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Food Not Bombs Opens Community Center in the 9th Ward, New Orleans
by matewan Sunday, Sep. 18, 2005 at 12:18 PM

Food Not Bombs opens community center and kitchen in the 9th Ward neighborhood, New Orleans

Over the past three days Food Not Bombs collectives from Arizona and Connecticut have moved from their base in Covington, LA where we were running supplies into hard-hit areas of Louisiana and Mississippi into the 9th Ward neighborhood of downtown New Orleans. We are working with local folks from the Common Ground Collective here and in Algiers along with other neighborhood activists to provide aid to those in the city who have resisted evacuation and those who are returning to shattered neighborhoods and communities.

Over the coming days parts of NOLA are due to open. Although FEMA crews have been working 24-7 in uptown and parts of the French Quarter to restore electricity and potable water, we are being told in the Ward that these services may not be back on board for months. While parts of the Ward are devastated and unliveable (like many of the traditionally impoverished neighborhoods of the city), there are many other sections that can be recovered. However, the city is threatening to condemn the entire region, opening it to profit-driven development and reconstruction. New Orleans is experiencing a land-grab on a massive scale. Upwards of $200 billion may be spent on reconstruction - as much as the reconstruction effort thus far in Iraq - and fortunes are being made. It is people of color and working-class residents who have suffered the worst in the Katrina tragedy, and will continue to pay the costs of redevelopment in lives permanently shattered and communities displaced.

Food Not Bombs is working to support the people of New Orleans in their struggle to save their city. Since Friday Food Not Bombs has been cooking two community meals a day and running supplies and hot-meals to evacuation resistors in the neighborhoods. The Desire House at 714 Desire St. is host to a full-time kitchen, wellness center, information hub and supply distribution. We are hoping to connect with members of the Plan B Bicycle Coop in the coming days to begin a community bike-shop and distro. In addition to our work in the city, we are supporting relief efforts in Waveland, Mississippi and the Houma Nation in Louisiana. We are in urgent need of volunteers and supplies. The city is still heavily militarized, but if you have a good map and some kind of paperwork (any kind of paperwork) you should be able to get through and around all of the checkpoints and roadblocks. It may be advisable to go through Algiers first - they will be allowing residents back in starting on Monday and it is much easier to navigate.

Money can be donated to the Katrina relief effort through the Food Not Bombs paypal account at

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