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Garth Hewitt - From The Brokern Heart Of Gaza
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FACTS ABOUT THE WALL from friends in Bethlehem

Read the truth about the Wall and what is happening today in the Holy City of Bethlehem.

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August 5, 2009
August 5, 2009: Back to the Big Easy by Way of Gaza UPDATE Sept. 12 @ end





 

When Hurricane Kat blew through the Big Easy four years ago, my Irish rose up and my curiosity was enkindled

I journeyed to New Orleans a year ago with a few committed, dedicated Christians who all wanted to DO SOMETHING for the under served in our nation.

They torn down and carted off debris in order to build a vocational training facility in one of the most impoverished areas of town and I listened to the people in order to report-but I begin with an excerpt from KEEP HOPE ALIVE which I wrote in September 2005


9/11/05 AND THE GULFPORT BLUES


For the past twenty-two years of Sunday mornings, Dr. Jake Hunter had navigated the tannic colored waters of the Withlacoochee River in the dark, so as to arrive at the center of Lake Silver just before first light. For miles, the eastern vista manifested multitudes of eighty-feet-tall and six-hundred year-old cypress trees. The rising sun that backlit the cypress always filled Jake with awe, but this morning, his mood was most foul. He had been consumed with rage from the instant he viewed the first images from New Orleans the week before, and deep pain had wounded America’s soul. Jake spit out of the side of the boat and cursed local, state, and federal bureaucracy for failing the least and most vulnerable.

“I am so pissed! What Hurricane Katrina blew in and exposed was that the empire has no clothes! What happened in the Big Easy was foretold three years ago in a five-part series in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Then, last October’s National Geographic fictional story became fact, as it had laid out the scene in incredible detail, which became reality on TV. Christ, have mercy! Local officials and FEMA knew about the probability that even a slow-moving category three hurricane would cause catastrophic loss and a lot of human misery. Those 19th-century levees were not designed for that eventuality! Now, maybe we all will wake up to the facts, that in the third millennium, all our infrastructures need a physician, stat! The very innards of our nation are collapsing, and a government that has been commissioned to protect its citizens blew it, big time! I am so pissed that a billion tax dollars a day go to support a war in Iraq, and not one level of government would bother to scrounge up the bucks for adequate supplies of food, water, and medicine. I am so pissed!”

Jake rubbed his burning arms while cursing the spinal cord impingement that caused it, and then moaned, “Christ, have mercy on us for ignoring our sentinels! For years, climatologists have predicted and warned us that powerful storms will occur more frequently in this century, because of the rising sea level from global warming. The hardest-working marsh in America is the Louisiana bayou, and we have neglected its health. For three hundred years, men have built walls and levees to control that mighty force of nature, and it has wrecked havoc on New Orleans’s natural defenses. From the Mississippi border to the Texas state line, Louisiana is losing its protective fringe of marshes and barrier islands faster than any place in the U.S.

Jake hushed as first light broke, and he sat, motionless and awed by the view, until a mosquito bit his cheek; he again cursed, spat, and then growled into the wind, “That’s the other thing that’s pissing me off. People have been propagandized to buy cypress mulch, and that has led to logging companies raping the areas where ivory-bill woodpeckers once roamed. Florida and Louisiana are being violated by timber companies buying up private property, so that they can cut down these magnificent trees that are part of the filtering system for wetland health. If people would only wake up and use leaves, pine bark, or pine straw, which are much cheaper and work just as well, we could put a stop to this particular raping of Mother Earth. It’s time to stop cutting down our cypress trees, and Homeland Security money should go to restoring the homeland.”

 
Back at the A-frame, Terese sipped from her steaming mug of black brew and checked her email, to find report 57 from Jerry Levin, the reporter and full-time volunteer with Christian Peacemaker Teams who had shepherded through
Hebron. She sighed repeatedly as she read about the start of a new school year in Hebron, for it wasn’t good. She had spent a few hours in Hebron in June, and had not forgotten it for one day since.

“Christ, have mercy! These teachers and kids trying to get to school are threatened and hassled by these erratic and illegal settlers, and a trigger-happy IDF! What a daily life to have to contend with! I cannot imagine watching my child have to go through a checkpoint or be verbally and physically abused just to get to school! What are we teaching these kids, when they grow up looking up the barrel of an Israeli soldier’s weapon of destruction?”

