Here’s what the priorities should be in the aftermath:
1. Get people out & taken care of
2. DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY so this doesn’t happen again.
3. Stop the government from taking the federal funds that should go to helping people in these cases, and make sure it doesn’t go to lining the pockets of the oil companies and Halliburtons of the world that are pushing the war in Iraq.
When the earthquake hits L.A. or San Francisco – is it going to come out that one of my cities has been fucked over like New Orleans was, with the federal funds that should have helped prevent this disaster diverted away by our own government?
To help the victims, CODEPINK is putting out their own call to action:
Dear CODEPINK Supporter,
In the wake of the horrific devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, further compounded by the Bush Administration’s disastrous response, the women and men of CODEPINK are fully mobilized to be of service in every way possible. It is heart-wrenching to see the disconsolate faces of our brothers and sisters begging their nation for help. Most tragic are the anguished images of unsheltered mothers, clutching hungry babies while searching for food. All this, while our critically needed National Guard, the homeland’s primary protectors, are deployed to battle an illegal, unjustifiable war. Tragically, the misdeeds of the Federal Government have shredded America’s ability to take care of its own. Nearly 40% of our National Guard and Army reservists are currently fighting in Iraq. And while the National Guard of each state serves under authority of the Governor, the Bush Administration has commandeered their critical services, forced them overseas, and depleted America’s own strength at home.
These atrocious policies, which have severely weakened our nation, increase the urgent need for the women and men of CODEPINK, and the rest of America, to RISE UP TO HELP. Please do whatever you can. CODEPINK has compiled the following ways you can contribute to help alleviate this unprecedented tragedy.
1. Donate Blood, Blood for Life and Not for Oil. Contact http://www.givelife.org or call 1-800—GIVELIFE. You can make your own individual appointment or go as a group. San Diego CODEPINK is organizing a group donation on Sunday.
2. Support our CODEPINK Austin and Houston efforts to aid victims flooding into their cities (https://secure.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizations/codepink/shop/custom.jsp?donate_page_KEY=903).This includes support for housing, clothing and food needs, and special needs of women and infant children.
3. Send much needed supplies to CAMP CASEY III, in Covington LA (http://www.codepinkalert.org/article.php?list=type&type=74).
Veterans and other Camp Casey Alumni have set up a relief station at Reverend Peter Atkins Park in Covington. Corner of 28th and Tyler in Covington, Louisiana. Today we sent 2 huge boxes of medical supplies.
4. Create a visible presence at your Federal Building to demand full funding for Katrina relief efforts and to demand the National Guard return home from Iraq to support the relief efforts.
Bay Area CODEPINK will be in front of the San Francisco and Oakland Federal Buildings from 4:30pm-6pm on Tuesday. You can pick Tuesday or any day of your choosing for your local action. Let us know what you have planned. (Contact: email@example.com and put Katrina in the subject.)
We are one nation. We are one people. AND WE WILL HELP!
And normally I don’t associate with them – but here’s the call to action from A.N.S.W.E.R. – nationwide federal protests against the criminal neglect of Bush’s administration. This is a demand for accountability. Meet with Cindy? Bush, you’ve got the blood of THOUSANDS of grieving families on your hands now, while their loved ones rot in the streets of Louisiana. You’ve got a lot more to answer for today than you did a week ago.
Call to action from the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
What is taking place today in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama is a crisis rarely seen in this country. It has provoked an outpouring of concern for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Millions of people across the United States and around the world are watching in horror at both the scale of suffering and the lack of response by President Bush and the U.S. government. Thousands are dead or missing; millions have been displaced or lost their jobs and homes.
The African American community in New Orleans has been especially hard hit, and on top of massive death and suffering has been the victim of vicious racist scapegoating at the hands of government officials and the corporate media. The real “looters” in this crisis are the big oil companies that are making super-profits by jacking up the price of gas and oil all over the country.
It is becoming clearer every day that this crisis goes far beyond a “natural disaster.” The massive death and destruction did not have to happen as a result of the hurricane; rather it is caused by a government that prioritizes profits, war and conquest over human needs. The danger that a hurricane posed for New Orleans and the region had been known and discussed for years—with no significant preparations taken. Funds were diverted from securing the levees to pay for the war in Iraq and the protective wetlands were sold off to the developers.
Global warming is a major factor in the big increase in tropical storms, particularly Hurricane Katrina, which developed from a minimal hurricane to one of the largest and most powerful ever recorded because of the extremely high water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico. Still, the Bush Administration continues to contemptuously turn its back on evidence of climate change and stands by its position to cancel the Kyoto Accord.
Before the hurricane struck, the government issued a mandatory evacuation order with a “free-market approach.” In other words, people were ordered to leave, but the means for evacuation were not provided. It was the poorest sectors of the working class and predominantly the African American community that did not have the means to leave and endured the greatest personal suffering. Even days after the hurricane the U.S. government has refused to commandeer all available buses and send them to transport people out. With the city awash in a sea of sewage and chemicals, the contemptible director of FEMA, Michael Brown, had the gall to then accuse those who have suffered the most: “I think the death toll may go into the thousands and, unfortunately, that’s going to be attributable a lot to people who did not heed the advance warnings.” (September 1, CNN)
The Bush administration has spared no resource in waging its war against Iraq, taking more than $200 billion from the people of the United States to do so. It spared no resource in destroying the entire city of Fallujah last November. But when it comes to confronting this “natural” catastrophe, the Bush administration has been criminally derelict. Bush’s relief package of $10.5 billion which equals just 7 weeks of the cost of the occupation of Iraq is completely inadequate. As people, including babies and the elderly, go without food and water, and corpses lie in the street and float in the water, Bush has presented a meager and dilatory response.
The government is preparing to bail out the oil companies, insurance companies, other big corporations and casinos. Big Oil is also using this catastrophe as an opportunity to line their pockets. Working people in the United States need to stand with the victims of this crisis and demand that the government provide both short and long-term assistance to those who have lost everything.
Join the protest on Wednesday, September 7 in Los Angeles and demand real relief for the victims of Hurricane Katrina!
Stop Racist Scapegoating of the Victims!
Jail the Real “Looters” the Big Oil executives!
Money for People’s Needs, Not for War!
Stop Bush’s War Against the Poor at Home and Abroad!
National Protests Scheduled:
Los Angeles: 6 pm, Westwood Federal Building,11000 Wilshire Blvd (corner of Veteran & Wilshire)
Washington, DC: 5 pm, White House
San Francisco: 5 pm, Powell & Market Sts.
Seattle: 5 pm at Westlake (Pine near 4th)
For more info call 323-464-1636 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.