabilitate public schools and build stronger communities. It’s ironic that a battleship named after a city desperate for reconstruction money, which would have aided in the rebuilding of homes and lives here, will be used to destroy others’ homes and lives abroad.

That many teachers feel they are setting a good example by taking their pupils on a field trip to see a new, shiny toy that kills is irreprehensible. Another generation of youth, in front of my eyes, was falling prey to military indoctrination, learning to internalize, accept and worship violence. As a small group of boy scouts passed I overheard one say, disappointed, “I don’t see any guns.” Seconds later, as they walked past, another boy ecstatically said, “Oh! I see one!”

In a city and nation desperately struggling to stop violent crime, let us not hail cannon fire and war machines, but finance education and afterschool programs—the real antidotes to violence.

Matt Olson
New Orleans

 

A protest/awareness picnic was held concurrently with the ceremony for the ship. Anarchists, socially conscious and other nonviolent or nonmilitary folks came out to object to this waste of resources. Here’s another account of the event for oddball online writing collectors NOLAFugees, which has a book of collected writings called Year Zero.

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Published in: on June 19, 2007 at 12:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

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