Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Learning from the 1906 SF Earthquake/Fire - Grassroots People's Forum in Chinatown 4/17

This week as the San Francisco City elites hold posh wine and cheese receptions and parties commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Great 1906 SF Earthquake and Fire, grassroots community groups and activists will be dialoguing in Chinatown on the eve of the anniversary at the historic Commodore Stockton School [now Gordon J. Lau Elementary School] on lessons from the great earthquake and more recent disasters like Hurricane Katrina. Organizer Nicole Derse and others have put together the forum to draw lessons from these tradgedies for our movements to build stronger alliances and solidarity in times of crisis in the future.
On Tuesday 4/18 at 4:30am I will be joining city officials and others at a memorial gathering at Market and Kearny Streets, the epicenter of the 1906 disaster. But on Monday eve, please join grassroots organizations like the SF People's Organization and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement for the PEOPLE's FORUM:

Ruin, Rubble And Race
The San Francisco Earthquake and Post–Katrina America, 1906 to 2006, One Hundred Years Later

Join a diverse group of community-based organizations and activists for a “People’s Forum” to commemorate and critically reappraise what happened 100 years ago, and what must change today to save lives and prevent displacement of vulnerable, working people from the city’s landscape.
Monday, April 17th from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Gordon J. Lau Elementary School950 Clay Street (between Stockton & Powell)Admission is free. Food provided.

Distinguished Emcee Bob Wing, Activist and Writer
CC Campbell-Rock, Katrina Survivor, Community Organizer, and Journalist
Willie Ratcliff, Community Activist and Editor of San Francisco Bay View newspaper
Connie Young Yu, Historian and Author of Chinatown, San Jose, USA
Chris Carlsson, Board President, Counterpulse and Executive Director, Shaping San Francisco: An Interactive Multimedia Excavation of the Lost History of San Francisco
Shanell Williams, Community Activist, Former SF Youth Commissioner

History has revealed that the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, and the monumental, post-disaster rebuilding efforts, gave tragic rise to a modern era of twentieth-century displacement and gentrification of working-class people, immigrants and communities of color throughout San Francisco. In 2005, the nation witnessed how Hurricane Katrina and the government’s racist and cruel response devastated the social and economic conditions of these same communities in the Gulf Coast region.
One hundred years later we ask: “What would happen if another earthquake shakes up San Francisco? Who would survive? Who would be displaced? And would the city be rebuilt for the wealthy, power elite and corporations that dominant the debate?”
Join us for the discussion!
For more information contact Nicole Derse at 415-374-5429

For a couple of good pieces on New Orleans rebuilding -
Check out Colorlines Magazine's article -
Imprisoned in New Orleans by Jordan Flaherty and Tamika Middleton

Honest and cutting edge reports -

Grassroots and People's Organizations like Critical Resistance, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and Peope's Hurricane Relief Fund and Oversight Coalition also have good info.

I also like radio clips from shows like Democracy Now and the Labor/Community Strategy Center's show in Los Angeles on KPFA Voices from the Frontlines
Kali Williams.mp3 of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
Malcolm Suber.mp3 of People's Hurricane Relief Fund
Francisca Porchas.mp3 of the LCSC
Saladin Muhammad.mp3 of black workers for justice
Damu Smith and Beverly Wright on

For those searching for more historical analysis -
See the Labor Community Strategy Center leader Eric Mann's excellent 'letter' in support of the movement in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast

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