N'COBRA DEMANDS IMMEDIATE COMPREHENSIVE RELIEF AND REPARATIONS FOR THE VICTIMS OF HURRICANE KATRINA
THE NATIONAL COALITION OF BLACKS FOR REPARATIONS IN AMERICA (N'COBRA)
DEMANDS IMMEDIATE COMPREHENSIVE RELIEF AND REPARATIONS FOR THE VICTIMS OF HURRICANE KATRINA DUE TO THE CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT RESPONSE OF THE UNITED STATES
FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS' AGENTS AND AGENCIES
The recent failed federal and local government response leading up to, during, and following hurricane Katrina, along with both the intended and unintended consequences of that failure, is a continuation and deepening of the continuing injury of the vestiges of chattel slavery, and should be defined as genocidal crimes against humanity and acts of criminal negligence. The enormity of the individual and family crises that the survivors will endure due to the loss of loved ones, income, and/or wealth is unfathomable and the resulting pain and injurious effects will persist many generations into the future. Undoubtedly, immediate and long term support and direction will be required from various private and public sources to repair and restore
the victims of the Katrina disaster. .
Most, if not all, of the aforementioned injuries were foreseeable and preventable by the United States government. Yet, the federal government chose deliberately not to act, refused to allow others to act, and criminalized those who acted in order to save their lives and those of their family members. The federal government had six years to prepare for this scenario. However, their agenda then, and today, is to disregard deliberately the welfare of poor people and people of color. Their agenda was (and is) to disregard deliberately the welfare of poor people and people of color in the affected regions. The government1s refusal to respond appropriately when sufficient time existed to mitigate the threat of a category 5 hurricane that threatened to submerge New Orleans is itself a flagrant example of the government's criminal negligence.
The record of stand down orders that prevented distribution of food and water and caused death and suffering for undetermined numbers; the repeated refusal of massive assistance from some foreign governments that would have saved lives; the relocation of survivors to far flung places without support instead of to north Louisiana where there was support; the presence in the affected areas of the army, national guard, government-sponsored profiteers and mercenaries who are not providing any relief - all are compelling evidence of this criminal government's plan to take away forever from Black people what they had, including their cultural heritage and their connectedness to themselves and their families. This is another deliberate criminal white supremacist act of reconstruction in the modern era. It is the classic example of a "vestige of chattel slavery." This contemporary pattern of government overt acts and failures to act form an unbroken chain of containment, control, and destruction of African people since the time of our kidnap from Africa to the present.
Accordingly, N'COBRA urges African descendants to make the following immediate demands of the United States Government and all relevant state governments, including but not limited to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas:
1. Acknowledge and honor the right of return to the homes and communities of all dislocated persons. Land and property ownership should be restored to African descendants and all of New Orleans citizens.
2. Ensure that federal and state governments immediately provide comprehensive remedial services to the victims of Katrina and the subsequent failed government response to fully restore their lives and their life chances at a capacity meaningfully greater than the conditions that had prevailed prior to Katrina.
3. Provide meaningful resources and implement comprehensive procedures to reunite families separated by the Katrina disaster.
4. Permit the immediate provision of assistance from all foreign governments that offer it.
5. Ensure the restoration of all and creation of more livable and affordable public housing stock to meet the needs of all affected by the Katrina disaster.
6. Ensure that all persons affected by the Katrina disaster are able to restart their education at the same level they had prior to this tragedy.
7. Ensure the participation of local community people in the planning and rebuilding of all areas destroyed by Katrina and the government's failed response, in a manner that protects and restores the cultural integrity of its Black residents, and other peoples of color. The awarding of Katrina related no-bid and bid federal and state contracts should be frozen until local community organizations, leaders and activists, clergy, and labor unions are able to come together to exercise a decisive role in the allocation of government rebuilding funds, including a comprehensive, meaningful, and effective affirmative action outcome that assures full participation of the survivors.
8. Pay the prevailing wage to all workers and rescind the waiver of the Davis-Bacon Amendment.
9. Waive indefinitely the new federal bankruptcy laws for victims of the Katrina disaster such that the victims are not twice victimized.
10 Initiate a massive public works job-training program for all who request and need it. 11. Release immediately from custody all persons held on non-violent charges as well as those held on a non-violent conviction so that they can locate and reconnect with and rebuild their lives and those of their family members.
12. Release immediately and expunge from the record all those charged with "looting."
13. Permit human rights observers, independent of the United Nations, the military, federal, state or local law enforcement agencies into New Orleans, Mississippi, and all areas of the coast affected by Katrina, to monitor the behavior of the police, military, and mercenaries.
14. End now the hostile military occupation of New Orleans, Mississippi and all areas of the Gulf States affected by Katrina. As soon as possible, return control to city and state law enforcement agencies, and other essential government agencies once they are able to resume services for and protection of its citizens
15. Establish a special federal prosecutor and federal independent commission of inquiry into the Katrina disaster. Leading African-American human rights organizations and locally affected community human rights leaders shall playa meaningful role in assigning the members of this comm ission as well as the independent prosecutor. The role of the commission shall be to identify the causes of the poor handling of the aftermath of the disaster, ensure that it or anything like it is prevented in the future, ensure full restitution to the survivors and the families of the victims, and to recommend prosecution of the wrong doers to the fullest extent of the law.
The aforementioned demands are based on the sound principles of restitution and reparations. N'COBRA calls on all freedom-loving people to join together to build a powerful and national mass-based constituency and movement that works relentlessly to make absolutely certain that these immediate demands are met now and that these prevailing racist genocidal conditions never recur.
N'COBRA, a national coalition of individual and organizational members throughout the U.S. and the African Diaspora, was formed in 1987 to win reparations for Black people of African descent living in the U.S. who currently endure the horrific present-day effects of the holocaust of enslavement and the systemic racism! white supremacy created by chattel slavery. The specific overt acts and acts of omission by federal, state and local governments; and corporations effectively perpetuate conditions known today as "vestiges of chattel slavery. II Reparations are due to these African descendents now whether or not they can prove ancestry to ancestors held as slaves in what is or what became the United States.
"Reparations For African" Iistserv is operated by the Information & Media Commission of the National Coalition Of Blacks for Reparations in America (N'COBRA). For more information on N'COBRA visit: www.NCOBRA.org.
We encourage public discussions, led by the injured, to determine an equitable remedy for the African Holocaust of Enslavement. All African descendents have a right and responsibility to work towards defining and achieving Reparations. The opinions and actions reported on Reparations For Africans are those of the person(s) representing them and in no way should be viewed as NtCOBRA's unless clearly stated.