Gordon Plaza Residents' Present Day Political Activism

Stop 7 of 7 on the Gordon Plaza tour.

For decades, residents of Gordon Plaza engaged (and continue to engage) in political activism to spread public awareness about toxic contamination in their neighborhood. Residents hope to achieve fair and just relocation from their tainted properties. Recently, the New Orleans People's Assembly partnered with Gordon Plaza residents to organize several events to increase public awareness of these injustices.

On September 8th, 2018, the Gordon Plaza neighborhood hosted “RISE for Cancer Alley,” a political rally tying together issues of environmental racism faced by the people of Gordon Plaza and residents living near petrochemical plants along the Mississipi River. Later that day, the rally made its way to St. James where toxic pollutants produced by petrochemical plants are destroying the health and wealth of black homeowners.

On October 26th, 2018, activists staged "Asphyxiated: Exposing Gordon Plaza" in front of St. Louis Cathedral. Some actors coughed and wheezed, while others wore signs with the names of past politicians who turned a blind eye to the injustices faced by residents of Gordon Plaza. Performed in the heart of the French Quarter, this protest demanded residents and visitors alike to recognize the plight of community members residing just three miles away.

In the videos below, longtime Gordon Plaza resident Shannon Rainey shares her decades of political activism.

To support the residents of Gordon Plaza:

1. Contact the Mayor’s Office and demand that the resident receive a fair and just, fully-funded relocation. Call 504-658-4900 or 504-658-4945, or email mayor@nola.gov.

2. Tell others about the crisis in Gordon Plaza, invite them to help. Use the following hashtags: #FairLocationForGordonPlaza #GordonPlaza.

3. Follow New Orleans People’s Assembly for more details on how to get involved on their website peoplesassemblyneworleans.org.

Video

Shannon Rainey shares one of her experiences advocating for Gordon Plaza residents in the face of unsupportive politicians.
Source: Video courtesy of the Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies at the University of New Orleans. ~ Creator: Oral history interview with Shannon Rainey conducted by Lones Gagnard, Vickie Lacoste, Ella McIntire, and Daniel Lamplugh. ~ Date:...
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Shannon Rainey discusses the most recent attempt to sue the city over the injustices perpetrated against Gordon Plaza residents.
Source: Video courtesy of the Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies at the University of New Orleans. ~ Creator: Oral history interview with Shannon Rainey conducted by Lones Gagnard, Vickie Lacoste, Ella McIntire, and Daniel Lamplugh. ~ Date:...
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