Second Anniversary Activities and the International Tribunal

It has been a whirlwind week of events in the city of New Orleans and no doubt across the Gulf Coast. People have come together to mourn, to commemorate, to organize, to reinvigorate the feeling of a lost culture, to simply return to their native city before returning to the place they’ve managed to find out there in the diaspora. Some place to survive until they can return home.

I’ve attended the march to Congo Square, the opening ceremonies of the International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita calling for charges against the U.S. Government for being in violation of various human rights, public housing occupation attempts, and panel discussions.

Many activists and concerned folk not native to New Orleans have come for the anniversary and I thank them for that support, that revival of energy as I once was considered. But now, as I stay here beyond the influx of sympathetic and angrily energetic folks from around the world, I feel that I can greater understand the conflicting nature that natives of New Orleans have expressed to me of outside assistance. Unless you are committed and communication is open and active, then it is hard for relationships of solidarity to be genuine despite best intentions.

Saying that, the outpouring of support is overwhelming and surprising. It really shouldn’t be a surprise. The expectation from our political bodies and the national media has been for the federal flood and its long term aftermath to be swept under the carpet, dealt with once with a $116 billion dollar bill in which only a third is still available and nearly none has reached the population affected. (Much went to paying for the immediate response, Coast Guard and others, and some of the rest going to contractors to rebuild and take away debris, etc.) All the attention New Orleans continues to get is deserved, and will continue to be deserved, until justice is served. In additional to national allies, international support will be crucial going forward to address an international court with grievances as the International Tribunal will attempt to do.

Check out what I’ve been working on at New Orleans Indymedia

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Published in: on September 2, 2007 at 10:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

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