Friday, November 4, 2005

 

Why are They Making New Orleans a Ghost Town?

`On Halloween night, New Orleans will be very, very dark. Well over half the homes on the east bank of New Orleans sit vacant because they still do not have electricity. More do not have natural gas or running water. Most stoplights still do not work. Most street lights remain out.

Fully armed National Guard troops refuse to allow over ten thousand people even to visit their property in the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood. Despite the fact that people cannot come back, tens of thousands of people face eviction from their homes. A local judge told me that her court expects to process a thousand evictions a day for weeks. [..]

Dr. Arjun Sengupta, the United Nations Human Rights Commission Special Reporter on Extreme Poverty, visited New Orleans and Baton Rouge last week. He toured the devastated areas and listened to the evacuees still in shelters and those living out of town with family.

Dr. Sengupta described current conditions as “shocking” and “gross violations of human rights.” The devastation itself is shocking, he explained, but even more shocking is that two months have passed and there is little to nothing being done to reconstruct vast areas of New Orleans. “The US is the richest nation in the history of the world. Why cannot it restore electricity and water and help people rebuild their homes and neighborhoods? If the US can rebuild Afghanistan and Iraq, why not New Orleans?”’

Also worth a read is Ethnic Cleansing, GOP-style.




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