The Revolutionary Communist Tour

The Revolutionary Communist Tour aims to build a communist movement among the people locked on the bottom of society in the current era of Bushite Christian-fascism. Contact us at rc_speaks@yahoo.com, or P.O. Box 941 Knickerbocker Station New York, New York 10002-0900 866-841-9139 x2670

Monday, September 19, 2005

From the RC4: Report from Houston and Baton Rouge


Photo: Katrina evacuees at the Houston Astrodome (Final Call photo)

This is Joe Veale of the Revolutionary Communist 4. I was recently in Baton Rouge and the Houston Astrodome, talking with people who had been evacuated from the hurricane and flooding of New Orleans.

At the Astrodome, we passed out the special Hurricane Katrina issue of Revolution, which includes the RCP statement and demands and the "Wanted" poster that calls out the Bush regime as mass murderers. People grabbed up the paper, and some people took copies inside to pass to others, under the eyes of the tight prison-like security.

The government plans to move everyone from the Astrodome by the 17th of September. Who knows where? From talking with the people, I was able to get a real sense not only of the horror of the hurricane and the flooding but of the cold-blooded response of the government and its suppression of people who are trying to deal with this desperate situation that the government created in the first place, with its failure to act. The picture I got was one of people in a situation of extreme desperation, and the seizing on this by authorities as an opportunity to kill and viciously repress people who their system has no use for anyway. A situation made more desperate because the government left the people with no way out from the hurricane and the flood that followed--left them to find their own way out if they could. On top of this, they sicced their dogs--police, right-wing vigilantes, mercenaries from Iraq, National Guard--to repress and murder people.

One young woman with six kids told me that the only reason she and her kids were able to make it out alive is because others she did not know had broken into stores and provided them with food and water. She told me that the situation was so extreme, so desperate, that some people lost their minds. She watched some people jump from a bridge in New Orleans.

I could not help thinking about that old-time slavery--when African slaves jumped the ships to their deaths into the ocean instead of being packed on those ships like sardines, not knowing where they were going, or if they were going to live or die.

Virtually all the Black people from New Orleans that I spoke with made comparisons between what they experienced and what is happening in Iraq, under military occupation. People talked about National Guards walking the streets with their weapons pointed at them, kicking in doors, yelling at them, shooting them.

People tried to break through this vicious repression, to help those trapped in this life-and-death situation. Veterans for Peace and Justice loaded up trucks full of food and water to get to people. But at every turn, they were turned around by the National Guard and prevented from getting these supplies to the people.

I heard a story about 94 school bus drivers from Houston who paid for gas themselves and drove to New Orleans to get people out. They were held up for 30 hours by the National Guard and made to turn around and go back to Houston without rescuing anyone.

Before going to Baton Rouge, I had read about some Naval helicopter pilots who were given a mission to take supplies to the National Guard. On their return, some of them decided to go into New Orleans, to see if they could rescue people from the roofs of their homes. They were able to rescue about 100 people.

But once back at their base, the pilots were in trouble. They were told they were wrong for rescuing people, that they had lost their focus and violated their orders. They received a disciplinary reprimand for violating orders. After that, a number of the pilots pulled the patches off their jackets in protest. The patches read, "Rescue and Saving Lives."

The people did not have to die. The Bush regime is wanted for mass murder.

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