Thursday, September 01, 2005

just say N.O.

An armed policeman guards a truck loaded with fuel from potential looters in New Orleans (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

Once again it’s NO...
Prez pushes and praises ‘poacher poppin’ but what about those that ‘found’ the goodies?

As the sci-fi scenario escalates so do the speculations on what will happen to the city and it’s people…
Outside of the obvious hip-hop-related superficial thoughts (How will the various N.O. based groups respond? Will there be another classic Lil’ Weezy lament?) I was glad to receive messages from two good dudes from my generation of hip-hop with very distinct “calls for help.”

The first was from my old friend, David Goldberg, from the Bay Area…
And the second was from Billy “Upski” Wimsatt of the League of Pissed Off Voters…

Dave sent:


you are hereby invited to participate in a grassrootsdigital, dirtyfast, hip-hop gutbucket distributed project in afrofuturist JES' GREW.

new orleans has been abandoned.

the coastline is destroyed.

hundreds of thousands are now refugees, and if we measure Reality in terms of the images presented to us on the news, most of them are Black. even if we don't, most of them are Black.

what will they return to?

let us imagine the possibilities.

"... elevated for sure... but would it be naked pre-cast concrete? or would it be decorated? what would the interiors be like? would the structures be solar powered? would they have some of those new condensers that can produce drinkable water from the surrounding air? would there be individual units? village formations? would they have hydroponics facilities?" -- David Goldberg (08/31/05)

"...a Baptism of the City? A Yemeyah/Oshun reclamation ritual? Egyptian celestial boats? Shoplifting barges? A pattern/shape made up of floating hurricane
lamps?" -- Charles H. Nelson (08/31/05)

"...being constructed of a much more angry/violent cityscape that will be an amalgam of some well intended 'artful' ideas and straight nigger-rigging of existing stuff that people are unwilling to rid themselves of for emotional reasons..." -- Amanda Williams (08/31/05)

this is just the beginning.

take some time to imagine an alternate future for the gulf coast's cities. make use of but do not let your self be limited by propaganda, materials science, architecture, sociology or history.

please digitize and send your thoughts, fleeting, fragmented or fully-developed, be they words (rants, shards of fiction, poems, rhymes, manifestoes, dreams, prayers,) back-of-the-envelope architectural sketches, inspired CAD renderings, photoshop hacks, paintings, images of maquettes, etc. to

the goal is for them to be collected on a website and hopefully printed in a portable booklet that will find its way into the flow of materials on its way into the hands of gulf coast refugees.

Work fast, as every CLOSURE is an OPENING for only so long.

thank you for your attention.

And Billy sent:

Shana is safe.
The League family sends thanks to all who have inquired…
For those who don’t know, Shana Sassoon is a waitress in New Orleans who created our first League voter guide back in 2003. She is also the President of our Board. We were in the middle of planning our upcoming Board meeting when… yeah.
Shana was lucky enough to escape. She has spent the past five days at her mom’s in Houston, with a house full of New Orleans refugees.
We love Shana. We want to stand with her and her neighbors and community during this most devastating time.
When I spoke with Shana a few days ago, she and her friends were yelling at the TV, enraged to hear their neighbors who are trying to survive labeled as ‘looters’ on CNN, watching their beloved homes and neighborhoods drown…
Emergency relief is critical right now. AND it is not enough. We need to support advocacy and organizing around the crisis as well.
As in all other crises, aid agencies are going to mismanage funds, politicians are going to cut deals, poor people are going to keep getting screwed. And George Bush is going to use New Orleans as a photo op… for what? His new campaign against global warming?
We need a team of media, organizing and advocacy-savvy Nawleans refugees who are ready to write op-eds, fight, advocate, support their displaced neighbors during this crisis, and work for New Orleans to be restored in a way that includes the input of ordinary people!
There is no better group to do this than the grassroots organizers of New Orleans.
If you’d like to donate, please click here:
Thank you for standing with Shana!
With prayers from Billy and the entire League family

Or send a check to:

Memo Line: Shana’s New Orleans Advocacy Fund
c/o League of Independent Voters
226 W. 135th St. 4th Fl
New York, NY 10030
Contributions to the League of Independent Voters are NOT tax deductible.

Memo line: Shana’s New Orleans Relief Fund
c/o League of Young Voter Education Fund
226 W. 135th St. 4th Fl
New York, NY 10030
Contributions to the League of Young Voters Education Fund ARE tax-deductible.