For Immediate Release
Michele Roberts: 504-450-8568
Gulf Coast Residents Join The DC Metroplitan Region of The Right To The City Alliance For A Rally at FEMA Headquarters
Three years later we must hold the government accountable and push for change in spending and disaster policy
WASHINGTON - On August 29, 2008, the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the DC
metropolitan regional members of the Right to the City (RTTC) Alliance
will hold a solidarity rally at the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) headquarters to commemorate the survivors of Katrina and to
decry the ongoing disaster of poor government policies that continue to
prolong the displacement of thousands of Gulf Coast residents. "We
should never forget August 29, 2005 and the atrocities that happened to
hundreds of thousands of Gulf Coast residents who like me are still
displaced," said Yasmin J. Gabriel, displaced New Orleans resident,
Howard University Law student and Founder of UpGrade America. Yasmin
and other displaced Gulf Coast residents will join the rally at FEMA.
Amidst the Democratic and Republican national conventions, Gulf Coast
residents, RTTC and solidarity groups are working to ensure that Gulf
Coast recovery is a priority for both political parties and the country
as a whole.
RTTC, an alliance of community organizations that seeks to build a
national urban movement for housing, education, health, racial justice
and democracy, understands that New Orleans is the front line in the
struggle against displacement and gentrification in the United States.
Although the New Orleans city budget has increased by more than 500%
since Katrina due to federal disaster response revenues, the city has
underfunded programs for education, recreation, and social services.
Spending has been concentrated on private development, policing, and
incarceration facilities. "The money we need to rebuild our homes and
communities is used to pay developers to take over our neighborhoods
and pay police to throw us in jail," said Yasmine J. Gabriel.
The rally at FEMA will also highlight necessary changes to the
government's disaster policy. Residents of New Orleans and the Gulf
Coast region, and all people affected by a disaster, have a legal right
to post-disaster recovery-a right that is not protected by current
federal law. "Without the legal right to recover after a disaster, the
people of New Orleans and the Gulf region are left to the whims of the
Bush administration that is intent on disaster-profiteering," said
Michele Roberts, Campaign and Policy Coordinator for Advocates for
Environmental Human Rights, a public interest law firm based in New
Orleans, Louisiana that has researched the short-comings of the federal
The rally at FEMA is one of dozens of commemoration activities taking
place nationwide, including RTTC actions occurring in New Orleans, Los
Angeles, New York City, Oakland, Providence Rhode Island, San
Francisco, and Miami.
The solidarity rally begins at 11:30 a.m. at FEMA Headquarters located at 500 C Street, SW, (L'Enfant Plaza Metro),
11:30 a.m. -- Picket/rally/chanting
11:50 a.m. -- Opening prayer
11:55 a.m. -- Speakers
12:10 p.m. -- Live bands, then speakers, chanting, alternating until
1:30 p.m. -- Rally ends
For more information about the rally at FEMA, please call Michele Roberts at (504) 450-8568.
Advocates for Environmental and Human Rights is a human rights law firm dedicated to transforming legal systems that make communities vulnerable to disasters and displacement.