Friday, September 02, 2005

The poor of New Orleans fight to survive - by themselves 

Liberal blogs for Hurricane Relief

American Red Cross

"Many people didn't have the financial means to get out. That's a crime and people are angry about it." - Alan LeBreton, a Biloxi resident

"We are watching this devastation unfold on our televisions for days and you have to ask: where is the federal government?" - Senator Frank Lautenberg (Dem-New Jersey)

"First question: Why have aid and security taken so long to arrive? Katrina hit five days ago - and it was already clear by last Friday that Katrina could do immense damage along the Gulf Coast. Yet the response you'd expect from an advanced country never happened. Thousands of Americans are dead or dying, not because they refused to evacuate, but because they were too poor or too sick to get out without help - and help wasn't provided. Many have yet to receive any help at all." - Paul Krugman

"For the first time in 37 years, federal budget cuts have all but stopped major work on the New Orleans area's east bank hurricane levees, a complex network of concrete walls, metal gates and giant earthen berms that won't be finished for at least another decade." - New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 2004

"It is a natural disaster of unprecedented proportions for America. But the irony and the tragedy of the killer storm called Katrina is that the hurricane's devastating effects were entirely predictable -- and largely preventable." -
Business Weekly

"New Orleans may go down in history as the first major city in an advanced country to be lost to the process of global warming... We sincerely hope that the Bush administration will take the call from Hurricane Katrina and reconsider its energy and environmental policies and replace ostrich-like escapism with leadership in the global effort to deal with the crisis of global climatic change." - Tapei News, Taiwan

"The fast and safe evacuation was white, leaving behind poor black people, as if time had stood still between the racial unrest of the sixties and today." - Die Tageszeitung, Germany

"They have M-16s and are locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill and I expect they will." - Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, commenting on the prospect of gunning down the desperate of New Orleans

"It is not too soon... to make a point that needs to be hammered home again and again, and that is that government policies have real consequences in people's lives. This is not "just politics" or blaming for political advantage. This is about the real consequences of what governments do and do not do about their responsibilities. And about who winds up paying the price for those policies." - Molly Ivins

With all sympathy for those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Wish I could do something to help. In the age of the weather of mass destruction that humanity is heading towards, I can only hope that the rich countries will be less callous towards their poorest citizens in the future.

People outside the USA should not kid themselves that comparable tragedies and neglect cannot and does not happen nearer to you. Make something good out of something awful - why not get active today in the struggle to contain climate change and the fight against poverty and social injustice?

Alex Higgins, Tottenham, London, England (respond_alexblog@yahoo.co.uk)
The climate crisis is here and now - but the US President has nothing to say about it
A Can't Do Government fails its citizens
The Destruction of New Orleans

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