April 9, 2010


NEW ORLEANS -- The U.S. government and Gulf Coast states have consistently violated the human rights of hurricane victims since Hurricane Katrina killed about 1,800 people and caused widespread devastation after striking in August 2005, Amnesty International said Friday.

The report, entitled "Un-Natural Disaster," said the treatment of hurricane victims and government actions in housing, health care and policing have prevented poor minority communities from rebuilding and returning to their homes on the Gulf Coast.

In sum, government actions have amounted to human rights violations and "as a result, the demographics of the region are being permanently altered," the report said.

The change in demographics was the goal.

Katrina happened while I was in Nome getting sick with PTSD from workplace bullying. I found the story very disturbing and depressing as many others did. It isn't until now I can see Katrina was the beginning of the awakening of the U.S. public that something was seriously wrong. It certainly was for me. We knew the Bush regime was horrendous, but had no idea how horrendous until Katrina.

From Greg Palast:

Ivor Van Heerden was fired from LSU, it is because the funding of the university went down due to his telling the truth about the role of the Army Corp of Engineers and the oil industry in the Katrina flooding. He is a man who has a conscience and would not be silenced about the truth, he is a hero. The way the oil companies exploited the wetlands around New Orleans destroyed the grassy marshlands that used to surround the area. They dug canals all over the grassy marshes which changed it into open bodies of water and this allowed salt water to seep in from the Gulf. He filed a lawsuit against the university in February of this year for his wrongful termination. He had been telling the Louisiana and federal governments that a Katrina-like event could happen and why for years, but was ignored. I had read an article written about him years before. When the Katrina flooding occurred I was shocked no changes had been made to the levees because if I knew about the problems the government surely did. The story that was circulated that there was no plan for evacuation was not really true. They had a plan, but the White House knew the levees had broken and did not inform the storm center in NOLA so they could implement it. When they heard the storm was just skirting the city they were all relieved. They found out the levees broke on CNN. The White House knew and did not inform them so they could evacuate. There is only one conclusion I can draw from that.

The sound is out of synch in this video because he cut the part out where he helped the woman locked out of public housing break into her apartment. They then threw her out again, and she died not too long after this. People die from PTSD. When you are homeless, can’t get healthy food, or healthcare it compounds the problem. There have been devastating health problems as a result.

When I got permission to go visit my dad in 2006 from the Nome court which I realized from some phone calls I got while I was in Arkansas they were hoping I would not return from, I found out my half sister in Mississippi had cancer. I got permission to go see her and on my way to the airport in Little Rock I went through the Gulf coast and New Orleans. The nice houses and businesses were rebuilt on the Mississippi coast, but everything else sat in ruin. There were people in Mississippi still living in tents. I drove through NOLA as I felt I just had to see for myself what it really looked like. It was devastating to think this was allowed in this country, by now I have come to expect inhumanity for the poor. I have seen and experienced too much not to.

I met a family from NOLA who had been made homeless by Katrina the fall of 2008. Never call them refugees they hate that because they are not from another country, "How can we be refuges in our own country?" They had been moved all over the country and landed in a shelter in Alaska. One of them was desperate to just find a job so she could support the family. They believe Katrina flooding was used as an excuse to get them out of NOLA and so do. I believe it was for corporate and elite interests. The proof is in not lifting a finger to help people get back to NOLA and rebuild their homes. We spent all that money on the middle east wars and comparatively a pittance on New Orleans. In other words where the money is spent is decided by the corporations and nothing can change that.


Treme is a new show on HBO about NOLA: http://www.nola.com/treme-hbo/index.ssf/2010/04/treme_is_probably_as_good_as_i.html

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