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  Summer 2006


Solidarity Not Charity
Volunteer in New Orleans


“The future of New Orleans depends on those who are willing to fight for the right of every person to return. Please join in. People who care can help us rebuild our communities.

Pair up your community, school,  business, church professional organization with one of the Gulf Coast. Build a relationship where your group can be a resource for one here. Provide opportunities for your groups to come and help and for people here to come and tell their stories in your communities. Most groups have adopted the theme Solidarity not Charity.” (Bill Quigley, justiceforneworleans.org.)


In late June workers found the body of the 23rd Katrina victim since March. Over 200,000 people have not yet made it back to New Orleans.

• In eastern New Orleans, only 13% have been reconnected to electricity.

• Not a single dollar of federal housing repair or home reconstruction money has made it to New Orleans yet.

• 70,000 families in Louisiana live in 240-square-foot FEMA trailers in gravel strewn FEMA-villes across the state.

            • There are now only four public schools in New Orleans. They will lose $213 million next school year in state money. The federal government has allotted $23.9 million which can only be used for charter schools in Louisiana.

            • HUD announced plans to demolish 5,000 apartments. 4,000 families locked out since Katrina are not allowed to return.

            • The broken city water system is losing about 85 million gallons of water in leaks every day, at a cost of $200,000 a day.

            • The big public hospital remains closed. A woman with cancer and no car was told she has to go 68 miles away to the closest public hospital for her chemotherapy.

            • A mental health screening of  5,000 Louisiana children found that 96% saw hurricane damage to their homes or neighborhoods, 22% had relatives or friends who were injured, 14% had relatives or friends who died and 35% lost pets. 34% were separated from their primary caregivers at some point. 9% still are.

            • 6,000 crime cases await trial. There were no jury trials and only 4 public defenders left.

• The National Guard was sent to guard citizens from themselves, instead of  helping set up hospitals and clinics, or helping gut and build houses, or picking up mountains of debris. The Guard help local police dramatically increase stops and searches of young black males.


Signs of Hope and Resistance.

            • Neighborhood groups across the Gulf Coast are meeting and insisting that the voices and wishes of the residents be respected in the planning and rebuilding of their neighborhoods.

            • Public outrage forced FEMA to cancel the eviction of 3,000 families from trailers in Mississippi.

            • There is a growing grassroots movement to save the 4,000+ apartments of public housing HUD promises to bulldoze.


Info from Bill Quigley, justiceforneworleans.org

and The Black Commentator


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