BTS 8/28/06: Katrina Anniversary; "Conspiracy in the Streets"

Listen: Mark Krasnoff - Tracie Washington - Tom Hayden

Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s destruction of New Orleans and the gulf coast. Katrina was a watershed for the US, representing more than almost anything else the state of decline the country faces as well as the utter lack of political leadership -- and the doubly disastrous negligence and incompetence of the rescue and recovery efforts, which now a year later have exposed the race and class priorities of the Bush administration. Rebuilding in New Orleans, just like Iraq, is seen as an opportunity for friends – who sometimes subcontract twenty times, using undocumented labor paid a pittance while essential services – even picking up the dead – weren’t their problem. We talk to Mark Krassnoff and Tracie Washington about the problems and the state of New Orleans, one year after.

In our final segment on tonight’s Beneath The Surface we talk to Tom Hayden about his new book (edited and introduced by our own Jon Wiener) Conspiracy in the Streets – and we ask Tom to situate the anti-war movement of the sixties in American history and draw comparisons with the anti-war sentiment and movements of today.

Read More for info about tonight's guests:

1. Mark Krasnoff is an actor, artist, activist, and a lifelong New Orleans resident. He was raised in the bayou as a Cajun Jew engaged in farming, and is now living in "Katrina hell."

2. Tracie Washington, a lifelong New Orleans resident and civil rights attorney, is director of the NAACP Gulf Coast Advocacy Center. She is a co-author of the report "Housing in New Orleans: One Year After Katrina," which was released on 8/28/06, and offers solutions and policy recommendations. See http://www.opportunityagenda.org

3. Tom Hayden, the Nation Institute's Carey McWilliams Fellow, has played an active role in American politics and history for over three decades, beginning with the student, civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s. Hayden was elected to the California State Legislature in 1982, where he served for ten years in the Assembly before being elected to the State Senate in 1992, where he served eight years.

He is author of over 175 measures ranging from reform of money in politics, worker safety, school decentralization, small business tax relief, domestic violence, lessening gang violence in the inner city, stopping student fee increases at universities, protecting endangered species like salmon, overhauling three strikes laws, and a measure signed into law that will assist Holocaust survivors in receiving recognition and compensation for having been exploited as slave labor during the Nazi era.

Hayden is the author of eleven books, including his autobiography, Reunion; a book on the spirituality and the environment, Lost Gospel of the Earth; a collection of essays on the aftermath of the Irish potato famine, Irish Hunger (Roberts Rhinehart) and a book on his Irish background, Irish on the Inside: In Search of the Soul of Irish America (Verso).