The militarized, brutal response towards those left behind
We are heartbroken by the devastation in a city we love -- and by the media's racist and classist portrayal of our communities, the demonization of our brothers and sisters who have been in dire straits for decades, and the militarized, brutal response towards those left behind.
Everything we had in New Orleans is gone. Our office was located in one of the harder hit areas of the city. Fortunately, Critical Resistance's Southern Regional Coordinator, Tamika Middleton, and our core organizing members and allies appear to be safe, though now scattered across the country. We are working on a coordinated response that includes direct support and communication with prisoners and family members in New Orleans, supporting the Treme community, strategizing around rebuilding and reuniting neighborhoods, and media work.
At the same time, we are scrambling to rebuild our infrastructure and find a temporary office for our Southern Regional Coordinator. We will need computers, office supplies, and support for our community organizing and rebuilding work.
All of this, of course, will be expensive -- so please help us rebuild our Southern Regional hub! We know that there is great need everywhere in New Orleans -- but also know that Critical Resistance's grassroots power, vision and organizing, particularly in the aftermath of this disaster, is more needed than ever, as we fight for New Orleans' rebirth.
Dear folks with loved ones who were OPP or the youth detention centers in the New Orleans area,
(Those without a loved one in OPP or youth detention, please forward in any way you think may help reach individuals who have folks locked up in Orleans/Jefferon; this is not an efficient way to contacting people, but it is the best we have right now in a moment where there is no official information and no systems being set up to get info out about people who were locked up?sorry for cluttering mailboxes.)
I joined members of Families and Friends of Louisiana?s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC) these past few days walking through shelters in Louisiana and Texas trying to help families connect up with their children who had been locked up in detention centers and/or loved ones who had been in OPP.
Some info we gathered that may be helpful:
Adults in OPP or Gretna
Latest info is that all OPP prisoners who are still in state custody are currently being held at either Angola (225) 655-4411 or Hunts (225) 642-3306. Folks looking for their people should call those numbers and ask to speak to their loved ones directly. You will probably be told that?s not possible. If officials won?t connect you directly, demand that the prison official pass on a message, and then call back later in the day to confirm that the message has been passed on. There is word also that people who were being held at OPP on less than $1000 bond either will or could (depending on who you talk to) be released if a family calls and is able to provide some kind of address. Other family members have been told that records are not available yet, but once the computer system (?) is up, they intend on holding hearings in ? a couple of weeks? to process releases.
We have not been able to find out how many of the 6000 + OPP prisoners are accounted for. The NYTimes today reports that Sheriff Gusman claims the prisoners have all been moved outside the city. As of this morning, however, it seems the OPP computer system was still down, so it is hard to fathom how the Sheriff could credibly make such a claim. We have heard disturbing accounts of the evacuation of OPP. If you have any first or second person accounts, please send/forward here to my email firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com.
It seems Gretna in Jefferson Parish was evacuated as well, but we have no information on when or how it was evacuated. We found one individual at Angola, so if your person was at Gretna, you should probably call Angola or Hunts (see above).
We also know now that at least some of the people who were arrested during the general evacuation are now being held at Gretna (504) 374-7700 in Jefferson Parish. The media reports earlier in the week reported people arrested were being held in the Greyhound station. We don?t know whether this is still the case, and haven?t been able to get a phone number for families to call.
Youth in detention
All youths held in Bridge City Center for Youth (BCCY) are accounted for and are now held at Jetson Correctional Center. Call Jetson at (225) 778-9000 and ask for John Anderson, Michael Gaines, Ricky Wright, or Linda London. Family members should demand that their child be brought to the phone immediately and be allowed to talk to their family.
Youths held at the Youth Study Center, Plaquemine Detention Center, St. Bernard Center, Terrebonne Detention Center, and Riverde Detention Center have been routed to placements in other parts of the state. Family members should call Perla at (225) 287-7988 or (225) 328-3607 (cell) or Stacey at (225) 287-7955 to find out where their child is located. Ask Perla for a phone number, call, and demand that they be permitted to speak to their child immediately on the phone.
FFLIC has not confirmed that all youths have been accounted for.
We do not yet know where people age 16 or under who were arrested during the general evacuation are being held.
Families scattered around 9 states are desperately trying to find out where their kids and other family members are being locked up, where everyone is, what?s going on. If you have any additional info, please email to me or Xochitl.
We also need help getting out the information we do have to folks who need the info. If your city has a shelter, small or large, you can help by going in to post an informational flyer that at least gives people phone numbers to call. If you are able to do so, please email me for a copy of the most updated flyer.
Southern Center for Human Rights
83 Poplar Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 688-1202 ext. 225
(404) 688-9440 (fax)
(213) 595-5127 (cell
There are many ways to help. Here are a few:
1) Please help support the rebuilding of our Southern Regional office and organizing in New Orleans through our website at
You can also write a check made out to "Critical Resistance/Justice Now", and mail it to 1904 Franklin Street, Suite 504, Oakland, CA 94612. Please write "New Orleans" in the memo.
2) Critical Resistance members across the country are working on a coordinated response. If you want to get involved in a chapter near you -- there are 11 in the United States -- please visit http://www.criticalresistance.org/index.php?name=chapters to get in touch.
3) Do you have computers, printers, a copier, file cabinets, or other office supplies? Please call us at 510-444-0484, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about getting those to us. We also need frequent flier miles for our work.
4) Organize a house party to raise funds to help rebuild our Southern office and fuel our organizing in New Orleans. You can also call us at 510-444-0484 or email email@example.com for materials and ideas.
Thank you so much for your support. As always, please email or call us with any questions you may have. We hope you and your loved ones are safe.
In struggle and hope,
Tamika Middleton, Kai Barrow, Pilar Maschi, Rose Braz, and Sitara Nieves,
Critical Resistance staff
MEMBERSHIP IS POWER
Become a dues-paying member of Critical Resistance! Every donation - big and small - is vital to sustaining CR's fight to end the prison industrial complex. Go to http://www.criticalresistance.org/index.php?name=Support-CR, or mail checks to Critical Resistance, 1904 Franklin Street, Suite 504, Oakland, CA 94612. Thank you for your contributions to this struggle.
Sitara Nieves, Organizer
1904 Franklin Street, Suite 504
Oakland, CA 94612
The "Looting" in New Orleans: Not Insane in the Least
Some comments on recent events in New Orleans from an anarchist perspective. Despite the comment from the Philadelphia tourist, I can't find this insane.
Drowning the black folks under the waters
"I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family, it says they're looting. See a white family, it says they're looking for food." Kanye West : NBC Concert for Hurricane Relief
Of Disasters, Natural and Otherwise
But one thing you said back then finally makes sense to me, in a way it never did before. In the battle to save the people of New Orleans, you are either with us, or against us. And it is crystal clear what side you're on.
Community Forum on Law Enforcement Violence
This breakfast forum will include a spiritual dedication, culture presentation, film screening of “Sooner or Later, Somebody’s Gonna Fight Back*,” and panel discussion with family members of victims and survivors of law enforcement violence, law experts, and community organizers. Panel participants include: Jerry Thomas, father of Jenard Thomas; Malcolm Suber, veteran revolutionary fighter against police terror; and Ernest Jones, civil rights & criminal defense attorney.