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Jon Rappoport News Archive


EXACTLY WHO AND WHAT ARE "DESCENDING INTO CHAOS" IN NEW ORLEANS?

SEPTEMBER 16, 2005. Jesus H Christ. I can only hope this email is concocted, but I don't think it is. No.

The following was forwarded through to me. It is from Joel Stillerman, who was on the scene in New Orleans and was caught up in the attempt to survive.

As you read this, even if you can think of various reasons for the actions of the law officers there, you will find that, as you continue, those reasons fade away.

Instead you are left with the perception that ORDER and MARTIAL LAW and REPRESSION were indeed the prime directives, and rescue was on the far back burner.

In this light, the whole culture of brutality emerges.

America right or wrong, my America? I don't think so. Not for a second. Assuming this account is factual, no one who has a shred of real patriotism in his blood can fail to be outraged.

If we had a president with an ounce of morality and the courage to walk out into the streets with his own voice, this kind of thing would be his subject. He would hammer on it over and over. He would turn all those fake patriots into mush.

But isn't that way. It's another way.

From:

Joel Stillerman, PhD
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Sociology
Grand Valley State University
2166 AuSable Hall
Allendale, MI 49401

Phone: 616-331-3129
Fax: 616-331-3735
e-mail: stillejo@gvsu.edu

Two days after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the Walgreen?s store at the corner of Royal and Iberville streets remained locked. The dairy display case was clearly visible through the windows. It was now 48 hours without electricity, running water, plumbing. The milk, yogurt, and cheeses were beginning to spoil in the 90-degree heat. The owners and managers had locked up the food, water, pampers, and prescriptions and fled the City.

Outside Walgreen?s windows, residents and tourists grew increasingly thirsty and hungry. The much-promised federal, state and local aid never materialized and the windows at Walgreen?s gave way to the looters. There was an alternative. The cops could have broken one small window and distributed the nuts, fruit juices, and bottle water in an organized and systematic manner. But they did not. Instead they spent hours playing cat and mouse, temporarily chasing away the looters.

We were finally airlifted out of New Orleans two days ago and arrived home yesterday (Saturday). We have yet to see any of the TV coverage or look at a newspaper. We are willing to guess that there were no video images or front-page pictures of European or affluent white tourists looting the Walgreen?s in the French Quarter.

We also suspect the media will have been inundated with "hero" images
of the National Guard, the troops and the police struggling to help the
"victims" of the Hurricane. What you will not see, but what we witnessed, were the real he-roes and she-roes of the hurricane relief effort: the working class of New Orleans. The maintenance workers who used a fork lift to carry the sick and disabled. The engineers, who rigged, nurtured and kept the generators running. The electricians who improvised thick extension cords
stretching over blocks to share the little electricity we had in order to free cars stuck on rooftop parking lots. Nurses who took over for mechanical ventilators and spent many hours on end manually forcing air into the lungs of unconscious patients to keep them alive. Doormen who rescued folks stuck in elevators.

Refinery workers who broke into boat yards, "stealing" boats to rescue their neighbors clinging to their roofs in flood waters. Mechanics who helped hot-wire any car that could be found to ferry people out of the City. And the food service workers who scoured the commercial kitchens
improvising communal meals for hundreds of those stranded. Most of these workers had lost their homes, and had not heard from members of their families, yet they stayed and provided the only infrastructure for the 20% of New Orleans that was not under water.

On Day 2, there were approximately 500 of us left in the hotels in the French Quarter. We were a mix of foreign tourists, conference attendees like ourselves, and locals who had checked into hotels for safety and shelter from Katrina. Some of us had cell phone contact with family and
friends outside of New Orleans. We were repeatedly told that all sorts of resources including the National Guard and scores of buses were pouring in to the City. The buses and the other resources must have been invisible because none of us had seen them.

We decided we had to save ourselves. So we pooled our money and came up
with $25,000 to have ten buses come and take us out of the City. Those who
did not have the requisite $45.00 for a ticket were subsidized by those who
did have extra money. We waited for 48 hours for the buses, spending the
last 12 hours standing outside, sharing the limited water, food, and clothes
we had. We created a priority boarding area for the sick, elderly and new born
babies. We waited late into the night for the "imminent" arrival of the buses. The buses never arrived. We later learned that the minute they arrived at the City limits, they were commandeered by the military.

