Sunday, September 04, 2005
Survivor story from New Orleans
I don't want to engage in arguments for or against Mayor Nagin. There was ineptitude enough all the way around. The NOPD served absolutely no purpose, the Superdome was a nightmare and the Morial Center was damned lucky to avoid a full blown riot by Thurs. at approx. 10 am. The La. State Police were guarding imaginary lines and putting on shows worthy of the Wehrmacht, the State Wildlife Rangers and others literally were riding around in circles with their boats on trailers all day Wed. (which really wasn't wet) and a National Guard Lt. admitted to me when they arrived at the Morial Center on Wed. at 2 pm that they didn't have the foggiest idea as to what they were to do.
I know this because I was there until late Thurs and saw this crap first hand. I saw the babies literally dying in the streets, bodies being dumped in the dumpsters outside the Morial Center, and was amazed by our finding 6-7 foot tall stacks of cases of all kinds of water, juices and pop when the bodies began to stink.
Nagin's anger was understandable because at the time in Louisiana EVERY OTHER state and most fed leaders were breaking their arms patting themselves on the back and COMPLETELY CLUELESS as to what was going on on the streets. They were happily claiming victory over a natural disaster that they percieved as the worst in Am. History --- really, some of them seemed gleeful in their "resolve"???? It was easy to show the rioters and to dismiss them as subhuman, but I was in a smaller crowd of sixty that looted the hell out of a food court, food stored in the Center and a drugstore so we could feed ourselves and get medicine. Even alot of the "clowns" were actually stealing stacks of children's clothes, food and ice and offering them to anyone who needed them. When a cop first saw me with 2 cases of water and a am-fm walkman he called me "pathethic" and dismissed me as every other looting a-hole.
I nearly exploded, but telling a jerk to go DOPE himself would not have done me or my teeth much good in the long run.
Maybe later I will write more, but right now I haven't been able to really sleep since last Sat. night/Sun. morning. I will leave you all with this, the situation was far worse than TV shows, I was a part of a group estimated to be between 7 & 30,000 at various points that the powers that weren't didn't claim to know existed even though, a) a captain in the NOPD and Sgt. in the La State Troopers first told me about it on Tues., b) that was sitting next to the HQ of a number of Guard units and NO Harbor Police, c) a place where a lot of the evacuees were taken by the assorted police forces for rescue, and d) a place that received no food or water until the media alerted the public (Thurs. at 5:30 pm). --- oh yeah, which also was in the direct original path of the "rescue" buses headed for the Superdome.
How I got stuck there is amazing, but I have one helluva bone to pick with American Airlines -- and I will leave it at that... I have personally seen too many dead bodies, had to steal and think about stealing more shit than you can imagine, and am so fucking tired that it hurts to sit here.
Please call someone to express outrage. My small group of tourists and displaced families with the most well behaved kids called no less than five national consulates and were nearly overrun in an almost riot because it a bad situation that nearly proved deadly, and were copies of dozens of similar groups, some of which may still be there.
Good night all.
For the back story, see this DailyKos diary.