Rosa Clemente dispatches from the South


William M. Johnson
Event Organizer

REPORTING FROM NEW ORLEANS - Rosa Clemente dispatches from the South

After a twenty one hour drive, we, Brad a videographer and King, arrived in New Orleans, as we crossed the border of Mississippi we spoke to folks displaced, white middle class folks who have not seen a FEMA or RED CROSS vehicle since the hurricane hit, many Mexican and Honduran immigrants just wandering, one thing the Latino brothers and sister stressed was the fear they are facing from white vigilantes trying to "move them out the city? and ICE- the federal immigration police who are down here in force, speaking to the white middle class man whom lost everything he told us , "America died to me on Tuesday Aug 30th, I voted for Bush and that rapper was right"(:-) go KANYE! As we approached New Orleans after two military checkpoints with M16's pointed at us we found our way to Canel Street,

As we went down Canel street the damage was surreal, there was a boat in the street, toxic sludge in the streets, what we immediately noticed, was the number of police, military, contractors, and Blackwater mercenaries protecting property, We came up on the Convention Center, and after all the clean up, it still looked like a living hell, the smell of dead bodies was overwhelming, what was more crazy and shows the inhumanity, the VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as defined by the International Convention on Human Rights and the CRIMINAL MISCONDUCT of these devils, and that includes, Condi and Alberto, is that there were plenty of hotels, The Marriot, The Wyndham, The Holiday Inn, that were completely habitable, if this fucking supreme court can take my house on some eminent domain shit, why didn't they declare eminent domain and take corporate property for the public good,

As Brad stated "This, the Convention center is our modern day slave vessel and our people are in the midst of the Middle Passage" meanwhile five feet from this hell were the castles; The Marriot, The Wyndham, Holiday Inn, If one thing I would like people to know now is that their were four to five hotels within a one block area that were completely intact, these hotels could have housed thousands of people, as we were outside the Convention Center looking in, a man about the age of 40, white man, said "I cant believe they shot these young men as they were trying to get people into the hotel,? as we spoke with him, he said that three young black men, were trying to take over the hotels and make it a makeshift medical center, and evacuate the elderly and babies into safer conditions, as they approached the hotel the were fired upon and murdered, this had not been confirmed by anyone, but we know that this is possible,

Outside all the hotels you could see makeshift camps where people had lived, the conditions were atrocious, as we continued to document and talk to people, we were approached by two military people that said we had to leave now, that we were not official, when we began to question this, and say there are all kinds of people walking around, the entire city of N.O. they informed us we could follow orders or be arrested, as we left we saw a few black man and women still wandering around the city, dazed and physically exhausted, we talked to them and asked them ?Are you leaving and they said no, this is our only home? As we traveled into Algiers, the destruction kept going, as much as folks want to talk about looting, we ran into many white folks who said, "Of coursed we looted, we had to survive,? we saw four different WINN DIXIES and WALMARTS in white communities that were completely destroyed.

We then met up with brother Malik Rahim and Errol Maitland from WBAI, and met up with over 30 organizers that are organizing here, they are committed to staying. So folks need to come and try to spend a couple of days, every skill is needed.

Malik Rahim and his wife Sharon are the peoples command center, in Algiers, it is amazing to see the people helping the people, self-determination has manifested here, they have opened up their own media clinic, there are 50 bikes that are being given to anyone who wants them, anyone can come and sleep here, eat, take a shower, etc., Algiers did not have to deal with the flooding but many houses were destroyed, and in a community that numbered in the thousands there are only five kids and about 100 adults left here, but they are refusing to leave, the military is trying to cajole people to leave, by telling them soon electricity will be shut down, there is no gas, so even for the survivors they are being forced out.

Algiers is the hub for Black people, and we need to support them, the young cats part of the alternative media world, have set up a community media command center, today the five young people in the neighborhood came and got bikes, crayons, paper, and bubbles, yes bubbles because everyone who is a child should skip rope, blow bubbles and be allowed to be a child.

As New Orleans is under marshal law, last night around 6:30pm the military informed us that anyone on the streets would get a warning shot, and after that be shot on the spot, throughout the night, we saw groups of white men riding around in pickup trucks, vigilantes, along with the NOPD and the GODDAMN NYPD, yes, yes yall the NYPD is in the house, this is the battle ground, this is the BATTLE FOR ALGIERS, we are on our way to Baton Rouge, Houston, TX and Jackson, MI, more to come.

Lastly, I love my people, I love my people more everyday, check out these pictures even in the midst of hell on earth, cats are politically clear on what they want and need, many have expressed they don't want to se no more press conference, no more marching they want action and long term strategy, "