Jesse Jackson calls for ‘Right of Return’ for Katrina Survivors

Greg Palast

by Matt Pascarella

[New York] On Sunday, January 8th, Reverend Jesse Jackson attacked Republican plans to buy up and eliminate African-American neighborhoods in New Orleans.

In a press conference at the Sheraton Hotel in New York, Jackson decried what he considers a systematic program by the Washington Administration to turn “survivors” into a permanent Diaspora of refugees denied both their homes and the political power of their concentrated votes in the city.

Citing the findings of investigative reporter Greg Palast, who joined Jackson on his national radio broadcast earlier that morning, the civil rights leader called for a “Right of Return” for Katrina survivors.

On the broadcast with Jackson, Palast noted that, “The destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina was made much worse because of ‘Hurricane George’ — the Bush Administration’s neglect and cronyism in planning for recovery from the disaster.” Palast, whose reports appear in Harper’s Magazine and on BBC television, has been investigating what he calls, “Hurricane Katrina as a profit center.”

Jackson was in New York to chair the annual meeting of the Wall Street Project Economic Summit. The Project aims to pressure pension funds of government, unions and churches to re-invest in community redevelopment not just in New Orleans, but in areas throughought the United States blighted by what Jackson called, “an economic Katrina every day” destroying jobs and lives.