People Get Ready

[ make levees, not war ]

Stop killing people!

Posted by schroeder915 on January 8, 2007

For those around the country who might doubt us, we didn’t all vote for Ray Nagin (or Bill Jefferson), but one thing is certain: New Orleanians are in total solidarity in saying, “Stop killing people!”






NOLA Against Crime

The Hot 8 Brass Band

Website celebrates slain filmmaker

b.rox — Helen Hill Will Not Be Forgotten

b.rox — A Wounded Hero Departs

mf.rox — Sad about someone else’s disaster

Nola Nik — Memorial Sculpture for Helen, Paul and Francis Pop

Apophenia — Ephiphanies

Cold Spaghetti — Saying a Thousand Words

The G-Bitch Spot — That New Direction You May Have Missed

The G-Bitch Spot — Not Completely Speechless, But Almost

Your Right Hand Thief — When G-Bitch shivers, I shake

da po’ blog — This One Hurts

American Zombie — The words keep ringing in my ears….

Humid City v2.3 — From the Skull Club

dangerblond — i feel like i need to be hassled more. how about you?

The Garden of Irks and Delights — Mother, Mother, There’s Too Many Of You Crying…

Wet Bank Guide — A Clockwork Merliton

Ashley Morris: The Blog — They don’t care in D.C., but in Toronto …

Traveling Mermaid — Call to Action & Solidarity

DotCalm — Consecrating 2007

Ablaze in this Haze — Make it Stop

adrastos — March Against Mayhem on Thursday

Michael Homan — Helen Hill

Toulouse Street — The Last Ride

First Draft — The People

The Chicory — Enough

Hurricane Radio — The War at Home

New Orleans Slate — The Naked and the Dead

Some Came Running — One of the Millions

Some Came Running — Get Up Stand Up

NOLA-dishu — 2007 Murders Map 2

From The Troublemakers 2004 release, Happy International Flag-Burning Day, “Troublemaker’s Theme”:

Trouble-make, trouble-make, you’re gonna do a double-take, gonna make your legs quake, may even make your heart break, put back together this city of broken dreams. I said take to your feet ‘cuz we’re here in New Orleans.

“We’re All Clones”:

We are the same. We are the same. We are all exactly the same. Instead of trying to kill each other, let’s dance, dance, dance.

The Troublemakers CD features a dedication in the liner notes: “Dedicated to the new baby.”


Helen collaborated in the CD’s production, and took photos for the liner notes.


In keeping with the theme of inspired dreams, WTUL’s 20th Century Classics featured a memorial to artists Helen Hill and Dinneral Shavers with a program of music inspired by dreams.


19 Responses to “Stop killing people!”

  1. F P said

    Despite the fact that New Orleanians re-elected Bill Jefferson, the people of New Orleans and Louisiana have voted together to create a lot of change in Local government. Somebody should tell this story and everybody should start getting it out to the rest of the country just how much has really changed for the better. It was no easy task and I am sure that this much change for the betterment of a community is unparalleled in any other state in today’s politics. Through the combined efforts of groups like, the new Orleans Bloggers, citizens and who knows how many other community groups the state constitution has been changed, the levee board has been revamped and consolidated, generations of corruption have been removed in the tax assessors system, oil revenues are being given to the state and Louisiana has voted to ensure that 100% of these revenues is used for coastal restoration(not gambling casinos). A new group of city councils was elected. Anybody but Batt would have been OK, but now we have a much better city council! I think the rest of the country and everyone here should be reminded just how much the people of Louisiana have been able to change in this system and see how hard they are trying to continue this change. But I am not good at telling this story. Who can tell this story? I don’t think people should be left with so little information that all they can do is wonder why dollar bill got re-elected. I think it is time they see the other, bigger side to this whole picture!

  2. I think it’s more accurate (and more fair to true New Orleanians) to say that Jeffersonians (i.e., from Jefferson Parish) re-elected Bill Jefferson.

