Andrea Garland [reposted by Karen, who removed names] | 04.09.2005 23:14 | Health
As I mentioned above, my friend D who also lives in the
Bywater neighborhood, 9th Ward, of New Orleans was finally able to call me yesterday. He and a group of friends have been holed up in the top floor of the building he lives in, guarding the property with guns. As of yesterday, the people he was with had all left -- he has his dog and .. two cats ... and refuses to leave without them -- and he has described himself as the now being the New Orleans SPCA so I have a feeling he has adopted a number of abandoned and lost animals in the area. When I asked him what he wanted us to bring him, he asked nothing for himself, but requested cat and dog food. That's my D ;) You'll never meet a bigger animal lover.
D says that in 6 days they have not seen or received any help. In 6 days they saw one policeman - flying through the neighborhood in a police car at 40 miles an hour. He reported that for the first two days after the storm, Wildlife and Fisheries were rescuing people from the flooded out lower 9th ward, blocks from my house and his house by boat -- and just dropping the people off on the dry side of the levy, with no food or water or anywhere to go. He said that after two days the boats just stopped coming. He had no idea why until I explained the situation with the National Guard to him, and that the rescue boats were told to stand down and stop rescuing people. The people locked down in the city have no idea that supplies are sitting just outside the city and being turned away. The only reason they have food is they managed to gather what they could from friends' apartments, etc., but again, no one has come to help them or bring them food. Other than the people left stranded in the neighborhood, it has been completely abandoned by all official entities.
Here is a bit of heart breaking news. There is only one radio station people can receive in the city. D said that people trapped in their attics in the lower 9th ward have been calling the station saying where they are and asking that some one come get them. But there is no one to come. Those that are not already dead are dying. D estimates that there are easily some 40-50,000 people dead in their homes in the lower 9th ward. I can not imagine listening to this on the radio, knowing that these peoples pleas are falling on deaf ears. They have simply been left to die.
D affirmed reports of people marching through the streets with guns, taking what they can out of sheer desperation, though he says that situation has largely calmed down. This is why he is sitting on his porch with an AK-47 - he ways if someone asks him for water he will give them water, but if they point a gun at him he will have to shoot them. He does not blame people for these actions - again, they are desperate and abandoned. Now, as with others we have had contact with in New Orleans, the people are afraid to leave their homes because of the National Guard, who have permission to shoot anyone on the spot.
There are many more small details D relayed, but I do not have time for them all now. Just to say that he confirms reports we have received about supplies and relief not getting through. Apparently some assistance is starting to get into the city, but not to the poor neighborhoods.
OK, I have to go now - we need to get on the road towards New Orleans.
We will be stopping in Baton Rouge where we will be meeting up with D (they have found a car to get out of the city) and we will then assess the situation and take things from there. It looks more and more like we will not be able to enter the city without the extreme likelihood of being killed in the process. So we will regroup in Baton Rouge and start relief efforts with the refugees already there and the rest of the people being airlifted out of New Orleans. If we deem it at all possible, we will still try to enter the city of New Orleans, but we will not put ourselves in the position of being killed as then we can be of no help to anyone.
All these people will need places to go. Please start finding housing, campsites, etc. in your communities and forward any information to us.
SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON.
WHY DID OUR GOVERNMENT DELIBERATELY STARVE THE POOR PEOPLE OF NEW ORLEANS?
WHY ARE THEY FORCING US OUT OF OUR CITY AND DO THEY PLAN ON 'GIVING IT BACK'?
QUESTIONS NEED TO BE ASKED AND ANSWERS GIVEN. WILL THE REFUGEES BE GIVEN ANY FOOD AND WATER NOW? WHAT ARE THEIR PLANS FOR THE PEOPLE THAT MANAGED TO STAY ALIVE.
NEW ORLEANS HAS BEEN TAKEN OVER BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.
BEWARE, THIS MAY COME TO A NEIGHBORHOOD NEAR YOU.
A few more points I'd make to like in the name of the C3 organization
in New Orleans:
- no involvement by Halliburton, Kellogg, Brown and Root
or any other contractor for which elected representatives
have a financial interest, such as dirty Dirk Cheney
- full restoration of affordable housing for all residents
of New Orleans as of midnight, August 29, 2005
- complete hearings on all aspects of this disaster,
including sabotage of plans for Category 5 levees,
repair of existing levees, total budgeting for all needed
drainage projects for City being constructed by the
Corps of Engineers
- cease removal of low income residents from any Section 8,
or public housing unit, a full accounting of all residents
displaced from St. Thomas Housing Project and all other
- full investigation of public subsidies for real estate developers
including Press Kabacoff and Canazzaro and how those subsidies cut into funds not provided for needed social services for the poor, infirm, elderly, and disadvantaged
- full investigation of the role of the city's preservationists in the seizure of properties, arsons, murder, and other crimes
- demand that from the point that the state of emergency
ends in the city, government will be conducted in such
a way that it is transparent and accountable. Hearings on
proposals for how that could be accomplished will be held
and the best ideas passed into law by the City Council...and
if they don't pass them, those ideas will be the issues for
the coming elections....NO, those elections will NOT be
cancelled...this disaster HAS to on the agenda for change.
Peace out - we must hit the road now and go see what is happening to our city and do our best to help save our people. Please keep sending donations and supplies, everyone has been so generous, but it is still but a drop in the bucket. We will post more info when we arrive in Baton Rouge.
With sorrow and a broken heart -
Andrea Garland [reposted by Karen, who removed names]