\"Get Off the Fucking Freeway\"

\"Get Off the Fucking Freeway\"\r\n9-6-05\r\nLarry Bradshaw and Lorrie Beth Slonsky\r\n\r\n Two paramedics stranded in New Orleans in the wake of hurricane Katrina give their account of self-organisation and abandonment in the disaster zone\r\n\r\nTwo 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 widows. 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.\r\n\r\nOutside Walgreen\'s windows, residents and tourists grew increasingly thirsty and hungry.\r\n\r\nThe 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.\r\n\r\nWe 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.\r\n\r\nWe 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 heroes and sheroes 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.\r\n\r\nMost 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.\r\n\r\n<a href=\"http://neworleans.indymedia.org/news/2005/09/4683.php\">click to read the rest of the article</a>

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Leo Gorman, “\"Get Off the Fucking Freeway\",” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed April 25, 2019, http://hurricanearchive.org/items/show/33641.