Some words about the ongoing struggle for basic human rights in New Orleans.

December 15, 2007 at 3:04 pm (frightening things, injustice, politics) (, , )

I’ve spent a lot of today reading about the government sponsored demolition of thousands of public housing units in New Orleans and the people who very recently stood to prevent the destruction of their homes.

When disaster struck New Orleans in the form of a hurricane, the general response by the public was revealing–and harrowing. Mostly because, well, there was no response. And now, years later, those who were forced from their homes are not seeing them rebuilt, but destroyed; abandoned and homeless at the hands of all government systems in place, supposedly, to protect its people.

Brownfemipower’s got much, much more, including a list of organizations working to fight the demolitions.

As a nation, we’ve done the people of New Orleans the highest of human disservices, and the absolute least we can do is keep them in the forefront of our thoughts.

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10 Comments

  1. jonolan said,

    I would be interested in hearing an objective source describe the reason for the demolitions. With no reasons stated, I can’t form an opinion.

  2. Emily said,

    One immediate reason for the demolitions is that the Department for Housing and Urban Development is intent on making business by giving the property on which the public housing developments in question now stand to private real-estate developers that plan to profit from destroying what’s there and re-developing the land. Thing is, much of what’s planned for demolition is perfectly habitable, and so the demolition is unconstitutional and negligent of the needs of the people struggling to rebuild their lives there, to say the least.

    The first few links provided will lead to many more on the subject. Not sure whether or not they’ll fulfill your standards of objectivity, but that’s where I’d start. Good luck on your research.

  3. jonolan said,

    I’d agree that it might be negligent, but it’s not in any way unconstitutional. The city can dispose of it’s property as it sees fit under State law, Common law, and Constitutional law. Claiming unconstitutionality just weakens your position – kind of like misuse of the “Race Card.” Of course legal doesn’t always equate with right or moral :(

  4. Daisy said,

    I think Meagan Day is down there protesting right now. According to Ari.

    Really fucked up stuff.

  5. Emily said,

    It’s entirely possible that I misunderstood some of the legal issues. I apologize if I misspoke. I’ll try later to clear that up…but right now I have to take a break from the blogosphere and get to work on some final papers for school.

    Grr.

  6. jonolan said,

    Good luck!

  7. Emily said,

    So, jonolan, upon backtracking (it’s now been awhile, or felt like a while, since I wrote the post) I think I’ve found what it was I was trying to get at when I called the demolitions unconstitutional and didn’t clarify which part of the debacle I was referring to. I hadn’t actually read this particular article before making that comment, but it’s includes the same information I went back to look for:

    On the eve of the holiday season, Greg Meffert, the city’s chief technology officer, revealed that the city would immediately demolish about 2,500 “red-tagged” homes in the Lower 9th Ward. Before Meffert’s announcement, a red-tag merely meant that a home was unsafe to enter. The City of New Orleans website specifically states in bold italicized text that “a red sticker does not indicate whether or not a building will be demolished, only that the structure is currently unsafe to enter.”

    Yet the City decided to bulldoze red-tagged homes without informing homeowners of the new meaning of the red tags or the demolition order. This is a clear violation of due process, guaranteed under federal and state constitutions, which protects property owners from the unlawful destruction of their property.

    Does that make more sense?

  8. jonolan said,

    Yes that does make more sense. Thank you for the update.

  9. Emily said,

    No problem at all.

  10. They just went and did it. « Our Descent Into Madness said,

    […] things, injustice, violence) So, the New Orleans City Council decided to go along with the planned demolitions of 4,500 public housing units which were home to many poor residents who will not be able to afford the more expensive housing […]

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