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Daily Newscasts

Californians Marking Hurricane Katrina Anniversary Say Same “Storm” Brewing Here

August 29, 2008

San Francisco, CA - Californians today are remembering the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the struggles that still go on--not only on the Gulf Coast, but in their own state as well. Groups fighting for racial justice are holding rallies and marches to memorialize the Katrina victims. They also want to call attention to the problems of displacement and gentrification--problems they say exist in California's urban centers, too.

Robbie Clark, who is taking part in the "Day of Action" of the Right to the City coalition, says they're protesting the redevelopment of San Francisco's Hunters Point neighborhood and the demolition of 1,600 public housing units in Oakland.

"We see the same trends here as on the Gulf Coast, in terms of corporations driving policy to make big profits and those policies really hurting and impacting our communities."

According to the Census Bureau, the number of African-Americans in San Francisco has decreased by half in the past 35 years, from just over 13 percent of the population in 1970 to only 6.5 percent in 2005. That's the biggest percentage decline in any major American city.

August Forman was forced by the hurricane three years ago to leave his New Orleans home and now lives in San Francisco. He says he wants to bring attention to the problems he experienced in New Orleans and, more recently, in California.

"Katrina is every day. It's a 'dry Katrina' out here in San Francisco. I believe it's my duty to bring up similarities to what we've been through in New Orleans, as opposed to where we are at in America."

More information on the "Day of Action" is available online at

Lori Abbott/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - CA