Sunday, October 02, 2005

OUR HEARTS ARE IN ALGIERS



After a lapse of time, we’re back on this blog. Today we’ve added pictures and written commentary/descriptions of our experiences in Algiers, New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. You will also find new links to important reports. In the coming days and weeks we will add audio recordings of interviews with local people, more pictures, stories, and commentary from the trip, updates from contacts that we made while there, and more important links.

We want to use this blog to share what we saw, heard, and experienced with as many interested people as possible. A big piece of the history of this nation is being written right now. And we have the ability to affect it. We hope the blog does more than inform. We hope it inspires and mobilizes you to continue to support individuals from, and grassroots activities in, the Gulf region.

It wasn’t easy to leave Algiers. Everyone in our San Francisco Bay Area caravan extended their stay because the need is so great and we were able to be so useful. We’re all back in the Bay (except Crystal, she’s in Flagstaff) and probably everyone of us is thinking about how and when we can return. I’d like to help more people go down there.

If you are under the impression that the government is finally on the ground and serving everyone who needs help, you have been misled. There is a tremendous need for more volunteers. There are places that haven’t yet seen any aid. You don’t have to be a doctor or a construction worker or have any particular skill at all. You just need to be willing to seriously work. You need to know that at Common Ground and other grassroots efforts that I’m hearing about, the work isn’t charity, it’s solidarity. This is about supporting people to get through this most difficult time in whatever way we can AND about building infrastructure and community for the long-haul. No more band-aids, we want real change.