Next, she opened a press conference summary of September 6, 2005, from Dr. Mustafa Bargouthi, September 6, 2005's Palestinian National Initiative report regarding the aftermath of the “disengagement,” and the bottom line was more settlers, more walls, and more corruption in the PA. He stated that ‘Ninety percent of security violations in Palestine are committed by security forces and intelligence. These forces must be disciplined; the rule of law and an independent judiciary must be installed. [And] it is estimated that 30 percent of the 160,000 salaried government employees do not attend work of any kind. This kind of corruption and nepotism must be ended.’

Terese moaned when she read about the violations since the cease-fire agreement of February 8. “Christ, have mercy! Seventy-five Palestinians, including seventeen innocent children, and fourteen Israelis, including two innocent children, have been murdered. Two thousand Palestinians have been arrested; there have been 2,306 checkpoints imposed, and 8,700 acres of Palestinian land has been confiscated by the Israeli government! And how can these settlers sleep at night, after attacking Palestinians 394 times since the cease-fire agreement? I feel bad about these screwed-up settlers, but they are a cult that has been allowed to get out of control. The Israeli government enticed and encouraged them to settle in illegal land, and this is what it has come to! And yet, the illegal settlements continue!

“And, what a farce the so-called disengagement in Gaza was. The Israeli government still controls all access to Gaza by land, sea, and air. Bargouthi documented that only 25 of over 150 settlements will be dismantled, and only 8,475 of over 436,000 settlers [less than 2 percent of settlers] have been evacuated. Meanwhile, in the past year, 12,800 new settlers have moved into the West Bank--50 percent more settlers than were evacuated.”

 
“This is no withdrawal, this is BS! Until Palestinians have control of
Gaza’s borders and a guaranteed passage between Gaza and the West Bank, it is not a withdrawal; it’s just BS propaganda! And Gaza is less than 6 percent of the occupied territories, and that leaves 94 percent of Palestinian territories under the boot of the IDF. The corruption in the PA government and hot tempers from those under occupation are a powder keg that’s getting ready to blow! What’s it going to take to wake the world up to the fact that most of our problems with radical Islamist fundamentalist militants leads us back to the conflict in Israel and Palestine? All roads do indeed lead to Jerusalem. What’s it going to take before the International community gets it together and insists, in unity, upon the upholding of international law as the rule we all live by? And that includes Israel and America, too, for both ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I wonder, what’s the point of signing on, but then not doing it?

“What’s it going to take to wake up the legions of blind U.S. Christian Zionists to their indifference to the misery of their sisters and brothers in Israel and Palestine? Their blind allegiance to the Israeli government has allowed our best friend in the world to become a big bully. What’s it going to take to break through the ignorance that hard-earned U.S. tax dollars are being used to continue the occupation and apartheid wall?”


Jack slammed the U-Haul’s gate down as he told Maureen, “This is the fourth year since Julianne was vaporized on Floor 101 of the North Twin Tower, and it took that misery in the Delta to get me to finally part with her belongings and much more. If you would have told me two weeks ago that I would be driving a filled-to-the-max twenty-four-foot U-Haul down to refugees in Mississippi on the anniversary date of Julianne’s demise, I would not have been able to even imagine it. But, if I don’t do something to help somehow, I will go nuts, or I will fall off the wagon one more time.

“Here we are, two weeks later, and many Gulfport residents still have not seen FEMA! I hope and pray that this misery in the Delta will wake up America to the fact that abject poverty surrounds our cocoons of consumerism and self-absorbed lives. We all need to do something to help those among us who had so little and now have nothing at all.

“Mo! I know what we can do; we can build Habitat for Humanity housing within the gates of South Hampton and Beverly Hills--you know, resettle the refugees equitably, let every state take some in--and let’s build them housing in the best school districts! That could very well break the poverty cycle; what do you think, Mo?”

Maureen smirked and fought back tears as she hugged Jack and spoke. “Brother, I know you are nuts! But, in “Over the Teacups,” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., wrote: ‘There never was an idea stated that woke men out of their stupid indifference but its originator was spoken of as a crank.’ So, Jack, your kind of nuts is good. Out of a town of seventeen thousand, only you thought to contact all the churches around and announce you would drive down donations of food, water, and toiletries to help American refugees on the anniversary of your own misery.”

