[Marxism] new orleans land grab
schaffer at optonline.net
Mon Jan 9 10:30:01 MST 2006
i don't understand all the implications, but in the last few days there
have been several articles about the plan to rebuild New Orleans, and it
sounded like there was a move to freeze out re-development of the
poorer, lower-lying neighborhoods. ethnic cleansing new orleans style.
in today's paper of record, there is an article about the plight of one
family from the ninth ward, in their attempt to get back to their home.
an interesting quote at a moment when the family was standing in front
of their ruined home surveying and taking in the loss:
At that moment, a car rolled slowly down the street, its passengers
taking photographs and notes. "That's all you see back here," Mr.
Reddick said. "Nothing but white folks who want our land."
meanwhile, we see things like this:
A Big Government Fix-It Plan for New Orleans
By ADAM NOSSITER
Published: January 5, 2006
BATON ROUGE, La. - Into the void of the post-Katrina policy
landscape, littered with half-ruined proposals, crumbling
prescriptions and washed-out initiatives, an obscure and very
conservative congressman has stepped in with the ultimate big
Representative Richard H. Baker, a Republican from suburban Baton
Rouge who derides Democrats for not being sufficiently free-market,
is the unlikely champion of a housing recovery plan that would make
the federal government the biggest landowner in New Orleans - for a
while, at least. Mr. Baker's proposed Louisiana Recovery Corporation
would spend as much as $80 billion to pay off lenders, restore
public works, buy huge ruined chunks of the city, clean them up and
then sell them back to developers.
it's that "sell them back to developers" i'd like to see better
anaylyzed. and next:
Fight Grows in New Orleans on Demolition and Rebuilding
By ADAM NOSSITER
Published: January 6, 2006
NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 5 - With activists, planners and residents
squaring off over which neighborhoods will be demolished and which
will be rebuilt, state officials are warning that some low-lying
neighborhoods may not be eligible for federal rebuilding assistance.
Sean Reilly, a member of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, the state
body formed partly to manage the flow of federal money to the state,
castigated city officials on Wednesday for assuring residents that
every neighborhood flooded after Hurricane Katrina would be rebuilt.
Mr. Reilly made it clear that federal money, at least in some forms,
was unlikely to go to those areas.
"The L.R.A. will not fund an irrational and unsafe rebuilding plan,"
Mr. Reilly said in Baton Rouge. "Someone has to be tough, to stand
up, and to tell the truth. Every neighborhood in New Orleans will
not be able to come back safe and viable. The L.R.A. is speaking the
truth with the money it controls."
All Parts of City in Rebuild Plan of New Orleans
By GARY RIVLIN
Published: January 8, 2006
Many residents of low-lying neighborhoods like the Lower Ninth Ward
and New Orleans East have said they are determined to rebuild their
ravaged blocks, while some experts have argued that such areas are
better returned to marshland for safety and economic reasons. Some
civic leaders who had hoped the mayor's panel, the 17-member Bring
Back New Orleans Commission, would take a firm stand on the issue
Mr. Canizaro, a prominent real estate developer here, acknowledged
the possibility that Hurricane Katrina could spell the death of more
than one New Orleans neighborhood. He cited a study by the Rand
Corporation that estimated that in three years the city would have a
population of no more than 275,000, down more than 40 percent from
its pre-hurricane population of 465,000.
Yet deciding which neighborhoods should not be rebuilt involves far
more than the cold rationale of geographic and demographic data, Mr.
Canizaro said, especially considering the historic racial tensions
in New Orleans. The hurricane devastated the lives of white and
black alike, but the waters that roared though much of the city
disproportionately flooded its predominantly black eastern half.
It is not clear, though, that people who choose to return to
devastated neighborhoods will find much to surround them. The city
has not promised full services to every neighborhood, and there may
be no grocery stores or schools for miles.
It is not even certain that lenders will agree to grant mortgages in
those neighborhoods without some guarantees that residents will be
there for longer than a year.
The most contentious issue, however, will be the redevelopment of
neighborhoods. That battle began in earnest in November, when the
Urban Land Institute, a prominent planning group based in
Washington, proposed that the city temporarily ban redevelopment of
properties in those areas hardest hit by flooding, including large
tracts of New Orleans East, the Lower Ninth Ward and Lakeview.
The suggestion was rejected by residents of those neighborhoods and
their political representatives. Last month, the City Council passed
a nonbinding resolution stating that residents should be free to
rebuild immediately wherever they choose.
The notion that residents have a right to rebuild anywhere proved
too starry-eyed for Alden J. McDonald Jr., a member of the mayor's
commission and the chief executive of Liberty Bank and Trust, the
city's largest black-owned bank. Though most of the bank's customers
lived in the most damaged parts of town, and though Mr. McDonald
himself owns a home in New Orleans East, he said it would be cruel
to encourage people to move back "without first giving them all the
"We really need to ask what kind of community it will be if there
aren't adequate services," he said.
Critics of his plan say that if the city floods again in the near
future, damaging rebuilt neighborhoods in the same places, there
will be little sympathy and few federal dollars. But Mr. Canizaro
said the prospect of a fortified flood control system, promised by
the Bush administration, made him confident that the city would not
suffer the same devastation from a storm similar to Hurricane Katrina.
That confidence, however, is not universal. Michael M. Liffmann, the
associate executive director of the Louisiana Sea Grant College at
Louisiana State University, which studies land-use issues along the
Gulf Coast, said most experts agreed that the roughly one-quarter to
one-third of the city located dangerously below sea level should not
"There are parts of New Orleans that are not fit for human
habitation," Mr. Liffmann said. "They never were and never will be.
But these are as much social calls as they are scientific ones."
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