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Daniel Wolff, Jay Arena & Gilbert Mercier: Episode 17

support this podcast, donate todayThis week Eric and his guests mark the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina by reflecting on its lasting impact and the political lessons it has taught.

First, Eric chats with CounterPunch contributor and Editor-in-Chief of News Junkie Post Gilbert Mercier about his experiences in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Gilbert recounts his personal stories, what he witnessed in the city, and the political context within which Katrina should be understood. Eric and Gilbert discuss the sick logic of disaster capitalism, and the brutality and rot of Empire.

Next, Eric welcomes author and filmmaker Daniel Wolff to the program to discuss his work with Jonathan Demme on the film “I’m Carolyn Parker,” as well as his book “The Fight for Home: How (Parts of) New Orleans Came Back.” Daniel tells about the making of the film, the human side of the Katrina story, and the attempt to shape a narrative of both tragedy and hope. Eric and Daniel also examine New Orleans as a template for destruction and ehtnic cleansing from the inner city to the Middle East and everywhere in between.

Finally, Eric sits down with author and activist Jay Arena to discuss the current political struggle in New Orleans, the pernicious impact of corporate funded NGOs, and the importance of radical grassroots activism. Jay is the author of the important 2012 book “Driven from New Orleans: How Nonprofits Betray Public Housing and Promote Privatization.” Eric and Jay outline the causes of the political crisis, the corporatization and privatization of the city, and much more.

As always, intro and outtro from David Vest. Musical interludes from Billie Holiday & Louis Armstrong, and Dr. John.