“Watching those images and being powerless to help was excruciating. It also forced me to finally part with some things I needed to let go. Mo, not much matters when one’s heart is broken and soul has been torn, but I have learned that I must do something, or else...”


Related:

The Under Served of New Orleans: Part Two in a Continuing Series 

Read more...

 

The New Orleans Blues, The Spirit and All That Jazz 

Read more...

 

The Power of One United with Desire 

Read more...




Aug. 13, 2009 email:

 

The Free Gaza Movement video on the Right of Resistance is now up on YouTube. Please watch it, then send it to your lists. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAThgcgCGIk   


The video is based on the eloquent essay by Ramzi Kysia http://www.freegaza.org/en/home/56-news/1032-on-the-right-of-resistance and is one of a series of videos the Free Gaza Movement will produce every two weeks until we leave again for
Gaza.

If you have not seen our last video, Is Israel Guilty of Piracy, please also take the time to watch  at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpqnMrLv1bQ and post to your lists as well.

These videos are being produced by the Free Gaza media team with the brilliant Paola Mandato in charge of images, video and music. Our next video will cover the first anniversary of our voyage to
Gaza
.

Greta Berlin
00 33 63 142 7577
www.freegaza.org
www.flickr.com/photos/29205195@N02/




Homeless and Struggling In New Orleans


On the Fourth Anniversary of Katrina, New Orleans is Still Far From Recovery

By Jordan Flaherty

http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/features/Katrina-s-victims-still-left-without-homes
 

Crawling through a hole in a fence and walking through an open doorway, Shamus Rohn and Mike Miller lead the way into an abandoned Midcity hospital. They are outreach workers for the New Orleans organization UNITY for the Homeless, and they do this all day long; searching empty houses and buildings for people, so they can offer services and support. “We joke about having turned criminal trespass into a fulltime job,” says Rohn.

 

Up a darkened stairway and through the detritus of a thoroughly scavenged building, Rohn and Miller enter a sundrenched room. Inside is Michael Palmer, a 57-year-old white former construction worker and merchant seaman who has made a home here. Palmer - his friends call him Mickey - is in some ways lucky. He found a room with a door that locks. He salvaged some furniture from other parts of the hospital, so he has a bed, a couch, and a rug. Best of all, he has a fourth-floor room with a balcony. “Of all the homeless,” he says, “I probably have the best view.”

 

Mickey has lived here for six months. He’s been homeless since shortly after Katrina, and this is by far the best place he’s stayed in that time. “I’ve lived on the street,” he says. “I’ve slept in a cardboard box.” He is a proud man, thin and muscled with a fresh shave, clean clothes and a trim mustache. He credits a nearby church, which lets him shave and shower.

 

But Palmer would like to be able to pay rent again. “My apartment was around $450. I could afford $450. I can’t afford $700 or $800 and that’s what the places have gone up to.” Keeping himself together, well-dressed and fresh, Mickey is trying to go back to the life he had. “I have never lived on the dole of the state,” he says proudly. “I’ve never been on welfare, never collected food stamps.” Palmer rented an apartment before Katrina. He did repairs and construction. “I had my own business,” he says. “I had a pickup truck with all my tools, and all that went under water.”

 

Palmer is one of thousands of homeless people living in New Orleans’ storm damaged and abandoned homes and buildings. Four years after Katrina, recovery and rebuilding has come slow to this city, and there are many boarded-up homes to choose from. The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center counts 65,888 abandoned residential addresses in New Orleans, and this number doesn’t include any of the many non-residential buildings, like the hospital Mickey stays in. Overall, about a third of the addresses in the city are vacant or abandoned, the highest rate in the nation. UNITY for the Homeless is the only organization surveying these spaces, and Miller and Rohn are the only fulltime staff on the project. They have surveyed 1,330 buildings – a small fraction of the total number of empty structures. Of those, 564 were unsecured. Nearly 40% of them showed signs of use, including a total of 270 bedrolls or mattresses.

 

Using conservative estimates, UNITY estimates at least 6,000 squatters, and a total of about 11,000 homeless individuals in the city.

 

UNITY workers have also found that not all people living in New Orleans’ abandoned homes are squatters. In the last three months alone, they have found nine homeowners living in their own toxic, flood-damaged, often completely unrepaired homes. These are people living in buildings - identified as abandoned and not fit for human habitation – that they (or extended family members) actually own, but cannot afford to repair.

