抗議人士模仿嘲諷 紐奧良重建高峰會沾污點 | 環境資訊中心

抗議人士模仿嘲諷 紐奧良重建高峰會沾污點

2006年08月31日
ENS美國,路易斯安那州,紐奧良報導;林盈秀、謝芳怡編譯;莫聞審校

志工在今天三月協助處理紐奧良的殘骸。(圖片來源: FEMA)美國聯邦國宅官員28日出席在紐奧良為重建計劃所舉辦的活動,官員承諾將重新開放國宅單位,但這項承諾現在被批將由「混合收入新建住宅」所取代。活動中一個政治丑角進行模仿嘲諷表演。美國住宅與都市發展部認為該模仿秀是一項相當殘忍的玩笑,但這項模仿卻在灣岸重建與颶風防範高峰會上,成功地讓上百名承包商上了當。

抗議人士安迪‧畢裘邦(Andy Bichlbaum)佯裝自己是住宅與都市發展部(HUD)的助理祕書「雷尼‧奧斯溫」,這個虛構的人物,告訴海灣重建與颶風防範高峰會的承包商:「他將為所有人整頓紐奧良,而不只是少數人的利益。」

但是真正的住宅與都市發展部稱這次表演為一場騙局。儘管假的聲明29日才上演,住宅與都市發展部仍然表示:「重建公共住宅的計畫持續進行,民眾將有機會回到更好、更安全的居住環境。」

The Yes Men是一個由文化反堵(culture jamming)抗議人士所組成的小團體,專門實行他們所謂的「身分修正」(identity correction),而畢裘邦即為其中成員。「他們扮成公職人員,想要表達政府行政機構和法人表現得很無人性。」他們的表演有時候很具說服力,就如同28日畢裘邦在紐奧良的演出,現場的觀眾都報以熱烈的喝采。

高峰會在崔娜颶風滿週年的前一天,於路易斯安那州肯納城的龐洽特雷恩中心舉辦。肯納城在此颶風中摧毀了80%的城市住宅。超過20萬的房子及出租單位嚴重受損或完全損毀,使得78萬的路易斯安娜居民流離失所。

此次騙局還包括寄出偽造信件給ENS及其他新聞組織,聲明住宅與都市發展部的祕書「阿方索‧傑克遜」承認在過去一年,住宅與都市發展部已經走上錯誤的方向。

「住宅與都市發展部的規章是為了確保那些非常需要房子居住的人都能買得起,在紐奧良過去這一年,我很慚愧地說我們確實沒有做到,」聲明引述傑克遜的話做此表示。

儘管假的聲明如此稱述,真正的住宅與都市發展部表示,正在和當地社區一起努力重建C.J. Peete、B.W. Cooper、Lafitte和St. Bernard等地的公共住宅,並創造一個綜合的公共住宅方案,使家庭和單身民眾都能租得起房子。

州長凱瑟琳‧布蘭科及紐奧良市長雷‧納金亦出席會議發表演說,卡崔娜颶風受創一年之後,此次高峰會是推動重燃路易斯安娜州重建信心的行動之一。

Public Housing Hoax Mars New Orleans Recovery Summit
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana, August 28, 2006 (ENS)

A political jester posing as a federal public housing official today took the podium at a New Orleans event held to plan the recovery of the city and promised to reopen housing units now targeted for replacement by mixed income development. The real Department of Housing and Urban Development called the performance "a cruel hoax," but it initially fooled hundreds of contractors at the Gulf Coast Reconstruction and Hurricane Preparedness Summit.

Activist Andy Bichlbaum, pretending to be Housing and Urban Development "Assistant Deputy Secretary Rene Oswin," a non-existant identity, told hundreds of contractors at the Gulf Coast Reconstruction and Hurricane Preparedness Summit that he would "fix New Orleans, not just for the benefit of a few but for everyone."

But the real Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) called the performance a scam. Despite false statements made today, HUD said it is "moving forward with its plan to redevelop New Orleans public housing so that families will have the opportunity to return to better, safer neighborhoods."

Bichlbaum is a member of The Yes Men, a small group of culture jamming activists who practice what they call "identity correction." Posing as public officials, they express the idea that government agencies and corporations can act in dehumanizing ways. Their performances are sometimes very convincing, as Bichlbaum's was in New Orleans today where the audience applauded his announcement.

The summit at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, Louisiana was held the day before the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed 80 percent of the city and forced the closure of New Orleans public housing. More than 200,000 homes and rental units were severely damaged or destroyed, leaving 780,000 Louisiana residents displaced.

In a further action of the multi-part hoax, a bogus email was sent to the Environment News Service and other news organizations claiming that HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson "admitted that the agency has been headed down the wrong path for the last year."

"Our charter, here at HUD, is to ensure access to affordable housing for those who need it the most. This past year in New Orleans, I am ashamed to say that we have clearly failed to do this," Jackson was quoted as saying in the false press release.

But despite these false statements, the real HUD said the agency is "working with the local community to redevelop C.J. Peete, B.W. Cooper, Lafitte and St. Bernard public housing developments to make way for a mixture of public housing, affordable rental housing and single-family homes."

The summit, which included speeches by Governor Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, is part of an overall push to renew interest in Louisiana recovery on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.