    Laissez la revolution roulez!

  3. Patrick said

    What really gets to you in this city is that every important small victory is met with a stunning and far more public and enraging defeat. Hopefully, more and more folks will become galvanized to fix things than to leave. My spirits were very much uplifted to read about the march & rally, and to see so many people outside the Sound Cafe that I couldn’t even get inside to hear what was being discussed.

    Folks I have talked to about Thursday’s plans have said ‘what is the march going to accomplish?’

    Hopefully, a lot. I’m someone who thinks that political leaders are only ever on the job if the public is agitated and involved. If nothing else, the march will be a display of solidarity and fellowship – a small victory in the very public view for everyone to see.

  4. gbitch said

    Public displays of grief, anger and desire/demand for change are always useful. Harassing and embarrassing our “leaders” is the only way we are going to get them to either do something competent or get their incompetence out of the way.

  5. Notme said

    That crowd looks all white to me, and hardly representative of citywide “solidarity.” It’s an example of neighborhood self-interest (or interest in self-preservation)–nothing wrong with that, per se, but it’s not a citywide thing, at least as pictured. Most of the crowd here probably had passing, if any, interest in the murder rate before someone like them was murdered. Not a shock, nor anything to condemn people about. But regardless of the recent horrific murder of Helen Hill, a white person with a good education and a decent income is about as likely to be murdered as to be struck by lightning, and lightning does occasionally strike. For blacks of low to lower middle class income, the reality is much different, and it doesn’t look so enlightened to finally care once a middle class white person with a Harvard pedigree is struck down. (And before saying she had a child–an African-American single mother of two was killed last week too, y’know.)

    I don’t know of a vastly better alternative to this, however, other than that crime is something you fight block by block (and meeting with police, keeping them on their toes by bugging the crap out of police and administrators–I’ve seen people do this successfully in other cities, even in lower-income black neighborhoods that were formerly ignored), and that you *can* probably do better by concentrating on your own neighborhood first, as well as by having some modesty about your importance in the larger urban scheme of things.

  6. Notme: shame on you.

    Uh … so residents who live in a largely white neighborhood who want to memorialize someone who touched them personally should swallow their anguish because black people didn’t show up for a hastily-organized event?

    All politics is local, especially when it’s something that happens in your own neighborhood, especially when it’s someone whose life resembles your own, especially when you’re interested in protecting the lives of your immediate loved ones. That’s just the way it is.

    And your solution to bringing black people to the table?

    You know what — it’s a two-way street.

    But just so you know, the first person to address the crowd after the march announcement was a black man whose father was murdered. Ronald Lewis, a Mardi Gras Indian organizer from the Lower Ninth Ward was there. Councilman James Carter was there. Maybe you should listen to the audio before you strike out against people who are, in the midst of their pain, trying to do something.

  7. Notme said

    Oh, come on. Shame on me? I’m seeing a pattern on blogs of ignoring people who express any dissent about this, when it would do you so much good to really read carefully. You called this an example of solidarity, then point us to the photos below that statement. And it’s photos of nothing but white people. All poltics is local? Great, just say it–as I did, while being accused of having something to be ashamed of for saying it. It’s a predominantly white neighborhood thing, even if a council person who happens to be black (but also your rep.–any good council person would do that, and most NOLA council people have been quite good about showing up for neighborhood meetings, in nearly all districts) shows up, as does someone else from the Lower Ninth Ward. The majority of the folks in your photos are still white, and that doesn’t represent citywide solidarity, just neighhborhood solidarity, as you seem to agree.

    And in any case, I’m under no ogligation to tell you how to get more black people to show up. Just don’t go passing the sort of scene pictured off as solidarity, when it’s more of a neighborhood thing. Be modest, as I was saying. And remember that fighting crime block by block and street by street, in your own neighborhood, is always the most effective way to battle crime.

