In marking the 10 years since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina reached the Gulf shores, it is the actions of government authorities since the storm that have been nearly as catastrophic for residents of the Gulf Coast. As highlighted by the ongoing work of the local communities through #GulfSouthRising, the issues documented in Amnesty International’s 2005 report, Un-Natural Disaster: Human rights in the Gulf Coast still profoundly impact Gulf Coast residents’ right to return. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
Only one candidate is seriously addressing the issue of human rights in the lead-up to Iran’s presidential election on June 14. She is a mother, devoutly religious (albeit with an irreverence for authority), she has a well-thought out platform and a plan to initiate widespread reforms to guarantee human rights in Iran. Her name is Zahra and – oh, by the way – she is not real.
Zahra would not be allowed to run anyway as women are precluded from being the president of Iran. But that minor detail does not discourage Zahra. Undaunted, she is out there on the campaign trail, courageously speaking truth to power and confronting the authorities over their rampant human rights violations, calling for an end to the death penalty and for the release of all political prisoners.
The longstanding problems of New Orleans’ criminal justice system were documented by Amnesty in its 2010 report Un-Natural Disaster: Human Rights in the Gulf Coast. Now, six years after the levees broke in New Orleans, there is an opening for deep, lasting change in New Orleans Police Department (NOPD).
In the immediate aftermath of the storm, when its community was most in need of protection, the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) was involved in a stream of deadly incidents. Officers reported that soon after the flooding began, they were given permission to shoot looters by their second in command.
On September 2, police shot and killed a young African-American man, Henry Glover, then dumped his body in a car and set it on fire. That night, a police officer shot Danny Brumfield, Sr., a 45 year old African-American man, in the back, killing him in front of the convention center. Matthew McDonald was killed by police the next day. Then on September 4, seven NOPD police officers opened fire on a group of seven African Americans crossing Danziger Bridge, killing James Brissette and Ronald Madison.
Justice in these cases has taken years. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
On the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Nicolas Cage speaks out with Amnesty International on restoring rights in the Gulf Coast.