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An Appeal for the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita International Tribunal

by : Cynthia McKinney
Saturday August 25, 2007 - 00:08

By Cynthia McKinney

Thanks David, for flying your Impeachment banner over the Pelosi visit to New Orleans. This is exactly the kind of action we need. In fact, please convince as many anti-war and pro-impeachment organizations to endorse the Tribunal. I feel for the people of the Gulf States. New Orleans (NOLA) is a police state. It is horrible. Please come to NOLA if you can on the August 29 thru Sept 2 or any one day. This is truly an issue that can unite us all because it’s just horrific. And I don’t know if you saw it during the flyover, but right downtown Donald Trump has bought a building to offer $2 million condos for sale. They surely won’t go to the survivors. Recently, a news story reported that the Gulf Enterprise Zone was being used by developers to build million dollar condos in Tuscaloosa for University of Alabama football fans! The City of New Orleans has bought palm trees to beautify downtown—they’re installing them now—and you can’t even breathe the air down there with the assurance that it’s safe. It’s a veritable police state which I’ve seen with my own eyes and dozens of darn military tanks are parked at the New Orleans Police Department headquarters!!!!!!! NOLA is becoming what they want the rest of our country to be. Thanks for doing what you do!

Yesterday, according to the New Orleans Times Picayune, Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats toured New Orleans, including the Lower Ninth Ward. They "signaled that the federal largesse would have limits." One Louisiana Democratic Representative indicated that they were "here to differentiate the needs from the wants."

However, the Democratic Congress has failed to differentiate Bush Administration needs from its wants and has granted the Administration legalized spying on the American people; funding for the surge and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and maneuvering room to do all this and more by taking impeachment "off the table."

Katrina survivors, through their People’s Hurricane Relief Fund, are no longer willing to wait for justice; they have formed the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita International Tribunal to hold all levels of the government accountable for massive failures. I have joined their call for justice and have agreed to serve as a Convener of the Tribunal. The Tribunal takes place in New Orleans from August 29, 2007 to September 2, 2007. If you can make it, please come. If you are a member of an organization, please have your organization endorse the Tribunal at http://internationaltribunal.org/re...

As you can imagine, this is a huge undertaking with significant implications for an unresponsive government. Perhaps it will be the Katrina and Rita survivors who will finally put brakes on a government that is out of control in its utter disregard of the American people.

I remember that it was one brave judge in Spain who agreed to hold Pinochet responsible for crimes committed against the Chilean people. The world’s generosity toward Katrina and Rita survivors was shunned even as today’s needs go unfilled and underfunded. It is to that same international community that survivors now turn. I believe their cries for justice will be heard.

However, please know that efforts to subvert or dilute this effort will surely be made because of the tremendous implications of this action. I do not want the Tribunal to be COINTELPRO’d. Therefore, I am asking that you make a tax-deductible donation to the Tribunal to keep it a true, uncompromised voice of the people.

With your important support, we will see a new generation of authentic leadership rise from the cries of the people for justice—not only in the Gulf States, but all across our country.

Give generously to the Tribunal at: https://www.vanguardsf.org/index.ph...

Please be sure to scroll down on the PURPOSE pulldown menu to designate People’s Hurricane Relief Fund as the recipient of your donation.

Checks can be mailed to
People’s Hurricane Relief Fund
c/o Vanguard Public Foundation
383 Rhode Island Street, #301
San Francisco, CA 94103

*please earmark checks - "International Tribunal"

Here’s a letter from the Executive Director of the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund explaining all the background information you might want. For more information, please feel free to contact me at this e-mail address or call the absolutely brilliant Leon Waters in New Orleans at (504) 301-0215. Please give what you can at https://www.vanguardsf.org/index.ph....

Here’s the letter:

The People’s Hurricane Relief Fund and Oversight Coalition (PHRF/OC) is a national coalition of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Survivors and their supporters (see www.peopleshurricane.org for more details). PHRF/OC is working to ensure that the people most affected by the Hurricanes – poor Black communities who were marginalized and disenfranchised long before the storms – have a voice in the reconstruction process, and that those responsible for the needless destruction of their homes, communities and lives are held accountable for the actions.

PHRF/OC is seeking your financial support for a critical human rights initiative to hold the US government, on all levels, accountable for the policies and decisions that resulted in the death of over 2,000 people in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and the displacement of over 1 million in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. This initiative is the International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita which will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana August 29th – September 2nd, 2007 (see www.internationaltribunal.org for more details).

The goals of the International Tribunal are as follows:

1. Hold the US government accountable for its crimes against humanity;
2. Demand financial restitution and justice for the Survivors of Katrina and Rita; Advance the Katrina reconstruction movement;
3. Build a national and international campaign against the US government’s program of displacement and ethnic cleansing;
4. Demand that the US government adhere to UN guidelines on Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).

These goals are the long-term vision we desire from the Tribunal. We seek to permanently and positively change the systems, policies, and structures that failed the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast who were victims of the government’s systematic neglect and depraved indifference.

The International Tribunal is an initiative of PHRF/OC, Mississippi Disaster Relief Coalition (MDRC), and the US Human Rights Network (USHRN). The International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita is a programmatic outgrowth of the demand for justice and restitution called for by the more than two hundred Survivors gathered at the first Survivors Assembly held December 8th – 9th, 2005 in Jackson, Mississippi. The Survivors consisted of those living in the impacted Gulf Coast areas and from more than 15 cities throughout the country where Survivors have been dispersed.

To advance and promote the ongoing work of the International Tribunal, we are seeking your generous financial contribution. We are seeking to raise $300,000 to support the ongoing work of the Tribunal, including providing support for adequate staffing and legal counsel, national and international networking and campaigning, and domestic and international legal action. Anything you can contribute to help us attain this goal will be invaluable in helping us accomplish our mission.

To make a contribution to this initiative please make your checks out to: People’s Hurricane Relief Fund (PHRF). Please earmark your checks "International Tribunal". Mail your checks to: Vanguard Public Foundation 383 Rhode Island Street, Suite 301 San Francisco, CA 94103. All contributions are tax deductible.

Respectfully,

Kali Akuno
Executive Director, People’s Hurricane Relief Fund
Monday, August 13th, 2007

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/n...



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