  8. Yes, shame on you. Because you criticize while people are still suffering.

    As for solidarity. I think it’s possible to argue that nothing in recent history has generated as much solidarity throughout the city. What you see in a few photos at a hastily-arranged meeting isn’t the sum of what’s happening. Back off!

  9. Notme said

    People have been suffering for years on end, decades even. You’re about to go into the public arena with this, where one’s suffering or lack thereof is beside the point due to an ability for such suffering to be manipulated by those skilled in the gaining and use of political power. What you do might have repurcussions that you’re not expecting (How will Nagin or Riley react, say? Another curfew proposal?), the reaction might not been seen as you’re expecting. Or it might. I wish you all well, but you be thinking critically now more than ever.

  10. We are all thinking about those very issues about inappropriate actions by Nagin or Riley, and I have been trying to advocate for practical solutions — I have some background in this area. All I’m trying to say is that you’re jumping to conclusions and acting insensitive when emotions are still raw.

  11. Karen said

    There was a Murder in my Neighborhood early this morning.

    We have, as a Neighborhood, photograped and reported activities at this house. We have made multiple trips to the Police Station and complained to our City Council person.

    Now what notme?

  12. Patrick said

    Solidarity. noun. A union of interests, purposes, or sympathies among members of a group; fellowship of responsibilites and interests.

    Yes, people have been suffering for years and decades on end, black and white, brown and red, all over the world. What? Doing something to make things better doesn’t count? Even if the measure turns out to be mostly symbolic, it is a symbol that needs to be seen and shared by this City and the country. Maybe one neighborhood (and I don’t think there’s going to be a lack of other neighborhoods and demographics participating come Thursday) can start something that grows into a bigger, more all-encompassing movement.

    What? Should we just throw up our hands and say “whatcha gonna do?” Why worry what motives belong to a group that comes to the table of change if such a group has the same overall goals? And who is to say the march on Thursday does not include interests and demographics from all over the city? Isn’t everyone who lives in New Orleans, black & white, kinda tired of having to look over their shoulder or wonder what that is going bump in the night?

    And I’ll say this, if I had read about a march or a rally like this two weeks ago, I’d have said the same things, I’d have talked about it to the same people, and I’d have tried to get off working then, too, to try and attend the thing: to rally in solidarity with other folks who live in this city who are sick of the crime rate.

    I think a lot of other folks would have, too. In the end, the only person’s actions and motives you can control are your own, and you alone can decide whether you’re going to get tangled up in the details of motivation, or if you’re going to get out on the streets and march and make your contribution to solidarity.

  13. rickbrah said

    these comments are interesting.

    the defeatists mentality that got us to this point is here.

    the finger pointing attitude that got us here can also be read in these comments.

    show up and march and make your voice heard.

    represent your neighborhood. bring a placard saying where you are from.

    talk to each other during the march and make a friend.

    we are all in this together.

    rick in the 8th ward.

  14. What part of “NO” is hard to understand? In the last election, America sent a clear message to President Bush to change our course in Iraq, but all he wants to do is step on the gas.

    On Wednesday, President Bush will announce his new way forward and it will sound a lot like “stay the course.” Twenty thousand more troops and another set of unrealistic benchmarks used as talking points is more of the same. Even America’s new commander in Iraq, Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno, says Bush’s plan will take “two to three years” to put us on the right track.

    This Thursday we must stand up and tell George Bush, “No!” Democracy for America is partnering with True Majority Action and several other progressive organizations to purge the surge. Will you help by setting up an event in your neighborhood?

    Some of the events that have already been set up are candle-light vigils honoring the fallen. Others are honk and wave mini-rallies at busy intersections or public spaces. Either way, these events work great for as few as three people or as many as five hundred. What is most important is that these events happen on Thursday night just 24 hours after the President’s speech. Congress and the media need to see a quick response and a clear message that America says no more troops for Iraq.

    Please set up your event now:

    Thank you for everything you do,

    Charles Chamberlain

  15. kong said

    hey there notme

    the reason so many people are out after helen hill’s murder is not that they identify with her as much as she touched SO many people. How often do you hear of people in other cities organizing get togethers in the honor of someone upon their death. She was amazing.