 

The abandoned building dwellers they’ve found are generally older than the overall homeless population, with high rates of disability and illness. The average age of folks they have found is 45, and the oldest was 90. Over 70% report or show signs of psychiatric disorders, and 42% show signs of disabling medical illnesses and problems.  Disabling means “people that are facing death if not treated properly,” clarifies Rohn. “We’re not talking about something like high blood pressure.”

 

Life in Abandoned Homes

 

“This leg here bent backwards and the muscle came up,” says Naomi Burkhalter, an elderly Black woman in a wheelchair, sitting outside of the abandoned house she lives in and gesturing to her badly twisted leg. She was injured during Katrina, and can’t walk. She stays in a flood-damaged house in New Orleans’ Gert Town neighborhood, with no electricity or running water. She says the owner – who cannot afford to repair the home - knows she lives there, along with two other women. When they need water, they fill bottles up from neighbors. When she needs to get in and out of her house, she crawls, very slowly dragging herself up and down the steps with her hands, leaving her wheelchair outside and hoping no one takes it. Miss Naomi worked at a shrimp company and rented an apartment before Katrina. Now, between her injury and higher rents, she can no longer afford her former home. “My rent was 350 dollars,” she explains. “But when I came back, my rent was up to $1200.” Burkhalter has been homeless since then.

 

UNITY has received funding from the federal government for 752 housing vouchers specifically to help house the city’s homeless population. They have put people on a list, with those in the most danger of dying if they don’t get help on the top of the list. However, the vouchers still have not arrived, and at least 16 people from the list have already died while waiting. “The stress and trauma that these people have endured cannot be overstated,” says Martha Kegel, executive director of UNITY. “The neighborhood infrastructure that so many people depended on is gone.”

 

This problem was exacerbated by the demolition of thousands of units of public housing, an act which not only took away the community that many people found brought them comfort and safety, but has also made affordable rentals for poor New Orleanians even harder to find. Section 8 subsidized housing has been offered as a solution for those displaced from public housing and other poor renters, but a new study from Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) shows that discrimination keeps many people from finding quality housing through the program. According to the report, 82% of landlords in the city either refused to accept Section 8 vouchers, or added insurmountable requirements.

 

The study found that both discrimination on the part of landlords (99% of Section 8 voucher holders in Orleans parish are Black) and mismanagement on the part of the housing agency were barriers. One prospective landlord told a tester for GNOFHAC that he wouldn’t rent to Section 8 holders, “until Black ministers…start teaching morals and ethics to their own, so they don’t have litters of pups like animals, and they’re not milking the system.”

 

The mismanagement from the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) was also a big problem for prospective landlords. “I faxed HANO the needed information 12 times for the rent I was never paid” said one landlord.  Another housing provider said, “I called every day for a month and never got a call back.”

 

Last month, more than a hundred members of STAND for Dignity, a grassroots membership project of the New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice, protested outside of the offices of HANO, decrying their lack of action. A single mother named Ayesha told the crowd that she had been on the Section 8 waiting list for eight years, and still hasn’t received any help. She is paying 80% of her income on rent, and has been forced to go months at a time without water, gas or lights. George Tucker, another member of STAND, and also (like Mickey Palmer) a former merchant mariner, told the assembled crowd his story of being evicted from his apartment because HANO lost his paperwork. Because of bureaucratic carelessness, he was homeless for thirteen months. “This governmental crookedness is not new,” he said. “But it cannot continue without consequences.”

 

Last week, at least partly in response to criticism from folks like the members of STAND, HANO announced that they would accept new applications for Section 8 vouchers, for the first time in six years. The period that they will accept applications in is only a week long – from September 6 through 12.

 

Fear and Harassment

 

“My best friend died three weeks ago in this chair,” says Mickey Palmer gesturing next to him in his room in the abandoned hospital. “There was two other people staying here with me. One gentleman got in an accident about two months ago and he’s paralyzed in the hospital. Another friend of mine OD’ed and died here three weeks ago. My best friend. So I’m here alone.”

 

Palmer also fears police harassment. “The police hate homeless people,” he declares. “They’ll arrest me on drunk in public,” he says. “I haven’t had a drink in months.” Gesturing around the room that he has made into a home, he adds, “Of course, this is illegal. If I get caught I can not only be evicted, but incarcerated. I could go to jail for trespassing.”