By day 4 our hotels had run out of fuel and water. Sanitation was dangerously abysmal. As the desperation and despair increased, street crime as well as water levels began to rise. The hotels turned us out and locked their doors, telling us that the "officials" told us to report to the
convention center to wait for more buses. As we entered the center of the City, we finally encountered the National Guard. The Guards told us we
would not be allowed into the Superdome as the City?s primary shelter had
descended into a humanitarian and health hellhole. The guards further told
us that the City?s only other shelter, the Convention Center, was also descending into chaos and squalor and that the police were not allowing anyone else in. Quite naturally, we asked, "If we can?t go to the only 2 shelters in the City, what was our alternative?" The guards told us
that was our problem, and no they did not have extra water to give to
us. This would be the start of our numerous encounters with callous and hostile "law enforcement".

We walked to the police command center at Harrah?s on Canal Street and
were told the same thing, that we were on our own, and no they did not have
water to give us. We now numbered several hundred. We held a mass meeting to decide a course of action. We agreed to camp outside the police command post. We would be plainly visible to the media and would constitute a highly visible embarrassment to the City officials. The police told us that we could not stay. Regardless, we began to settle in and set up camp. In
short order, the police commander came across the street to address our
group. He told us he had a solution: we should walk to the Pontchartrain
Expressway and cross the greater New Orleans Bridge where the police had buses lined up to take us out of the City. The crowd cheered and began to move. We called everyone back and explained to the commander that there had been lots of misinformation and wrong information and was he sure that there were buses waiting for us. The commander turned to the crowd and stated emphatically, "I swear to you that the buses are there."

We organized ourselves and the 200 of us set off for the bridge with great
excitement and hope. As we marched past the convention center, many
locals saw our determined and optimistic group and asked where we were
headed. We told them about the great news. Families immediately grabbed their few belongings and quickly our numbers doubled and then doubled again. Babies in strollers now joined us, people using crutches, elderly clasping walkers and others people in wheelchairs. We marched the 2-3 miles to the freeway and up the steep incline to the Bridge. It now began to pour down rain, but it did not dampen our enthusiasm.

As we approached the bridge, armed Gretna sheriffs formed a line across the
foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing
their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and of the
commander?s assurances. The sheriffs informed us there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move.

We questioned why we couldn?t cross the bridge anyway, especially as
there was little traffic on the 6-lane highway. They responded that the West
Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no Superdomes in their City. These were code words for if you are poor and black, you are not crossing the Mississippi River and you were not getting out of New Orleans.

Our small group retreated back down Highway 90 to seek shelter from the
rain under an overpass. We debated our options and in the end decided to
build an encampment in the middle of the Ponchartrain Expressway on the center divide, between the O?Keefe and Tchoupitoulas exits. We reasoned we would be visible to everyone, we would have some security being on an elevated freeway and we could wait and watch for the arrival of the yet to be seen buses.

All day long, we saw other families, individuals and groups make the
same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be
turned away. Some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no, others to be verbally berated and humiliated. Thousands of New Orleansers were
prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the City on foot.

Meanwhile, the only two City shelters sank further into squalor and
disrepair. The only way across the bridge was by vehicle. We saw
workers stealing trucks, buses, moving vans, semi-trucks and any car that
could be hotwired. All were packed with people trying to escape the misery New Orleans had become.

Our little encampment began to blossom. Someone stole a water delivery
truck and brought it up to us. Let?s hear it for looting! A mile or so down
the freeway, an army truck lost a couple of pallets of C-rations on a
tight turn. We ferried the food back to our camp in shopping carts. Now
secure with the two necessities, food and water; cooperation, community, and
creativity flowered. We organized a clean up and hung garbage bags from the
rebar poles. We made beds from wood pallets and cardboard. We designated a storm drain as the bathroom and the kids built an elaborate enclosure
for privacy out of plastic, broken umbrellas, and other scraps. We even
organized a food recycling system where individuals could swap out
parts of C-rations (applesauce for babies and candies for kids!).

This was a process we saw repeatedly in the aftermath of Katrina. When
individuals had to fight to find food or water, it meant looking out
for yourself only. You had to do whatever it took to find water for your
kids or food for your parents. When these basic needs were met, people began to look out for each other, working together and constructing a community.

