Leaders protest slow New Orleans recovery

April 4, 2007 at 9:11 AM

NEW ORLEANS, April 4 (UPI) -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson said he and other black leaders are planning to march in New Orleans to protest the slow pace of rebuilding in the city.

Jackson said the march, planned for April 28 in the 9th Ward, is aimed at protesting the city's pace of recovery that is keeping about 250,000 residents in "exile" two years after Hurricane Katrina hit the region, The New Orleans Times Picayune reported Wednesday.

"The focus has been on the return of the ball club but not the people. Two years later, 250,000 are still in exile. They are not refugees. They are citizens," said Jackson. "The 9th Ward remains barren."

Jackson announced the march at a news conference with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, and others leaders.

He said the 9th Ward is a "metaphor for neglected urban America."

"In some real sense, the 9th Ward is Newark. The 9th Ward is South Side Chicago. The 9th Ward is neglected, abandoned urban America," Jackson said in the Times-Picayune article.

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