by Scott Crow
Tracing a life of radical activism and the emergence of a grassroots organization in the face of disaster, this chronicle describes scott crow’s headlong rush into the political storm surrounding the catastrophic failure of the levee in New Orleans in 2005 and the subsequent failure of state and local government agencies in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. It recounts crow’s efforts with others in the community to found Common Ground Collective, a grassroots relief organization that built medical clinics, set up food and water distribution, and created community gardens when local government agencies, FEMA, and the Red Cross were absent or ineffective. The members also stood alongside the beleaguered residents of New Orleans in resisting home demolitions, white militias, police brutality, and FEMA incompetence. This vivid, personal account maps the intersection of radical ideology with pragmatic action and chronicles a community’s efforts to translate ideals into tangible results. Resisting indifference, rebuilding hope amidst collapse, and independence from government entities emerge as persistent themes in this call to activism, demonstrating what can be done by determined individuals in extreme circumstances.