 

This fear drives the homeless further underground, and makes it even harder for organizations like UNITY to find them and offer help. “Our city has a long history of police criminalization of homelessness, so people have reason to hide,” explains Martha Kegel.

 

Despite the size and scope of this problem, help has been hard to come by, from either the city, state, or federal government. “I’m not a politician and I’m not politically savvy,” says Palmer. “But I don’t think they care.”

 

In a rare step forward last month, both houses of Louisiana’s legislature unanimously passed a bill creating a statewide agency – to be almost entirely funded by the federal government - to address the issue of homelessness. However, Governor Jindal vetoed the bill. Jindal also vetoed funding for the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital, further reducing medical and mental health services in the city – another factor that has made life hard for many homeless folks in the city. As rates of mental illness rise in the city, we now have less treatment available then ever before.

 

For people like Mickey, caught in a city with few good paying jobs, much more expensive housing, and ever-decreasing social services, there are not many options. “At one time we were part of the city and part of the workforce,” Mickey says. “But people cannot afford the housing in New Orleans anymore. I find most of the people I know, my friends, they can’t afford the rent.”

 

Like most people in his position, Palmer has felt hopelessness at his plight.  “I try not to get depressed, he says, nervously flicking his lighter. “But this can get you depressed. Coming back here last night got me a little depressed.”

 

Jordan Flaherty is a journalist, an editor of Left Turn Magazine, and a staffer with the Louisiana Justice Institute.  He was the first writer to bring the story of the Jena Six to a national audience and his reporting on post-Katrina New Orleans shared a journalism award from New America Media. Audiences around the world have seen the reports he’s produced for Al-Jazeera, TeleSur, and Democracy Now. He can be reached at


Fight Heats up over Discriminatory Housing Laws in New Orleans area

Alice Walker, Oprah Winfrey, and President Obama are pulled into local battle
By Jordan Flaherty


Rebuilding efforts in St. Bernard Parish, a small community just outside New Orleans, have recently gotten a major boost. One nonprofit focused on rebuilding in the area has received the endorsement of CNN, Alice Walker, the touring production of the play The Color Purple, and even President Obama. But an alliance of Gulf Coast and national organizations are now raising questions about the cause these high profile names are supporting.

The dispute focuses on the responsibility of relief organizations to speak out against injustice in the communities in which they work. Since September of 2006, St. Bernard Parish has been aggressive in passing racially discriminatory laws and ordinances. Although these laws have faced condemnation in Federal court and in the media, rebuilding organizations active in the parish have so far refused to take a public position.

Racial discrimination has a long history in St. Bernard politics. Judge Leander Perez, a fiery leader who dominated the parish for almost 50 years, was known nationally as a spokesman for racial segregation. The main road through the Parish was named after Perez, and his legacy still has a hold on the political scene there. Lynn Dean, a member of the St Bernard parish council told reporter Lizzy Ratner, "They don't want the blacks back… What they'd like to do now with Katrina is say, we'll wipe out all of them. They're not gonna say that out in the open, but how do you say? Actions speak louder than words. There's their action."

The action Lynn was referencing is a “blood relative” ordinance the council passed in 2006. The law made it illegal for Parish homeowners to rent to anyone not directly related to the renter. In St Bernard, which was 85% white before Katrina hit, this effectively kept African Americans, many of whom were still displaced from New Orleans and looking for nearby housing, from moving in. The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center sued the Parish, saying the ordinance violated the 1968 Fair Housing Act. A judge agreed, saying it was racially discriminatory in intent and impact.

The story doesn’t end there. St. Bernard’s government agreed to a settlement, but the illegal ordinance was followed by another, blocking multi-family construction in the Parish. Last month, U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan found the Parish to be in contempt of court, saying, “The Parish Council's intent…is and was racially discriminatory." An editorial in the New Orleans Times-Picayune agreed, saying, “This ruling strips off the camouflage and reveals St. Bernard's actions for what they really are: an effort to keep lower-income people and African-Americans from moving into the mostly white parish.”

