Archive | November, 2014

Poverty Truth Commission Issues First Rulings “From the Bench” and Hand-Delivers Initial Recommendations to Bayou La Batre City Hall and Its Property Management at “Safe Harbor”

12 Nov

A complete report is coming soon on two days of testimony Nov. 7 & 8  — including the Truth Commission harvesting crabs with  Alabama Multi-Cultural Fisher and Seafood Worker-Owned Coop founding member Siriporn  Hall in the Gulf of Mexico’s Mississippi Sound.  Ms. Hall, who is pictured below, told the Truth Commission during the Nov. 7 crabbing trip on her boat: ; ‘Before the BP oil I could catch 1500 lbs. of crabs a day, now I get only 150 lbs. every two days, barely enough to make a living’ (video interview and photos will be published soon).

 

siriporn%20hall

The above photo of Siriporn Hall and the crab traps she makes, was taken by Solar City just prior to the ribbon cutting event celebrating the solar panel they and the Musk foundation donated to the Coden Coastal Response Center, December 2010. The donation was made, by recommendation of a member of  President Obama’s administration, in recognition of the advocacy of fishers like Ms. Hall and her allies who fought  — and still struggle — for just BP recovery and just Katrina recovery policies.  http://science.time.com/2010/12/27/oil-spill-providing-clean-energy-for-the-victims-of-deepwater-horizon/

The same compelling photograph of Siriporn Hall was featured a few weeks later in a post regarding an interview with Ms. Hall and other founding Alabama Multi-Cultural Fisher and Seafood Worker-Owned Coop members in the San Francisco Pacifica Radio program Apex Express, “a radio show by and about Asian and Pacific Islander communities.” The fishers describe the pay they receive for their catch as “slave wages” and that their coop will end this oppression: “Listen: Alabama fishermen featured on radio show”  http://bridgethegulfproject.org/blog/2012/listen-alabama-fishermen-featured-radio-show

Poverty Truth Commission to be Held in Bayou La Batre Nov. 7 & 8

5 Nov

jpeg photo of Ernie Seaman and Barbara Robbins protesting hate graffitti on truck that transports seafood for Al  Fisheries Coop

the prayer protes

Above Photo

5th Generation Fisher Ernie Seaman from Bayou La Batre, disabled and one of hundreds forced out of “Safe Harbor”, now homeless, and Seafood Worker Barbara Robbins also from Bayou La Batre, shown here protesting hate graffiti scrawled on Alabama Multi-Cultural Fishers coop’s truck before the Safe Harbor Rally May 22, 2014. Their sign also thanks Saving OurSelves and Alabama NAACP for their support. Link to complete: Poster for Nov. 8 Truth Commission nov. 6 version pdf Excerpts from Poverty Truth Commission Poster ———————————————– POVERTY TRUTH COMMISSION TO BEGIN AT BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala. NOV. 8TH, 2014 Hearing: 9: 00a.m. – 10:30 am. Greater New Hope Baptist Church, 8420 E. Alba Street, Bayou La Batre Press Conferences: at Bayou La Batre City Hall 11:00 am.; Property Management’s Office at Safe Harbor Park 11:30 am. Social Justice Seafood Bash at Greater New Hope Baptist Church 12 Noon – 1:30 pm. Truth Commission to Investigate Denial of Human Rights for thousands of people on Alabama’s Gulf Coast who are faced with a myriad of sickening unjust governmental policies that have followed in the wakes of Hurricane Katrina and BP oil and toxic dispersant; compounded by the Governor’s refusal to expand Medicaid – “Evidence demonstrated that, on the average, three people die every two days in Alabama because of the failure to extend Medicaid” (SavingOurSelves)

Solidarity-with-SafeHarbor-residents

First photo: Francis Golden of New York’s Cooper Square Community Land Trust, hoisted by fellow residents, called Safe Harbor residents in Alabama to show solidarity. Second photo: Safe Harbor children demonstrate at Bayou La Batre City Council meeting July 2013 after rents shot to 300% in two years. Landon, age 4, pictured in front row, said: “Please don’t make me leave my pretty blue house.” The little girl pictured next to Landon was evicted the next day. Landon was forced to leave April 30.