    The same friends of mine who are talking about her death were and are talking about dinerral shavers untimely end also. The same actions were already being talked about.

    The crime is hurting all of us…. the danger is to all of us.

  16. Notme said

    I was at the march, despite problems with it. Even so, have to say that the painting of anyone exercising caution or restraint (it’s so diverse here, we’re all in solidarity–not everyone in the city is united, by any means, although that’s a goal to work toward) is remarkably similar to post-911 arguments. A la, “You can’t say that now! People are suffering.” That’s a mistake. The woman quoted in the NY Times about the march who says we all bear shame for not getting involved (Getting volunteers for much of anything, even in safe ‘hoods, was not easy before all this started–and will it stay that way?) enough is correct, and there’s no use being too self-congratulatory about anything.

    I could have been more diplomatic here, and I’m sorry for not being that way. But, in return, don’t be so defensive or so willing to paint those who disagree with any particular thing you might say too broad of a brush. If you want to go long term, you gotta be open to all dialogue, not to yell people down.

  17. There are more appropriate forums for the sort of honesty you’re talking about. Specifically, your statement inferring that Helen might have been just as likely to be struck by lightning was out of bounds. She wasn’t caught up in a random event. She was murdered, heinously and willfully, by a malevolent criminal — an experience which shatters the very foundations of one’s faith, provoking questions about the existence of anything good in the universe. It isn’t just the grief of loss. The anguish is incomprehensible to anyone who hasn’t experienced it. Trust me. I know.

  18. Notme said

    I didn’t specifically refer to her, thanks, but to middle class, well educated and white people generally. Aren’t you into going on about bad grammar and misquotes?

    Besides, it is true that your chances of being murdered here if you’re a part of that strata are not particularly high. Which doesn’t excuse the crime rate, but it’s true. And that has to be put in the context of what I was saying, and which isn’t all that out of line with what I’ve heard from others, even some involved in the protests–that they should have become involved earlier, etc. Didn’t even one of the speakers at Thursday’s rally say this? Yes. To that speaker’s credit, he had addressed issues regarding crime and poverty much earlier, but there was no organized middle class activity before, particularly not from white people.

    In any case, for someone who claims to be so into open discussion–and I always thought, sincerely, that you were–you’re being remarkably and regrettably close-minded, even after an apology from me for not being more diplomatic earlier. Given that your posting pics of all whites as an example of citywide “solidarity” was pretty startling, my reaction was not completely out of line, but it wasn’t diplomatic. That does not excuse your continued defensiveness, and you should have known better than to post such photos with such commentary in the first place.

  19. Notme: explain your “philosophy” about the statistical improbability of whites being murdered to one of my best friends, whose 11-month-old baby was killed in a carjacking. Sit in a room full of wailing family members praying in vain against all hope that the baby with a bullet lodged in his eye socket after it tore through his brain would survive without too much brain damage, and tell them that whites aren’t impacted by crime as much as blacks. Before you rush to your high-browed conclusions, think with your heart. Whites don’t care? It isn’t for nothing that I’ve been supporting law enforcement for nearly ten years and actively contributing to greater safety in my neighborhood. I know a lot of people who participate in anti-crime forums — whites and blacks — and who maintain a positive dialog with the criminal justice community. Many of the African Americans in attendance at the planning meeting would take offense at your dismissal of their solidarity with their *neighbors* — be they white or black. Furthermore, after you belittled the racial solidarity at the meeting, you failed to comment on the remarkable numbers of both blacks and whites at the march against violence. Your cynicism wasn’t borne out by the facts, but you didn’t comment on that, did you? I shall always defend the dignity of those who suffer from violence. It doesn’t matter what race they are. I may err in caring less about those who are involved in crime when they become victims themselves — or maybe not — but I always notice the innocent ones. You should learn more compassion.

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