Relief Work Questioned

St. Bernard Parish was heavily damaged by flooding in the aftermath of Katrina. Thirteen percent of households lived below the federal poverty line, and every home took in water. Many organizations and volunteers have come through to volunteer time and donate money, including United Way, Salvation Army, and the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

An organization called the St. Bernard Project, which was founded in 2006 by two transplants from Washington, DC, has become one of the most high profile organizations active in the region, with millions of dollars in corporate and individual donations and thousands of volunteers.

This has been a big couple of weeks for the St. Bernard Project. On August 29, President Obama mentioned them in his weekly address, saying, “The St. Bernard Project has drawn together volunteers to rebuild hundreds of homes, where people can live with dignity and security." Last week, the touring production of the Broadway show The Color Purple, produced by Oprah Winfrey, announced that they will be raising money for the organization, and that author Alice Walker will be personally participating in the fundraising. Last year, CNN named co-founder Liz McCartney its Hero of the Year.

But this national acclamation has only increased criticisms of the work happening in the Parish. Lance Hill, the executive director of the Southern Institute for Education and Research at Tulane University, first raised his voice on the issue in 2006, after the ordinance was passed. Hill is quick to point out that he is not against rebuilding work in the Parish. However, he adds, “If they chose to rebuild homes that Blacks and Jews would be barred from, at a minimum they have a moral obligation to inform volunteers of the policies of the Parish. To not do so is to mislead volunteers and donors and to become complicit with racism.”

Hill is also one of the signatories of an open letter, released this week, which expresses deep concerns over rebuilding efforts in the parish. “Regrettably, many relief and volunteer organizations chose not to respond to the ‘blood relative’ law, remaining silent on this issue,” the letter states. “With the benefit of hindsight, we now know that St. Bernard Parish officials interpreted silence as consent, which has now emboldened this rogue government to pursue other means to defy the Fair Housing Act.”

Organizers say that the letter is intended to pressure organizations to think about larger issues of injustice as they work in the region. “It is time that we take a stand against housing discrimination in St. Bernard and throughout the Gulf Coast,” the letter states.  “And make clear what the moral imperatives are for all organizations that seek to rebuild the Gulf Coast as a fair and just society.” Among the signers of the letter are human rights organizations like the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, regional groups like Moving Forward Gulf Coast, and local initiatives like MayDay Nola, which works on housing in New Orleans.

Zack Rosenburg, the cofounder of St. Bernard Project, is angered by the complaints of Hill and others. “We are not an advocacy group and we’re not commenting on that,” he told me, referring to the laws of the Parish. “We’re helping people get home.”  Rosenburg added that at least 30% of the families they have worked with have been African American, and he asked me to “think about the Black families who are living in FEMA trailers and want to move home, before writing this piece…try to build things up instead of pulling things down.”

Lance Hill and other advocates claim that working on relief without challenging systemic injustices actually exacerbates the problem. They point out that the number of houses rebuilt for African Americans in the community – perhaps two hundred at the most, if you include all nonprofits working in the area – pales in comparison to the thousands that have potentially been excluded by the laws of the parish. “The main reason that these relief groups have had to disproportionately rebuild Black rentals,” explains Hill,  “is because the Parish is tearing down or blocking construction of affordable housing faster than the relief groups can rebuild.”

“This is why this issue in St. Bernard has troubled me so much,” adds Hill. “Exclusion is at the core of the injustices of Katrina.  The deliberate efforts to prevent people from returning and the denial that these policies and practices were in place has been the central issue. The exclusionary ideology that was widespread in the white community in New Orleans became law in St. Bernard.”

Organizers hope that the multiple levels of pressure will ultimately challenge elected officials in St. Bernard Parish to make the area an example of rebuilding with justice for all. “Our silence doesn’t help anybody,” says Hill. “It destroys more than the relief groups can ever dream of building.”


Jordan Flaherty is a journalist, an editor of Left Turn Magazine, and a staffer with the Louisiana Justice Institute. He was the first writer to bring the story of the Jena Six to a national audience and his reporting on post-Katrina New Orleans shared a journalism award from New America Media. Audiences around the world have seen the television reports he’s produced for Al-Jazeera, TeleSur, GritTV, and Democracy Now. He can be reached at




   
 
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View 30 Minutes with Vanunu and his Video Message to USA Christians
Articles Can Be Read Under VANUNU ARCHIVES  

UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.


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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa


“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has ceased...to obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946



The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
Establishment of Israel
"On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel
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posted 3/25/2009

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