Revolution #53, July 16, 2006

Report from the Bus Tour in New Orleans

We can collectively remember watching the news coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Residents stranded on their roofs. Masses of people outside of the Superdome and Convention Center with no food or water and in sweltering heat. People navigating boats through flood waters to rescue their neighbors. While these images may be seared in our collective memory, it is all to easy to forget the pain and suffering of those displaced residents as the cameras move on to the next story. It is for this very reason that we should understand the importance of The World Can’t Wait starting its bus tour in New Orleans.

On July 4th, the Survivor’s Village held a day of unity, protest and a rally that was located right outside of the St. Bernard Housing Development. Many residents are demanding a Right to Return which goes directly against the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which plans to raze not only the St. Bernard development, but the B.W. Cooper, C.J. Peete and Lafitte developments as well. A tent city has been set up directly across the street from the St. Bernard Development. To be more accurate, the tents, set up in the median, have become the Survivor’s Village. The hope and determination of these displaced residents of New Orleans is inspiring while at the same time, the Right to Return struggle remains contentious with the government set out to destroy the same homes that residents are determined to take back…

It has become apparent that New Orleans is being remade into a city where its historic cultural value, heavily influenced by African Americans, will be diminished in favor of a vision set up by those who are in power. There has been a long class struggle taking place in New Orleans, especially around public housing, and class, in this country, often intersects with race. When HUD secretary, Alphonse Jackson, said that, “New Orleans is not going to be as black as it was for a long time, if ever again,” we must understand that these statements are not some Bush regime official flying off the handle, but an admission that shows the direction this regime is hell-bent on taking society.

This is why it is so important that the bus tour started in New Orleans where residents and their supporters are joining together, saying no to demolition, no to racial and class cleansing and demanding that citizens of New Orleans be allowed to return to their homes…

[Read the entire report online at]

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