imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

In Praise of Looting

by Harry Looter Saturday, Sep. 03, 2005 at 6:08 AM

In the midst of all of this pain and misery, the media and the authorities have decided that the central story now is the looting and "lawlessness" that are taking place around the city.

In Praise of Looting Blaming Katrina's victims for not being rich

By Harry Looter
For Infoshop News
September 1, 2005

"The Iberville Housing Projects got pissed off because the police started to "shop" after they kicked out looters. Then they started shooting at cops. When the cops left, the looters looted everything. There's probably not a grocery left in this city."

The devastation wrought on the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina is clearly evident three days after the winds started blowing and the journalists scampered out from their hotels. Most of New Orleans is under water. The Mississippi and Alabama coasts are obliterated. The situation in New Orleans is dire as thousands of people struggle to survive and get out of the worsening toxic cesspool that the city is becoming.

In the midst of all of this pain and misery, the media and the authorities have decided that the central story now is the looting and "lawlessness" that are taking place around the city. The poor, mostly black, victims of Hurricane Katrina are being blamed for their response to the situation. Their logical response to having the homes and neighborhoods destroyed is understandable given that this disaster has been happening for a long time in their neighborhoods and lives. The ongoing disaster that they are reacting to is the catastrophe known as capitalism.

The media knows that playing up the looting on TV plays well in Peoria. Comfortable middle class white people watch the New Orleans situation on TV and resort to simplistic Christian judgments about right and wrong. Some of them understand that the "looters" have a moral right to take food and medicine, but they seize on news that looters have taken guns and TVs as evidence that the looters are bad people. The authorities help reinforce these beliefs with their constant pontification about how looters will be punished. This morning the authorities are further demonizing the poor people of New Orleans by suspending rescue efforts because some person fired at a Coast Guard rescue worker. We all know that if some white dude in a rich neighborhood that was under water fired at rescue workers the rescue effort would continue uninterrupted.

What exactly is so evil about taking a package of Pampers or some cans of food from a Winn-Dixie or a Wal-Mart store? These people are trying to survive in neighborhoods that are under water, with no services of any kind. Are the rescue workers, the media, or the state dropping pampers and bottled water into the flooded neighborhoods of New Orleans? Are the on-the-scene Fox News anchors putting down their microphones, rolling up their sleeves, and helping rescue people?

The media and authorities' obsession with looting is racist, capitalist and simply inhumane. What difference does it make what people take from the stores near their neighborhoods? They have no access to food, clean water, diapers, medicine, shoes, liquor, cigarettes and all the things that they need to get through this crisis. It's not like these corporate grocery stores are going to go bankrupt because hungry people clear out an inventory that will have to be destroyed once the waters recede. People are "dumpster-diving" from stores who are insured, well capitalized, and which will have to throw away all of their stock anyway.

The Government Can't Help You

The failure of the American state to respond to this tragedy is abundantly clear at this point. In its typical fashion, the state will turn the situation into a circus before the capitalist profiteers move in. On Friday, American president George W. Bush will fly into New Orleans to perform a photo op while some residents of New Orleans are still trapped in their attics. Many poor residents will be dying as Bush speaks useless words about the catastrophe. The hungry and wet people won't be fed by Bush's visit, but perhaps if he falls out of a helicopter while surveying the damage, the residents can make a good jambalaya with the presidential corpse. Meanwhile, there are reports that Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was laughing it up last night at a production in New York City of 'Spamalot'.

The catastrophe in New Orleans once again demonstrates the inability of the state to take care of its subjects, especially its poorest citizens. For all of the talk about "homeland security" over the past few years, very little homeland security was available for the residents of New Orleans. There are reports now about how the government cut back on programs that would have helped New Orleans weather this disaster. The immediate response by rescue workers was hampered by the fact that the Louisiana National Guard is stuck in Iraq, fighting and losing an imperialist war staged by Bush and his Halliburton cronies. The evacuation plan worked for middle and upper class people with cars, but apparently there was no effort to bus poor people out of the city as Hurricane Katrina approached.

If there is a silver lining in this ongoing tragedy, it involves the small acts of mutual aid being done by New Orleans residents for each other. This includes people rescuing people from flooded houses, people helping move sick people to dry ground, people sharing food and materials with each other, and much more. In times of natural or manmade disasters, humans have shown time and time again their ability to help each other out via mutual aid. These responses play out organically and can't be organized by the state. In many instances, the state's efforts interfere with this mutual aid and make situations worse. It's pretty clear in New Orleans that the state totally failed the poor residents of the city.

Looting is not a problem in New Orleans right now. People have a right to take what they need to survive. Even if they take things that aren't needed for survival, those of us watching from the comfort of our dry homes have no reason to complain about these actions. Finally, let's remember that looting is a form of wealth redistribution. When rich people loot, they call it capitalism, good business practices, third quarter dividends, the new economy and "giving people job." When your neighborhood is under water and there are no relief services in sight, taking diapers from a Wal-Mart is not a criminal or immoral act.

Hooray for the looters!

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 4 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
state and people @-ist Saturday, Sep. 03, 2005 at 11:43 AM
perhaps Sheepdog Saturday, Sep. 03, 2005 at 12:02 PM
Ah fresca Sunday, Sep. 04, 2005 at 7:18 AM
deliberate Hire Thursday, Sep. 22, 2005 at 10:23 PM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy