Hurricane Katrina reconstruction in 2008:
A Bush ‘showcase’ or a US Gulf Coast tragedy?
March 31, 2008
Hurricane Katrina crashed into the US Gulf Coast in August of 2005. It precipitated one of the greatest episodes of internal displacement of US residents in that country’s history with over a million people forced from their homes and communities. The US government failed to adequately protect the rights of Gulf Coast residents during displacement – particularly the poor, immigrants and people of colour, children, the elderly, disabled persons and other vulnerable populations. Almost three years have passed since Katrina, and the US government has not upheld the rights of the displaced by failing to address the need for affordable housing, health care access, and adequate employment that would enable displaced persons to come home.
In his State of the Union address in Washington last February, US President George Bush announced that he would be ‘showcasing’ his government’s Katrina reconstruction efforts while hosting in New Orleans the IV Security and Prosperity (SPP) Summit between the leaders of the US, Canada, and Mexico. The dates for this SPP Summit are April 20-22.
Grass roots organizations in New Orleans are calling on people from Chiapas to Alaska to attend The People’s Summit to be held in New Orleans, April 20-22. The organizers’ plan is to link the Gulf Coast struggle to the fight for survival in other North American communities where people are working to overcome predatory economic policies and unjust trade agreements. They’ve prepared a flyer with the summit details, which can be downloaded and printed for distribution.