:: Friday, September 02, 2005 ::

Reaping the Whirlwind

The situation in New Orleans is increasingly resembling Mad Max the Directors Cut, the criminal culpability of the Bush government and their oil industry backers must surely lead to a massive national backlash against them. Global warming, cuts to flood defences, national guards off in Iraq. Thousands of poor people, who lack transport and money, who have no insurance and want to protect their stuff, who have nowhere to go, left stranded. Abandoned. Their lives secondary to the defence of property. When they get food from abandoned stores, they are shot at by police, who then take the food themselves.

The following is from a, fairly right-wing pro-military, blogger.

""Bigfoot" is a bar manager and DJ on Bourbon Street, and is a local personality and icon in the city. He is a lifelong resident of the city, born and raised. He rode out the storm itself in the Iberville Projects because he knew he would be above any flood waters. Here is his story as told to me moments ago. I took notes while he talked and then I asked some questions:

Three days ago, police and national guard troops told citizens to head toward the Crescent City Connection Bridge to await transportation out of the area. The citizens trekked over to the Convention Center and waited for the buses which they were told would take them to Houston or Alabama or somewhere else, out of this area.

It's been 3 days, and the buses have yet to appear.

Although obviously he has no exact count, he estimates more than 10,000 people are packed into and around and outside the convention center still waiting for the buses. They had no food, no water, and no medicine for the last three days, until today, when the National Guard drove over the bridge above them, and tossed out supplies over the side crashing down to the ground below. Much of the supplies were destroyed from the drop. Many people tried to catch the supplies to protect them before they hit the ground. Some offered to walk all the way around up the bridge and bring the supplies down, but any attempt to approach the police or national guard resulted in weapons being aimed at them.

There are many infants and elderly people among them, as well as many people who were injured jumping out of windows to escape flood water and the like -- all of them in dire straights.

Any attempt to flag down police results in being told to get away at gunpoint. Hour after hour they watch buses pass by filled with people from other areas. Tensions are very high, and there has been at least one murder and several fights. 8 or 9 dead people have been stored in a freezer in the area, and 2 of these dead people are kids.

The people are so desperate that they're doing anything they can think of to impress the authorities enough to bring some buses. These things include standing in single file lines with the eldery in front, women and children next; sweeping up the area and cleaning the windows and anything else that would show the people are not barbarians.

The buses never stop.

Before the supplies were pitched off the bridge today, people had to break into buildings in the area to try to find food and water for their families. There was not enough. This spurred many families to break into cars to try to escape the city. There was no police response to the auto thefts until the mob reached the rich area -- Saulet Condos -- once they tried to get cars from there... well then the whole swat teams began showing up with rifles pointed. Snipers got on the roof and told people to get back.

He reports that the conditions are horrendous. Heat, mosquitoes and utter misery. The smell, he says, is "horrific."

He says it's the slowest mandatory evacuation ever, and he wants to know why they were told to go to the Convention Center area in the first place; furthermore, he reports that many of them with cell phones have contacts willing to come rescue them, but people are not being allowed through to pick them up.
"

And this from Indymedia New Orleans.

"I have heard NO logical argument as to how on earth those people could still be stranded in New Orleans. It is not Mars. This is ridiculous. And it has become obvious this delayed response in New Orleans is fueled by classism and racism, unless the U.S. government can spit out some logical explanation, but I have not heard one yet. New Orleans is a scene of constructive genocide right now on America’s poor blacks, and I do not know how Americans are just sitting quietly as they watch this on TV. I am out of my mind about this right now. Just out of my damned mind. I have never hated GWBush more, and I have never seen a better living example of classism and racism alive in America today. According to resources in Canada, Canadian TV is reporting they offered planes full of food, water, and supplies to help New Orleans refugees and America turned them down!"


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1 Comments:

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