Witnesses Include: Barbara Robbins, forced out of Safe Harbor after she became disabled. ” “We [in Snows Quarter, the African American community of Bayou La Batre] feel Safe Harbor folks’ pain directly. Out of some 100 homes, only four of us received meaningful assistance. Since Katrina many of our homes flood after a hard rain and we can’t even flush the toilet. My living room floor is rotting. I am afraid my 90 year old mother will fall through any day….Last year we voted in a new mayor, but still we have found no justice, in Snows Quarter or Safe Harbor. But together we will find it!” SOS Rallies in Support of Displaced Bayou La Batre Mothers at Safe Harbor Truth Commissioners include: Frank Barragan, Organizer Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice; Rev. Jennifer Bailey, AME, Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow, Social Justice Advocate and Storyteller, Nashville, TN.; Willie Baptist, Poverty Initiative Scholar-in-Residence, and Coordinator of the Poverty Scholars Program, Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary; Honorable Johnny Ford, Mayor of the City of Tuskegee, Alabama; Karenna Gore, Director of the Union Forum, Union Theological Seminary, NYC, and represented her father campaigning on the Gulf Coast in the 2000 Presidential campaign; Barbara Howard, Saving Oursleves: Movement for Justice and Democracy, President NAACP Chapter Tuskegee-Macon County, Alabama; Ashley Hufnagel, artist and organizer, Oak Hill Center for Education & Culture, Baltimore, MD.; Joe Keffer, Federation of Child Care Centers of AL and working with AL AFL-CI0; Luis Larin, Organizer, United Workers, Baltimore, MD.; Rebecca Marion, Administrative Board Member for Alabama Education Association, member Alabama NAACP and AL Democratic Conference; Attorney Faya Rose Touré Sanders, civil rights and education activist, songwriter, playwright; Benard Simelton, President, Alabama NAACP John Wessel-McCoy, Poor People’s Campaign Program Organizer, Kairos Center, NYC; Charon Hribar, Poor People’s Campaign Program Coordinator, Kairos Center, NYC; Jose Vasquez, Iraq Veterans Against the War, NYC; and Alecha Irby, Saving Ours Selves, student at Alabama State University, recently arrested for trying to hold 24 hr vigil at Alabama’s Capitol praying for Medicaid Expansion as a member of “Faithful Seven Arrested at Alabama Capitol Found NOT GUILTY”, (Saving OurSelves Oct. 6, 2014) Evidence includes:August 18, 2014 letter to Bayou La Batre Mayor signed by AL State Senator Hank Sanders on behalf a 40-member Alabama coalition (IGNORED):SOS asks… Mayor, Bret Dungan, to … keep the promise made by the city, federal and state governments of affordable housing at Safe Harbor for Katrina Survivors.alafishcoop.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/105/April 23, 2014 Letter to Bayou La Batre Mayor from Benard Simelton, President of Alabama NAACP and AL Multi-Cultural Fishers (IGNORED!): [CPA] Danforth’s 2012 report showed “rents” could be cut in half if such excessive spending is brought under control. (alafishcoop.wordpress.com) As Katrina’s 10th Anniversary Approaches Unjust “Recovery” Policies Continue Across the Gulf Coast: “…nearly a 100,000 people never got back to New Orleans, the city remains incredibly poor…” (Bill Quigley, Huffington Post, Aug. 27, 2013) Aapproximately 1,000,000 residents of the Gulf Region were physically displaced during the events of Hurricane Katrina…the largest population of internally displaced people in the modern history of the United States [emphasis added]…substandard flood walls and levees that were breached… resulted in the drowning deaths of people in the Gulf Region, flooding 80% of the city of New Orleans….The hurricane-damaged communities in Alabama are the most overlooked areas by the U.S. Government...Coden has never seen so many people pass away in such a short time….trying to survive in the FEMA campers, and hoping to see  their homes rebuilt. My mother Hilda Nelson died after living in a FEMA camper over a year and hoping for assistance to rebuild the family that never came…’ Paul Nelson.” (Submission to the United Nations..Human Rights Council 22 November – 3 December 2010 THE HUMAN RIGHTS CRISIS IN THE AFTERMATH OF HURRICANE KATRINA by: Advocates for Environmental Human Rights et al..).

Paul Nelson's shop and home

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The Nelson’s home ravaged by Katrina, still barren in 2014, and where: “Hilda Nelson died one year and one month after moving into her FEMA tailer…’I point the finger at the formaldehyde’.Paul Nelson”. Cited from stunning expose: (Dying for a Home: Toxic Trailers Are Making Katrina Refugees Ill FEMA-supplied trailers for displaced Gulf Coast residents have been found to emit formaldehyde vapors, causing serious health problems, The Nation, Feb. 14, 2007) For More Information, or HOW YOU CAN TESTIFY call: Benard Simelton, President Alabama NAACP 256/426-6406; Zack Carter, Organizer, Alabama Multi-Cultural Fisher and Seafood Worker-Owned Coop, 334/224-3983 John Wessel-McCoy, Poverty Initiative, 404/431-3590

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