Hurricane Katrina: The People Did Not Have to Die

by duko Saturday, Sep. 03, 2005 at 12:58 AM

There was no way to stop Hurricane Katrina, but the chaos, suffering and death that resulted from this storm WAS preventable. Why didnt the government organize massive and systematic evacuation? Why werent the levees maintained? Why were so many people left to fend for themselves?


Statement by the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA -- August 31, 2005


Special posting for Revolution, August 31, 2005,
posted at revcom.us



There was no way to stop Hurricane Katrina, but the chaos, suffering and death that resulted from this storm WAS preventable. Why didnt the government organize massive and systematic evacuation? Why werent the levees maintained? Why were so many people left to fend for themselves?



This government has spent hundreds of billions for the war in Iraq but didnt evacuate a city facing a devastating storm that had been predicted for days. They got all kinds of helicopters and transport plans in Iraq but in New Orleans people were trapped in the city and stuffed into the sports stadium.



People, from all walks of life, are suffering because preventive measures that could have lessened the effects of the hurricane are not profitable. People were forced into an "every-man-for-himself" situation, so millions were left to try and survive on their own. Over 100,000 people were left in New Orleans -- often because they didn't have a car, gas or cash.



This disaster revealed the unequal and oppressive relations of this system. People live in conditions where when a disaster hits, they are left in severe and needless danger of death. On TV, weve seen the many thousands of Black people trapped in New Orleans and other dangerous places. We see the results of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow and the present-day effects of this oppressive history in sharp relief.



Before the storm even hit, Louisiana's governor Blanco gave authorities the power to suspend civil liberties. Federal Homeland Security officials have declared a national emergency. In the media, people desperately trying to survive are being demonized as "dangerous armed gangs of looters." Meanwhile, the governor is sending in troops. All this cannot be good for the people.



Louisianas governor called for a day of prayer. And while individuals can pray if they want, the government should be meeting the needs of the people, mobilizing others to help, not telling people to pray.



The new developing dangers are caused by the way that society is set up, NOT by nature. New suffering must be prevented. The disaster that looms is not inevitable IF HUMAN BEINGS ARE MOBILIZED TO PREVENT IT. If people are NOT mobilized in this way, if the government is NOT forced to take URGENT measures right away, then hundreds and possibly thousands more will needlessly die from disease and/or not being rescued.


WE DEMAND:





 


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