If the relief organizations had saturated the City with food and water
in the first 2 or 3 days, the desperation, the frustration and the
ugliness would not have set in. Flush with the necessities, we offered food and water to passing families and individuals. Many decided to stay and join us.
Our encampment grew to 80 or 90 people. From a woman with a battery
powered radio we learned that the media was talking about us. Up in full view
on the freeway, every relief and news organizations saw us on their way into
the City. Officials were being asked what they were going to do about all
those families living up on the freeway? The officials responded they were
going to take care of us. Some of us got a sinking feeling. "Taking care of
us" had an ominous tone to it.

Unfortunately, our sinking feeling (along with the sinking City) was
correct. Just as dusk set in, a Gretna Sheriff showed up, jumped out of his patrol vehicle, aimed his gun at our faces, screaming, "Get off the
fucking freeway". A helicopter arrived and used the wind from its blades to
blow away our flimsy structures. As we retreated, the sheriff loaded up his
truck with our food and water. Once again, at gunpoint, we were forced off
the freeway. All the law enforcement agencies appeared threatened when we
congregated or congealed into groups of 20 or more. In every congregation of
"victims" they saw "mob" or "riot". We felt safety in numbers. Our "we must
stay together" was impossible because the agencies would force us into
small atomized groups.

In the pandemonium of having our camp raided and destroyed, we
scattered once again. Reduced to a small group of 8 people, in the dark, we
sought refuge in an abandoned school bus, under the freeway on Cilo Street.
We were hiding from possible criminal elements but equally and definitely, we
were hiding from the police and sheriffs with their martial law, curfew and
shoot-to-kill policies.

The next days, our group of 8 walked most of the day, made contact with
New Orleans Fire Department and were eventually airlifted out by an urban
search and rescue team. We were dropped off near the airport and managed to catch a ride with the National Guard. The two young guardsmen apologized for the limited response of the Louisiana guards. They explained that a large section of their unit was in Iraq and that meant they were shorthanded and were unable to complete all the tasks they were assigned.

We arrived at the airport on the day a massive airlift had begun. The
airport had become another Superdome. We 8 were caught in a press of
humanity as flights were delayed for several hours while George Bush
landed briefly at the airport for a photo op. After being evacuated on a
coast guard cargo plane, we arrived in San Antonio, Texas.

There the humiliation and dehumanization of the official relief effort
continued. We were placed on buses and driven to a large field where
we were forced to sit for hours and hours. Some of the buses did not have
air-conditioners. In the dark, hundreds if us were forced to share two
filthy overflowing porta-potties. Those who managed to make it out
with any possessions (often a few belongings in tattered plastic bags) we were subjected to two different dog-sniffing searches.

Most of us had not eaten all day because our C-rations had been
confiscated at the airport because the rations set off the metal detectors. Yet, no food had been provided to the men, women, children, elderly, disabled as they sat for hours waiting to be "medically screened" to make sure we were not carrying any communicable diseases.

This official treatment was in sharp contrast to the warm, heart-felt
reception given to us by the ordinary Texans. We saw one airline worker
give her shoes to someone who was barefoot. Strangers on the street offered
us money and toiletries with words of welcome. Throughout, the official
relief effort was callous, inept, and racist. There was more suffering than
need be. Lives were lost that did not need to be lost.

end email

JON RAPPOPORT www.nomorefakenews.com


 

 

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Before leaving this site, please have a quick look at the highlights below to appreciate the scope and value of our information and activities:
Home Page  -- Freedom Channels covering wide range of aspects and levels of freedom (including Superhealth) Freedom / Liberty Portal -- Gateway to thousands of freedom-oriented websites -- Best place to start your freedom search Paths To Freedom -- How to use this website -- Explore all of the paths and expand your freedom horizons -- Start using Freedom Technology Freedom Discussion Lists -- Free World Order -- Advanced Freedom Solutions -- Financial Independence -- Upgrade Your Life -- etc.
Build Freedom Books and Reports -- Applying Freedom Technology to succeed in life -- Basic, Practical & Advanced Freedom Financial Independence For Freedom Lovers -- Liberty Money Machines -- Millionaire Reports -- Business Opportunities Website Design & Promotion -- Website hosting -- How to design websites -- How to promote websites -- How to make websites profitable Make the FWO / BuildFreedom website the startup page for your browser -- click here. (Check it out to see why)