Tag Archives | New Orleans

The Unheard Story of Hurricane Katrina: Blackwater, White Militias & Community Empowerment

Abby Martin Breaks the Set on the Ninth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

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EPISODE BREAKDOWN: On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin features special coverage dedicated to the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, discussing the military response to the humanitarian disaster and why Blackwater mercenary forces were sent in to New Orleans as first responders. Abby then speaks with Ward “Mack” McClendon, founder of the Lower Ninth Ward Village, a community center that served as one of the only sanctuaries for adults and children of the Lower Ninth Ward, the area hardest hit by Katrina about his experience with the storm and how he is revitalizing his community. BTS wraps up the show with an interview with two co-founders of Common Ground Collective, Malik Rahim and Scott Crow, about the white militias that patrolled the Algiers Point neighborhood and killed as many as 11 black people in the aftermath of the storm.… Read the rest

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Louisiana Oil: From The Kingfish To Deepwater Horizon

The collapse of Deepwater HorizonThis is not just another article about Deepwater Horizon, but rather a short history lesson.  For instance, have  you, or do you…

…ever wonder where the New Deal came from and why?

…know who drew up the borders of Iran, and why?

…ever wonder why Huey P. Long is universally portrayed as a mere laughable Southern caricature, though he was a hero to the common people of Louisiana until his death?

…know which oil company is responsible for more oil spills than any other?

…ever met a real live Cajun?  (aahyee!)

…know very much at all about Louisiana?

Well, make some popcorn and sit back, here is a full length documentary.  Unlike the History lessons in school, you will not be asked to memorize any names, dates or places, nor will you be bored and watching the clock for the end of the period.

Note: The first five minutes told enough history – of which most Americans today are completely unaware – that I knew where this was going to end up.  It should be added though, that when Churchill drew a circle around the huge sea of oil that British engineers had discovered, and named it Iran, he made sure to include all the neighboring warring factions he could.  Many have been critical of him for this, saying it was a stupid thing to do, but in doing so he ensured instability in the region for the next 100 years to come.  He also referred to Iran as the British Empire’s refueling station for the next war.  This was shortly after World War I.… Read the rest

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Fats Domino Has A Really Awesome Couch

As reported:

Fats Domino was an important influence on the music of the 1960s and 1970s and acknowledged as such by some of the top artists of that era. Paul McCartney reportedly wrote The Beatles song “Lady Madonna” in an emulation of Domino’s style, combining it with a nod to Humphrey Lyttelton’s 1956 hit “Bad Penny Blues,” a record Joe Meek engineered Domino did manage to return to the “Hot 100″ charts one final time in 1968—with his own recording of “Lady Madonna”… Domino lived in a mansion in a predominantly working-class Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood, where he was a familiar sight in his bright pink Cadillac automobile. He makes yearly appearances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and other local events. Domino was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. Domino’s last tour was a three week European Tour in 1995. In 1998, President Clinton awarded him the National Medal of Arts.

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Department Of Justice Declares New Orleans Police Force “A Threat To The Safety Of The Public”

nola“Police in the US now rival criminals, and exceed terrorists as the greatest threat to the American public.”

Yes, there are bad cops everywhere, but the corrupt, racist, and violent New Orleans police department — in which officers engage in rape, arson, kidnapping, bank robberies, and murder, and citizens are arrested for little or no reason, held without charges for months, and routinely brutalized and tortured — is a different matter altogether. It is little exaggeration to say that the NOPD has become a criminal gang terrorizing the city’s residents. The New Statesman reports:

Something terrible lies at the heart of New Orleans – a rampant, widespread and apparently uncontrollable brutality on the part of its police force and its prison service. The horrors of its criminal justice system from decades before Hurricane Katrina and up to now lie somewhere between, with little exaggeration, Candide and Stalin’s Gulags.

Spit on the sidewalk here, and you may be arrested – New Orleans has the highest incarceration rate of any city in the United States – and if you’re poor and black and can’t pay bail, you will enter a place where any protection under the American constitution and the Bill of Rights is stripped away.

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No “Home Sweet Home” Five Years After Katrina

Matt Pascarella and I encountered Patricia Thomas while she was breaking into a home at the Lafitte Housing Project in New Orleans. It was her own home. Nevertheless, if caught, she'd end up in the slammer. So would we. Matt was my producer for the film, Big Easy to Big Empty, and he encouraged my worst habits. I'd worked for the New Orleans Housing Authority years back and knew they wanted the poor black folk out of these pretty townhouses near the French Quarter. Katrina was an excuse for ethnic cleansing, American style. Matt and I skipped cuffs on this shoot, but were charged later by Homeland Security (see below). While I recorded the story of hidden evils on film, Matt gathered a story which no camera can capture. Here it is. — Greg Palast
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Remembering the Fifth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Through Film

Big EasyMoviefone heralds a Snag Films mini-fest including disinformation‘s Greg Palast film Big Easy To Big Empty: The Untold Story Of The Drowning Of New Orleans:

With the release of Spike Lee’s ‘If God Is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise,’ the follow-up to 2006′s essential ‘When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts,’ the city of New Orleans is revisited five years after Hurricane Katrina to examine the progress and stagnancy of rejuvenating a still-ailing city.

Yet on the fifth anniversary of one of the most devastating natural disasters in U.S. history, Lee’s film is one of a number of documentaries to spotlight various facets of the disaster. Our friends at SnagFilms present five movies on Katrina, each looking at a different aspect of the tragedy. As we remember a government that failed and a city destroyed, these films stand as a vital testament to the city’s character, culture and resilience.

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Before There Was Oil, There Was Water: Harry Shearer’s ‘The Big Uneasy’ (Video)

The Big UneasyHere's Harry Shearer (of Spinal Tap and Simpsons fame) being interviewed by Michael Smerconish about his new documentary The Big Uneasy on Hardball with Chris Matthews below. Here's a bit about the documentary:
Almost five years ago, a disaster struck New Orleans. The media said it was a natural disaster primarily affecting poor black people. On both counts, the media was wrong. In The Big Uneasy, humorist and New Orleans resident Harry Shearer gets the inside story of a disaster that could have been prevented from the people who were there. As we approach the fifth anniversary of the flooding of New Orleans, Shearer speaks to the investigators who poked through the muck as the water receded and a whistleblower from the Army Corps of Engineers, revealing that some of the same flawed methods responsible for the levee failure during Katrina are being used to rebuild the system expected to protect the new New Orleans from future peril.
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