National Day of Emergency Action
Support the People of New Orleans!
Jobs/Income & Housing
for All Displaced Families
Real Relief - Yes! Racism - No!
Wednesday, September 7
Join a protest on September 7 see below for details of protests in Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle - or organize one in your community or on your campus. List your event on the A.N.S.W.E.R. website!
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.
For an eyewitness report, read
'This is criminal': Malik Rahim reports from New Orleans
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
- Washington DC: 5 pm at the White House. Call 202-544-3389 or email [email protected] for more information.
- San Francisco: 5 pm at Powell & Market Sts. Call 415-821-6545 for email [email protected] for more information.
- Los Angeles: 6 pm at the Westwood Federal Building (Veterans & Wilshire). Call 323-464-1636 or email [email protected] for more information.
- Seattle: 5 pm at Westlake (Pine near 4th). Call 206-568-1661 or email [email protected] for more information.
- Las Vegas, NV: 6pm On Maryland Pkwy and Harmon Rd in front of UNLV. email [email protected] for more information.
- Columbia, MO: 6:30pm at Village Square Park: 9th st. & Walnut. Email [email protected] for more information.
- Pittsfield, MA: 5pm at Park Square. Email [email protected] for more information.
- Charlotte, NC: 5pm at The Square, Trade St & Tryon St. Email [email protected] for more information.
- Sturgeon Bay, WI: 5:30pm at the Post Office. Email [email protected] for more information.
Join a protest on September 7 or organize one in your community or on your campus. Let us know if you are planning a protest in your area. Fill out the Event Listing Form as soon as you make your plans and your event will be listed on the A.N.S.W.E.R. website.
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
National Office in Washington DC: 202-544-3389
New York City: 212-533-0417
Los Angeles: 323-464-1636
San Francisco: 415-821-6545