Revolution #210, August 29, 2010

5 Years Since Hurricane Katrina:

Never Forgive, Never Forget

Five years ago, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. For years, many scientific reports had predicted that the Black neighborhood of the 9th Ward and the mainly working class area of St. Bernard would be heavily flooded if a major storm hit the city. But the government slashed funds for the levees. It was known for days that Katrina was heading toward New Orleans, but the authorities failed to evacuate the people. After the hurricane hit on August 29, 2005, people in the poorest sections of New Orleans not only received zero help from the authorities but were treated like criminals. President George W. Bush declared there would be "zero tolerance" for "looters" (which is what the officials and the media called people trying to survive in the flooded city), and the Louisiana governor ordered the National Guard troops to "shoot to kill" anyone taking things from abandoned stores.

Over 1,000 people died in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina, and hundreds of thousands suffered unnecessarily. Whether by negligence or design or both, this was mass murder and an immense crime carried out by the authorities at all levels, starting from the Bush White House. And the effects of this capitalist disaster still haunt the city and its people today.

On the five-year anniversary of Katrina, the eyes of the world will be on New Orleans, as Barack Obama (who has been presiding over yet another huge capitalist disaster, the oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico) is scheduled to come to the city to speak on August 29.

Check Revolution online for coverage of the five-year anniversary of Katrina.

Below are short excerpts from two articles about two cases of brutal murders by the New Orleans police, one that took place a month before Katrina, and the other a few days after the hurricane hit the city.

The New Orleans Police Murder of Raymond Robair

Early on the steamy Saturday morning of July 30, 2005, two New Orleans cops took the battered body of 48-year-old Raymond Robair to the emergency room of Charity Hospital. They left Raymond unconscious in a wheelchair, told E.R. workers they had found him on the ground, and drove away. Several hours later, Raymond Robair died on an operating table…

On July 29, 2010, five years after his murder, the killers of Raymond Robair were indicted on federal civil rights charges. The cops are not charged with murder. The federal charges are that [the cops] used "unnecessary force" when they kicked and beat Raymond to death, and then filed a "false report" when they claimed his death was a "medical incident." After a short hearing, both cops were released "in lieu of bond"…

Read on…

Massacre at Danziger Bridge: Shot in Cold Blood by New Orleans Police

On September 4, 2005, 6 days after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, 19-year-old James Brissette and 40-year-old Ronald Madison were murdered by New Orleans police on the Danziger Bridge. The two men were among people who were walking across the concrete lift bridge to get food at a grocery store. Madison, who was mentally disabled, had a hole torn through his spine and chest when he was shot in the back with a shotgun by a cop, who then proceeded to kick him mercilessly. A witness said the cops had lined up "like at a firing range" and shot at Ronald as he tried to flee the bridge…

Read on…

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