Annual Fundraising Appeal

The US Geological Survey recorded a minor earthquake this morning with its epicenter near Wasilla, Alaska, the probable result of Sarah Palin opening her mail box to find the latest issue of CounterPunch magazine we sent her. A few moments later she Instagrammed this startling comment…

Ayers

The lunatic Right certainly has plenty of problems. We’ve made it our business to not only expose these absurdities, but to challenge them directly. With another election cycle gaining steam, more rhetoric and vitriol will be directed at progressive issues. More hatred will be spewed at minorities, women, gays and the poor. There will be calls for more fracking and war. We won’t back down like the Democrats. We’ll continue to publish fact-based critiques and investigative reports on the shenanigans and evil of the Radical Right. Our future is in your hands. Please donate.

Day11

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
cp-store

or use
pp1

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

Resisting High-Rise "Renewal" in Holy Cross

Still Fighting for Home in New Orleans

by DANIEL WOLFF

Stalking the storyline of my book on New Orleans’ recovery, “The Fight for Home,” was what you might call the fight against home. Even as the people I profiled — Carolyn Parker, Pastor Mel Jones, and many others — struggled to get back into their neighborhoods, there was a growing sense that, as a number of people put it, “They don’t want us back.”

The “they” in this case seemed to be government; the “us” was low-income residents of color; and the reason was simple: there was money to be made from re-configuring New Orleans as a “boutique city” with a “new economy.” From the mayor’s original redevelopment plan — which designated “inner city” neighborhoods as not worth recovering — to the continuing focus on gentrifying the riverfront “crescent,” official New Orleans has used the Katrina disaster as an opportunity for 21st century urban renewal.

You can see it in the Lower Ninth Ward area known as Backatown, where the city made it almost impossible for former residents to rebuild on their properties (many of which are now occupied by post-modern Brad Pitt houses). You can see it in the attempt to pass laws to keep Mardi Gras Indians off the streets of Treme because more recent, more up-scale residents complain that this centuries-old African-American tradition is too noisy.
the-fight-for-home

You can see it in the political battle over what class of business should be allowed to return to Pastor Mel’s Gentilly neighborhood. You can see it in the closing of public schools and the dismissal of long time teachers – many of whom are black – in favor of charter schools with imported Teach for America staffs. Maybe the easiest way to see it is simply to take a drive through New Orleans today and note which neighborhoods seem to have recovered and which haven’t, who lives where, and who doesn’t.

In the case of Carolyn Parker’s Holy Cross neighborhood, you can see it in the current battle over development. This part of the Lower Ninth used to be “anchored” by the private Holy Cross School. The school abandoned its property post-Katrina, even as Carolyn and her neighbors were fighting to get back home. Now, a developer has decided the best plan for the thirteen acres is a massive high-rise and high-price condo project. As one commentator put it, “The Holy Cross plan, promoted by the politically well-connected Perez Architecture firm, calls for 284 residential units, plus commercial uses, 500 parking places and the loss of a stand of live oaks. This is nearly quadruple the current density of an historic neighborhood noted for its small-town feel!”

It’s anchors like this that drown neighborhoods. They price people out of their houses and celebrate a new economy where only the new New Orleans is welcome. That’s why, almost nine years after the floods, people are still fighting as hard as ever. And could still use your support.

Here’s a video showing some Holy Cross neighbors who oppose the condo project — and how the developers have resorted to fake petitions in trying to get their high-rise “renewal” passed.

Daniel Wolff’s “The Fight for Home: How (Parts of) New Orleans Came Back” is out in paperback this month.