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anti-racism | imperialism & war | katrina aftermath

plenty of supplies waiting for these people, BUT THEY ARE NOT BEING ALLOWED INTO THE CITY.

quote: The National Guard has the city surrounded and is not letting anyone in or out, except the buses being evacuated. The excuse that they cannot bring supplies into New Orleans because of the looting and gun fire is not a valid excuse—if they are too afraid to enter the streets of New Orleans, they need to be air dropping supplies into the city. ...

Our government is killing the people of New Orleans. By withholding supplies, they are ensuring more deaths, and I hold them complicit.

Please bring this matter to the attention of the people of the United States. They need to know that New Orleans is deliberately being denied food and water. Perhaps if the people there had food and water, they might not be shooting off guns."
An angry letter from New Orleans
3 September 2005

On September 1 the WSWS posted a letter from a New Orleans hospital, forwarded to us by Karen O'Keefe, a Washington, DC-based lawyer. [Letter from New Orleans: tragedy at stranded hospital:  http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/sep2005/norl-s01.shtml] Ms. O'Keefe sent the following letter and accompanying message to the WSWS on Friday.

Yesterday, I wrote to you to let you know that my friends were stranded with many, many others in a hospital. Thank you for posting it. I am so relieved to report that they are out of New Orleans now. But, many, many others (including at least one of my good friends) are still stranded there—with little or no water, medications, food, security, and other essentials. The relief response—as we all know—has been scandalously little and late. Now, on top of the disgraceful federal response, the feds are actually preventing individuals from providing desperately needed help. Here is the email I received:

* * * * *
NOLA Denied Food & Water/Get Your Act On Relief

There are supplies sitting in Baton Rouge for the folks in New Orleans, but the National Guard has the city surrounded and is not letting anyone in or out. They are turning away people with supplies, claiming it is too dangerous. ...

This is the message I am now sending to all major media sources, national and worldwide, as well as posting to email lists, blogs, etc. The story is getting out that the people there are not getting supplies, but the truth of WHY is not. Please help spread the word, we must get this story out. Please do not let any more of my friends die.

Here is my message:

I am a resident of the Bywater in New Orleans (9th Ward). I am one of the lucky ones that was able to evacuate before the storm.

I have recently managed to speak to some friends stranded in New Orleans. They are starving and dehydrating and there is no news of when they will be receiving food and water. I have spoken to relief efforts and understand that there are plenty of supplies waiting for these people, BUT THEY ARE NOT BEING ALLOWED INTO THE CITY.

The National Guard has the city surrounded and is not letting anyone in or out, except the buses being evacuated. The excuse that they cannot bring supplies into New Orleans because of the looting and gun fire is not a valid excuse—if they are too afraid to enter the streets of New Orleans, they need to be air dropping supplies into the city. If the United States is capable of sending planes that can withstand enemy fire to drop bombs in Iraq, certainly they are capable of air dropping supplies into a city where the worst of the gunfire they could encounter would be from semi-automatics.

Our government is killing the people of New Orleans. By withholding supplies, they are ensuring more deaths, and I hold them complicit.

Please bring this matter to the attention of the people of the United States. They need to know that New Orleans is deliberately being denied food and water. Perhaps if the people there had food and water, they might not be shooting off guns.

Please feel free to call me for further information or with any questions. I appreciate your attention to this most serious matter.

I fear for my friends.

Sincerely,

Andrea Garland

Get Your Act On! (getyouracton.com)
Officials' access to city blocked 03.Sep.2005 20:48

not alone

 link to www.theage.com.au

OFFICIALS' ACCESS TO CITY BLOCKED
By Phillip Hudson
Political Correspondent
Canberra
September 4, 2005

AUSTRALIAN and other foreign officials were being refused entry into New Orleans last night because America fears they could be shot by gangs looting and raping in the devastated city.

Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer expressed his frustration as dozens of Australians remained stranded in New Orleans. The US State Department said it was not safe for Australian officials to go to their aid.

Instead several trapped Australians have been rescued by media organisations.

The Department of Foreign Affairs last night said about 24 Australians had been evacuated from New Orleans, mostly by bus, although 40 to 50 could still be in the flooded city. It said there were no reports of Australian casualties.

Mr Downer said expatriate communities in San Antonio and Houston in Texas had offered to take in Australians affected by hurricane Katrina. One of those volunteers is Mr Downer's sister Angela Moenche, who has lived in Houston for 20 years with her doctor husband and two adult children.

AdvertisementAs the Government faced criticism from families of those stranded in New Orleans for not doing enough to rescue them, Mr Downer said he had asked why the media could get in but diplomats were blocked.

Australia's ambassador in Washington, Dennis Richardson, unsuccessfully joined with diplomats from Britain, Canada and other countries to lift the ban.

"But the American Administration is making it perfectly clear it is not allowing officials from any foreign governments, including Australia, access to New Orleans," Mr Downer said.

"Partly because they believe that there are still substantial security risks there that officials going in there could be attacked and could be shot and they want to get the security situation more under control."

He was concerned for those still stranded but "delighted" the media had rescued others.