Wednesday, October 05, 2005

New Orleans Analysis

This document is an analysis, in PDF format, of the history and context of the destruction of New Orleans, the ongoing campaign of resistance by Black-led, multi-racial progressive coalitions, as well as an outline of a possible path for the future. It is written by Eric Mann, a white man with more than four decades of participation in anti-racist social justice struggle. He is a leader in the Labor Community Strategy Center and the LA Bus Riders Union, an organization that I connected with in a brief and shallow way while living in Los Angeles. I heard him speak at a progressive conference and book fair that I attended, where his contribution was one of the few left and anti-racist highlites in the midst of unispiring liberal fare. As well, his analysis of the 2004 elections struck me as being very useful in its emphasis on leftists opposing the election of Bush while staking out independent political territory by tactically supporting Kerry while building their own organizations and presenting their own analysis.

It's a massive document -- 50 pages -- but well worth the read. The focus is a program for a "Third Reconstruction." The first Reconstruction was between 1865 and 1877, after the U.S. Civil War. The second was the product of the civil rights and Black Power movements of the '60s and '70s. We are still in the midst of the white racist backlash to the second, but New Orleans provides circumstances that might allow for a renewed movement that will once again advance progressive, anti-racist, and anti-imperialist goals in the United States and, by extension, the world.

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