2nd Katrina Survivors Assembly 8/25 -8/29/07 NOLA

“We Must Build a Strong, Independent Gulf Coast Self-Determination and Reconstruction Movement so the People Can Decide!”

In accord with the principle that “the People Must Decide”, the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund and Oversight Coalition (PHRF/OC) calls for the convening of the Second Survivors Assembly on Saturday, August 25th – Tuesday, August 28th, 2007 in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

The First Survivors Assembly was held in Jackson, Mississippi on December 8 – 9th, 2005, less than 4 months following the horrific disaster and during the most repressive and emotionally devastating period for Survivors since the trauma caused by Hurricane Katrina. The First Assembly provided a critical organizing vehicle for the Survivors and helped outline a program for the initiation of a Gulf Coast Self-Determination and Reconstruction Movement.

The First Assembly was attended by more than 250 Survivors and more than 300 allies from cities in over 10 states throughout the US. The First Assembly was followed by the “People Must Decide” march and rally on December 10th, 2005 in New Orleans where more than 5,000 people demanded justice, accountability and the right of return.

The program developed out of the First Assembly informed the basic direction of the work of the many social, political, religious and civic organizations, students and progressive legal and technical forces that have become involved in the broad social justice activities around Katrina and Rita recovery and reconstruction over the past 17 months.  

However, a major weakness following the First Assembly has been the failure to solidify a coordinating body to bring about greater cooperation and coordination of the common areas of work of the various groups and campaigns. The Second Assembly must ensure that such a coordinating body and its role are discussed and put in place as major components of the Reconstruction Movement. The Second Assembly is thus a continuation and further development of a process of self-determination and empowerment of a Black-led grassroots movement for Reconstruction beneficial to all oppressed, working and poor people in the impacted Gulf Coast Region. 

The Second Assembly is being held in conjunction with the 2nd Commemoration of Hurricane Katrina and the convening of the International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, where the US government will be tried for its various Katrina related human rights violations. This intersection of activities reflects the growing regional, national and international character and political scope of the Gulf Coast Self-Determination and Reconstruction Movement.

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