Wednesday, September 12, 2007

the new new orleans

I missed these pieces when they first came out.

an AP writer's editorial on New Orleans


and AP dispatch on squatting in New Orleans

What these emotionally wrenching articles show is the incredibly injustice of allowing New Orleans to rot.

I had the idea, right after Hurricane Katrina smashed through the city, that people should return to squat the land. I wanted activists to organize tent cities in the lower 9th and throughout the most devastated areas. The idea was tactical, not practical--the concept being to show the politicos and the rest of America that the people of New Orleans were refusing to relinquish their city. I thought that the idea of a shantytown right in the good old US of A would shame the country into action.

"No one knows exactly how many people have taken refuge in abandoned buildings, but unprecedented increases in trespassing arrests and vacant-building fires suggest there could be thousands" says the AP article.

The whole city is a shantytown. And does anyone out there care?


Anonymous said...

There are people that care. The problem is that they are in the minority. Most Americans are too busy with their own lives to understand the injustice happening in the gulf south. One of the biggest heartbreaks I have had from the disaster is what has become of this country. It not only has lost its heart; it has lost its very soul.

Anonymous said...

I know its for effect, but you have got to watch broad generalizations like "the whole city is a shanytown". That phrase, just like "the whole city is below city level" is absolutely misleading and counterproductive to my city's recovery. I appreciate the coverage, as well as the other work you do, but this is a mistake that no journalist/commentor should make.

Anonymous said...

I'm an outsider, but I've made friends with N.O. squatters in the past. They are not only friendly to properties, but they actually have renovated some of these properties. They have worked really hard to even restore beauty finishes and utilities to these places only to get their dreams destroyed by city ad state governments with enticing and empty promises.

Nola Anarcha said...

This is all you need to know about squatting in new orleans: