Voices from Louisiana—“We’re Way Past Angry”

Voices from Louisiana—“We’re Way Past Angry”

Revolutionary Correspondents in Louisiana Revolution #13 September 4th 2005

International Terrorist George Bush On the way towards New Orleans, I talked to a man from Thibodeaux who had flown into New Orleans by helicopter to help repair generators. “They’re not telling people what’s happening there,” he said. “There are bodies everywhere. There are dead bodies on the streets of New Orleans. A natural disaster has become a human catastrophe; a furious storm has broken open a torrent of fury and bitterness among the people.” A man who grew up in New Orleans’ 9th Ward—right up against the levee and the banks of Lake Pontchartrain—spoke to me. He broke down sobbing as he said he still didn’t know where his mother, aunt, and sisters were. He then told me this: “Don’t say they didn’t have a plan. That ain’t the problem. They had a plan, and this is their plan. Block off the city and let the people who don’t get out die. They’re poor, and they’re black. Let them die, that was their plan.” A woman called in to a radio show, desperate for help. She told of an elderly friend who had been holed up for days, desperate, sick, and dehydrated. On Friday, he tried to walk across the Mississippi River bridge. But he was turned back by heavily armed troops because he had an Orleans Parish ID, and wasn’t allowed to cross the “border” into Jefferson Parish. “He’s going to die in his apartment,” she said. Everyone we talked to is seething with anger and bursting with sorrow. People are shocked—that they are being treated like refugees; that they are being called refugees. They are shocked that government at every level did nothing to help them. “How can we be refugees in our home state? My family has been here since slavery days,” a man from Kenner said. “And now I’m supposed to be a refugee?” “We’re not angry. We’re way past angry,” one young man from Uptown New Orleans said. “If someone could look inside us and see how we feel, they’d see that. We’re way past angry.” New Orleans is now under military occupation. Tens of thousands of military personnel have been sent in to suppress and control the remaining residents. Orleans and several surrounding parishes have been put under martial law. After days of letting the poorest people in a major city struggle to survive in a sewage-filled, water-soaked, disease-ravaged city, with temperatures approaching and festering at 100 degrees, with no food, water, or medical supplies, the government sent in the military. A brother named Reginald spoke what is on many people’s minds. “They’ve got the port here they use to send things to Iraq every day to kill people. But they can’t use that port to help the people of New Orleans?” The shockwaves from this storm will be felt for a long time. How they influence the future depends a lot on how the people respond right now. Looking around at newly homeless kids playing on a makeshift basketball court at a shelter in Baton Rouge, one young man said, “The city is gone, but we’re still here.” Funds are urgently needed for continuing coverage. Send contributions to:

Revolution Reporters Travel Fund RCP Publications P.O. Box 3486 Merchandise Mart Chicago, IL 60654

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolution Online http://revcom.us Write: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654 Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4497

K. KersplebedebK. KersplebedebK. Kersplebedeb

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