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The Chris Chandler Show

  • New Orleans

    Andrea Headed into the City

    WE ARE GOING HOME. Our friend James went into

    the city today and checked on our neighborhood and reported back that "it is

    beautiful." He estimates there are some 30-40 people left in our area. The

    national guard is patrolling - but - as was stated to us by the national guard

    we met yesterday in Algiers "well, we'd rather be here than being shot at in

    Iraq, so our mission here is not to complete our mission (evacuating the city)."

    So after a long, stressful day with all sorts of craziness with cops and the Red

    Cross and everything else under the sun, we have decided we are going home. My

    friend Leenie just got back to LA and she is down with the plan. So... here is

    the deal: tomorrow, we are are going into the city - first to Algiers to drop

    off the supplies we picked up for those folks today, and then we will make a run

    through our neighborhood and check out our house (James did a check from the

    outside today, other than the awning that now sits in front of our door instead

    of above it, we are pretty much ok). The day after, we will load up on supplies

    • replace the generators we have given to others, stock up on food and water,
    get ourselves hooked up with broadband internet so we can stay in touch with

    ya'll... and the day after, we are going back in and we are going to stay.

    I don't have the energy to explain, so I'm just going to tell you all how it is.

    'They' are trying to take our city from us. Thousands upon thousands of poor,

    mostly African American citizens of New Orleans were murdered. Those levey

    breaks? Dynamite. Don't ask me for proof yet - just give us some time, we will

    get it to you. The ones that didn't die were starved. The rest, 'evacuated.' To

    quote one of our state reps, who now claims the quote was taken out of context,

    they solved the public housing problem in New Orleans.

    Little thing they forgot, though. New Orleans isn't like any other place in this

    country. We've always (half)jokingly referred to it as the only third world city

    in the United States. Some of you might be familiar with this nickname: the city

    that care forgot. Well.... Haliburton has the contract to clean up the city, the

    developers are salivating at the 'new' New Orleans they will build, and the

    lower ninth and all the dead people in its attics are to be bulldozed so the

    land can be turned into a barrier reef to protect the city. Ain't that lovely?

    Only one thing - the powers that be are not from New Orleans and they don't know

    that this city is born of hardship and survives not despite, but because of it.

    We have been forced into the outside world these last couple of weeks - and

    while I want to make it clear that the love and support of the American people

    has been phenomenal - there is no place like home and we are not going to watch

    it be taken from us.

    So we are going back. We're going to shove the muck on the first floor as far

    back as we can and set up a soup kitchen and a distribution center. Daniel is

    going to set up an animal sanctuary in the back yard. We've heard that the

    National Guard there is friendly, and our friend James will be our liason and

    run supplies for us. Tomorrow I'll be figuring out the intricacies of having

    myself an online connection in the middle of a half destroyed war zone, so don't

    worry - we'll be coming to you live.

    We don't aim to get ourselves killed here - we've made this decision based on

    the experiences of recent expiditions into the city and have determined now that

    it is possible to do what we set out to do: to go home. But we will have our car

    ready and waiting... if they force us out at gunpoint, we will leave.

    New Orleans can go two ways now - it can stay true to the place that holds our

    heart or it can become the so called new New Orleans, the brain child of

    developers with hard ons, government officials happy to be relieved of that

    pesky impovrished African American 'criminal element' and key positions to keep

    the oil flowing. Or, as we se it, it can become the free republic of New

    Orleans, the pheonix arising from the flood waters and the flames with spirit

    boiling over, righting wrongs and shining its light ever so much brightly than

    ever before.

    So please with us luck and keep us in your prayers. We intend to be just fine -

    and after our experiences in the outside world, we think we'll feel better and

    safer back at home in our militarized zone with no running water and no

    electricity. New Orleans is our home and we are taking it back.

    Please keep sending us donations and supplies - we will be turning the first

    floor of our house into a soup kitchen and distribution area so we can help our

    friends and neighbors get back on their feet as they start returning to the

    city, whenever that day may be. In the meantime, we are staking our claim.

    I know this may worry a lot of you, but please just wish us well. We are doing

    what we have to do, this is what we came back for and now the moment has come.

    Soon, there will be pictures. Apologies again for the delays, but like I said,

    it's been a crazy day.

    We are going home, folks, we are going home.

    Peace out -


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