Check out this article on a group of people who are trying to shame our government into doing what is right.  Wish the public didn’t have to resort to trickery, but at least now more people know about what they are doing to the people who live in public housing in New Orleans.

—Freckles

Impostor Speaker Dupes La. Officials

Impostor Speaker Dupes Officials at Katrina Conference

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NEW ORLEANS Aug 28, 2006 (AP)— A man claiming to be a high-ranking federal housing official addressed a conference Monday on public housing in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, claiming the government was reversing its policy.

Following speeches by Gov
. Kathleen Blanco and Mayor Ray Nagin, a man who said he was the “deputy assistant secretary” of the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a total reversal in the government’s policy on public housing in New Orleans, claiming HUD would halt plans to demolish thousands of public housing units.

William Loiry, president of Equity International, which organized the conference in Kenner, La., said “everything seemed legitimate” about the man who made the speech until he suggested that people leave the conference, board buses and attend a ribbon-cutting at a public housing development.

When Loiry and security officers went to find the speaker, he was gone.

The man left a phone number on a flier handed out at the conference. A man who answered at the number and identified himself as Andy Bichlbauer said he and his loosely affiliated band of “Yes Men” have pulled off similar pranks, including several involving the World Trade Organization.

HUD spokeswoman Donna White said the government’s plans remain unchanged. Demolition and redevelopment of several major projects will go ahead as planned, she said. She called the speech “cruel.”

The agency’s inspector general’s office is investigating the matter, said Jerry Brown, a HUD spokesman.

About 1,000 people had registered for the conference.

The Yes Men: http://www.theyesmen.org

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