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News :: Politics
Pensacola in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ivan
28 Sep 2004
Modified: 07:38:24 PM
This is just a quick note to those who may be able to read this.

If you didn't know, Pensacola was just about destroyed by Hurricane Ivan. For many who work on this site, our power has been out for over a week, and the cable lines as well. Most of the city doesn't have internet access right now, so the time we can spend on this site is intermittent at best right now.

We hope to be able to be back with this again in the very near future. There are many issues that have come up since the storm, and there was a plethora of issues that were all around before the storm. All of which still need to be focused on.

This has been an interesting time for Pensacola. Issues around the heavy police presence, the targeting of poor neighborhoods for police and National Guard patrols (with M-16s and grenade launchers, nonetheless!). As well as the same people that were being derided for shooting unarmed people a few weeks before are now being heralded as heroes in the aftermath of Ivan.

Besides that, there has been so much to tell about seeing an entire community come together the way much of us saw after Hurricane Ivan came to town. Neighbors meeting neighbors. Neighbors helping neighbors. People, if only for a few days, forgetting about their possessions, turning off their TVs, going outside at night and being able to see all the stars in the sky.

Until the national guard would tell you to go back inside.

Some of the hardships seem silly to complain about because it exposes the differences between the lifestyles of America and the rest of the world. In Iraq, the Florida National Guard wasn't anything less than an force of occupation. Here in Pensacola, we knew it would be a short lived occupation. a friend of mine commented that it was better they were here than in Iraq. Here, we knew that most likely we were not going to get shot at a checkpoint and that most of their weapons were unloaded. In fact, many of them were from Northwest Florida. When many of us saw the National Guard, they were passing out food and water. In Iraq, they saw a different side of that same army.

In Haiti, over 1000 people died because of Hurricane Jeanne. Relief workers are being attacked by desperate people in some cities in need of the basic staples for survival, the media tells us. Here in Pensacola, power trucks are the ones being attacked and have to have police escorts.

Priorities are different in the richest country in the world.

Despite the hardships, this was an interesting time to live here. For many of us, it was the worst of times and the best of times. Homes were destoyed, lives lost, and lives forever changed. I'm sure more indepth stories will come about as soon as most of us get back to our "normal" lives and get on the internet again.

Until then, for those who didn't know it, most of us survived and are continuing to survive.

This work is in the public domain
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