Sunday, November 24, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Warmest spiritual greetings, Arrived in New Orleans Wednesday paststaying now at my friend Bork's 1/2 block from the Common Ground Health Clinic, which she helped get established following the hurricane eight years ago. 

 The rest of the anarchists left awhile ago, yet she remains in the historic Algiers neighborhood, (where the slaves from Africa were brought to prepare them for servitude).

 We are four blocks from Gretna, Louisiana, where a statue of the founder of the Ku Klux Klan stands in front of the courthouse.  

And yet, a free ferry boat ride across the Mississippi River drops one off in the French Quarter; preparation for Mardi Gras has begun, and the big floats are being constructed behind warehouse doors on this side of the river.

     Bork is fundraising to realize a community center in the old
Algiers neighborhood, a place where a sizable number of residents cannot read...although $250 dollars will get you a driver's license...a friend's friend sold one of her daughters recently to a man, and we are surrounded by five drug dealing houses.  

The basketball court nearby is named after the former 1850 plantation owner.  Walking the area is moderately surreal, as one passes an historic cemetery, and then a huge alligator figure waiting to be installed on a float, and nondescript streets with weathered houses from another era, reflecting the fact that historic Algiers has been inhabited since the 1790s, and then a contemporary coffee house selling California brand kombucha beverages, in addition to the cajun-creole breakfasts, and everywhere there are churches, many of the southern revivalist type.  These are jumpin' on
Saturday night.

     Considering that this all sits on a swamp, and was impaired by
Hurricane Katrina, there is nevertheless no visible interest in any
environmental activism related to global climate destabilization.
Any mention of the environment on my part has produced a
conversation about fishing.  What everybody here is really all
about is southern cooking and cheering on the Saints football team.

 Fleur de Lis tattoos are common. Everywhere I go people are
discussing holiday recipes.  The fact that areas hereabout have the
look of being forgotten by time, does not overly concern the
majority of residents, except the more politically experienced, who
are committed to a community center now that the medical center is

For many activists, none of this is remotely adequate, and they say that the place that was established to "break slaves" needs a radical social overhaul.

     Happy Thanksgiving feasting to the rest of postmodern America!

Craig Louis Stehr
c/o Jamie Loughner
333 Socrates Street
New Orleans, LA 70114
Telephone: (504)302-9951

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