Friday, April 9, 5:30 pm, Lafayette Square Park in New Orleans
For all media and interested parties:

There’s going to be a big, crazy second line in the CBD on Friday: the Stooges Brass Band, the Free Agents Brass Band, and a level of ass-shaking the business district hasn’t seen since the Second Line to Reopen Charity. We’re going to party and rage down Poydras, and we’re going to show the boy prince Bobby Jindal that the people of Louisiana have had it with his policies of privatization.

The Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC)  takes place from April 8-11 in New Orleans, and is the largest gathering of Republican leadership short of the presidential convention. As Bobby Jindal is groomed for higher office, the Second Line for Healthcare & Education is our opportunity to present a unified response to Jindal’s assault on Lousiana’s state hospital system & public education.

Join the SRLC Welcoming Committee, some of New Orleans’ finest brass bands and a whole lot of pissed-off, high-stepping citizenry on Friday, April 9, as we let the SRLC know what we think of Jindal’s efforts to dismantle public education, healthcare, and other Louisiana public services. Under the bright lights, let’s give Jindal and all his GOP cronies– Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum et al.– the big loud New Orleans welcome they deserve.

Our message is clear: Stop gutting our public schools and universities, stop destroying access to health care, re-open Charity Hospital!

The SRLC Welcoming Committee is a broad coalition of local educators, healthcare workers, students and other Louisianians, as well as members of the Committee to Reopen Charity Hospital, Save UNO, the Iron Rail Collective, Pax Christi, and many others.

– Meet at 5:30 pm
– Step-off at 6:00 pm

Route (0.4 miles):
– Start at Lafayette Square Park at St. Charles Ave. and Lafayette
– March down Camp St. to Poydras St.
– March down Poydras to the Hilton Riverside Hotel

This is a legal, permitted march.

Latest info at https://southernpeople.wordpress.com
Our Facebook Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=106484989383993
Tweet us! >>  http://bit.ly/uheardme

Background:

Last year Jindal shut down the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital, the ONLY public mental health hospital in the metro area. He refuses to rebuild and reopen New Orleans’ Rev. Avery C. Alexander Charity Hospital, and now the Earl K. Long Charity Hospital in Baton Rouge is being squeezed dry and shuttered up. Both non-profit and for-profit hospitals in Louisiana are bleeding red ink. Healthcare in New Orleans and Louisiana is in crisis!

On the education front, the University of New Orleans, already reeling from millions in cuts, already eliminating core departments, has had more than $13 million in further cuts since the beginning of the academic year. UNO is being destroyed.

At the beginning of the academic year in August 2009, Delgado Community College had to turn away 1500 applicants because of insufficient building space. It’s almost five years after Katrina & the failure of the federal levees, and the campus remains severely crippled.

At Southern University at New Orleans, the majority of students and faculty still attend classes in trailers. SUNO has experienced no real recovery whatsoever.

All of this is unacceptable, and the blame rests on Jindal.

From an article in the March 28th Times-Picayune, “Jindal moves to privatize many services”
( http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/frontpage/index.ssf?/base/news-14/1269757842162310.xml&coll=1 )

“Overall, Jindal’s $24.2 billion budget proposal calls for eliminating nearly 3,000 state jobs in the 2010-11 fiscal year that begins July 1.”

” In Baton Rouge, an estimated 500 civil servants who now work at Earl K. Long doing everything from nursing to administration will be displaced when that facility closes. ”

“Similarly, the civil servants who make up a significant chunk of the 2,300-person workforce at the Interim LSU Public Hospital in New Orleans will no longer be state employees…”

“…the administration is proposing what officials say are the biggest changes to the state’s mental-health system in generations. The Department of Health and Hospitals is planning to discharge 118 people from state-run psychiatric hospitals… while another 138 institutional beds would be transferred to a private operator…”

“Rep. Tom McVea, R-St. Francisville, said the downsizing at East Louisiana State Hospital — a state-run psychiatric hospital in his district — will have lasting effects on his rural community as up to 300 state jobs are lost.”

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