This issue of FE was finished on the first anniversary of Katrina. A year later, our friends in New Orleans still need our help. At the beginning of June, our comrade, regular contributor, friend, and Louisiana native John Clark wrote:
“It’s now exactly nine months since Hurricane Katrina. The past months have only reinforced the lessons that were learned in the first weeks after Katrina. The abject failure and utter irrationality of the dominant system of state and corporate power have only become more obvious with the passage of time. On the other hand, we have seen growing evidence of the extraordinary and inspiring achievements possible through mutual aid and solidarity.”
“As we enter the new hurricane season the situation in New Orleans remains very dismal. The social crisis continues. Most of the members of our community remain scattered around the country in exile, dreaming of return to their communities while their homes and neighborhood lie abandoned and rotting. As we watch the spectacle of hundreds of billions of dollars being squandered on wars of aggression, it is quite clear that the means to assure our exiled citizens the ability to return are abundantly available. Yet there has been no large-scale, official effort to enable them to come home. Instead, we find a policy of de facto ethnic cleansing in which the generally poor and black majority of New Orleanians remain stranded in distant cities with few resources at their disposal. At the same time, vast areas of our city remain ruined, depopulated, and deteriorating. The means have also been available for a major rebuilding program to save these neighborhoods, but no such program has been undertaken. Even the piecemeal approach that would help a certain segment of needy homeowners has been plagued by delay and under-funding.”
In such a scenario, the resilience of radicals and activists remains all the more awe-inspiring. One of the first libraries to open in post-Katrina New Orleans was the radical Aboveground Zine Library. Last October, the New Orleans Book Fair somehow cancelled its cancellation and continued on. Perhaps you should go this year.
The 5th Annual New Orleans Bookfair
A celebration of independent publishing featuring small presses, zinesters, book artists, anarchists, rabblerousers, weirdos, and more!
Saturday, October 28, 2006 at Barrister’s Gallery, 1724 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, New Orleans, LA
Confirmed Participants So Far: AK Press, Soft Skull Books, Civic Media Center, Counterpoise Magazine, Get Lost Travel Books – San Francisco, Green Anarchy, Iron Rail Book Collective, Garrett County Press, New Mouth From the Dirty South, Patron Saint Productions, Hot Iron Press, Aboveground Zine Library, Pelican Publishing, Neighborhood Story Project, CrimethInc, Fauborg Marigny Books, NOLA DIY, Black Rain Press, Icon Studios, West Edge Books and News, Multiple Streams of Stress, ACLU of Louisiana
Want to help out? Come to the weekly volunteer meetings: Every Thursday, 6:00 pm, at the Iron Rail, 511 Marigny Street Any questions email Kyle Bravo at nolabookfair–at–gmail–dot–com.