First Report From Mayday DC/I-News Relief Effort in New Orleans

First Report From Mayday DC/I-News Relief Effort in New Orleans\r\n9-9-05\r\nChuck Munson\r\n\r\n The relief van piloted by Mayday DC arrives in New Orleans and finds people without medical help who have been abandoned by the government.\r\n\r\n\r\nNew Orleans - The Mayday DC/Infoshop News relief van arrived in New Orleans this afternoon and immediately started distributing supplies outside the Masjib Bilal Mosque in the Algiers neighborhood, across the Mississippi River from downtown. The van\'s crew includes activist Jamie \"Bork\" Loughner, two EMTs, and one street medic. They managed to get through several checkpoints without any problems.\r\n\r\nAs soon as the van arrived, neighborhood residents who are doing volunteer relief work at the mosque started helping the Mayday DC volunteers set up their wellness tent, which is being dubbed the \"Mayday Mutual Aid Medical Station.\" The wellness center will be open during the hours that the curfew isn\'t in effect.\r\n\r\nThe residents of the neighborhood say that the van is the first medical help of any kind that has been set up in the community since the hurricane and the floods. As soon as the wellness tent was set up, several residents and a pair of levee workers dropped in to ask about tetanus shots, blood pressure medicine, and insulin. The streets are being patrolled by the military and private security companies, including OmniPinnacle and Instar. There have been some quick drops of supplies, but Algiers residents are angry that the aid so far has been condescending and inadequate. The government response so far has confirmed the widespread feeling that the local, state and federal governments have abandoned the people living in Algiers. People also feel like they aren\'t being offered any future alternatives.\r\n\r\nBork reports that some of the police are saying that the corporations are going to exploit the situation. One sheriff told her that FEMA and Red Cross are hindering the relief efforts to the poor.\r\n\r\nShe notes that there is a critical shortage of insulin in the neighborhood.\r\n\r\nInfoshop News talked to several local residents, a street medic, and an EMT. Imanda Brown, Rsuaw Diarra, and others have spent most of the afternoon cleaning the mosque and setting up relief for their community.\r\n\r\nImanda Brown is a resident of Algiers:\r\n\r\n\"The situation here is detrimental. There is a lack of health care. Our own city officials aren\'t helping--they are making the situation worse. They aren\'t bringing food in or providing health care of any kind. The residents have had to rely on people from out of state. The children are in need of help. People are streaming in from other parishes and parts of town. Is the government helping the people or hindering the people? Do they have some kind of ulterior motive?\r\n\r\n\"They say they are helping people, but you have to call a number to get help. How are people without phone service supposed to call a number to get help? People in the community are donating their own personal items to help each other.\"\r\n\r\n\"Other parishes are closed off. You need an ID to travel—how many people have ID? The curfew is hurting efforts to get supplies and help. Can\'t get ice. They are blocking people from arranging help. The government does nothing now and has done nothing in the past to help us. They don\'t care about educating the children. People who aren\'t educated can\'t help themselves. All these relief people want to go on TV and show how they are helping people. Where were you when the storm hit? The officials were in hiding. They don\'t care as long as their families are OK\"\r\n\r\n\"We are very fortunate that some people are caring.\"\r\n\r\n\"There is no insurance for the people. They push people to the side. They elect people who take care of the people with money. People are sitting in their comfortable homes. They aren\'t putting up community centers. People here don\'t have money to rebuild.\"\r\n\r\n<a href=\"http://neworleans.indymedia.org/news/2005/09/4945.php\">click to read the rest of the article</a>\r\n

Citation

Leo Gorman, “First Report From Mayday DC/I-News Relief Effort in New Orleans,” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed September 19, 2019, http://hurricanearchive.org/items/show/33644.