Thursday, October 2, 2008


A Planetary note: For those who have not spent much time in New Orleans or with our planetary brothers and sisters who make up the predominant culture - an Afrocentric culture - the heart of New Orleans, my choice of title may seem to White Anglo/Caucasian sensibilities, cold or mocking.

The title for this blog posting is reflective of the violence occurring in New Orleans - violence that has not only occurred to Kirsten, her family, and her friends, post-Katrina 3 years later; but for the hundreds of planetary brothers and sisters (primarily of African decent) who have died violently since Katrina. There are thousands of walking time bombs living in post-Katrina New Orleans and thousands are at risk daily.

Psychological and psychiatric treatment for the symptoms of post traumatic stress, except for in small pockets, is virtually non-existent. Psychiatric beds are found in jails - after one of our nation's largest natural disasters. A national disaster where our planetary brothers and sisters, especially in the lower 9th Ward - lost everything - their homes, their memories, family members, friends, and community. The experiences that they went through, as we watched horrified on t.v. has left hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children in an ongoing state of re-traumatization. These planetary brothers and sisters have been for the most part, left undiagnosed and untreated, with symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. Their neighborhoods still in ruin as they watch those who 'have', who were barely impacted by Katrina (wind damage mostly, no flooding - Uptown, the Garden District, and the CBD) receive monies and funding for beautification of their neighborhoods and communities, for the pleasure of the tourists. Violence, poverty, greed, racism, classcism. This is the education for far too many New Orleanian residents. Kirsten our sister from California, has in her last act of service, become forever our sister in New Orleans.

Jah Guide.

Shooting victim ID'd as roving activist

California woman killed in 9th Ward
Thursday, October 02, 2008
By Brendan McCarthy

For five days, she was unidentified, a young woman found on a 9th Ward sidewalk with gunshot wounds to her head.

On Wednesday, authorities identified the woman as Kirsten Brydum, 25, of San Francisco. She was identified through fingerprints and by a friend, according to John Gagliano, chief investigator for the Orleans Parish coroner's office.

Brydum was a well-known community organizer who had stopped in New Orleans amid a whirlwind trek across the country in which she visited local activist groups and collectives, according to postings on the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center's Web site and several other sites which memorialized her.

New Orleans police discovered Brydum on Saturday about 8:30 a.m. in the 3000 block of Laussat Place in the blighted Florida neighborhood. She was lying on the sidewalk, police said. Paramedics said she was dead at the scene.

Police have not released a motive or information about suspects in the case.

News of Brydum's death traveled quickly among friends and associates who posted remembrances online and coordinated a gathering in San Francisco.

Brydum organized a monthly event in a San Francisco park. Dubbed the Really Really Free Market, it brought like-minded people together to get or give away goods or services with no cost, no trades and no bartering, according to its Web site.

Brydum wrote dispatches to friends as she traveled across the country on a so-called "education tour."

Her supposed last letter from the road, sent Sept. 25, was posted online at the Independent Media Center's site.

"Right now I'm rolling into New Orleans. I really don't know what to expect," she wrote. "The sun is setting on the bayou-licked lands and I am truly fortunate. I have rounded this beautiful Southeast corner on the Crescent line today and from now on I am westward bound."

She signed her dispatch: "Getting closer."

Police ask that anyone with information about the case call Crimestoppers at 504.822.1111 or toll-free at 877.903.7867.

. . . . . . .

Brendan McCarthy can be reached at
or 504.826.3301.

Prayers for New Orleans too many are dying here.