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News :: Human Rights
Report from BARHC caravan in New Orleans
13 Sep 2005
The caravan of medics from the Bay Area Radical Health Collective and other local activists arrived in New Orleans on the evening of Monday, September 12.
Report from BARHC caravan in New Orleans

The caravan of medics from the Bay Area Radical Health Collective and
other local activists arrived in New Orleans on the evening of Monday,
September 12. One truck made it through the checkpoint before curfew,
and the others managed to persuade officers to let them through by
showing their EMT licenses.

The medics on the ground report that the situation is surreal and
extremely militarized, with armed soldiers and police
everywhere. There are still areas underwater or smoldering, travel
after dark is prohibited, and there are reports of armed
vigilantes. Packs of dogs roam the streets, and there are still
uncollected bodies of the deceased. Authorities are doing aerial
spraying to control mosquitoes, and the atmosphere is described as
highly toxic.

Nevertheless, Algiers, a New Orleans neighborhood on the dry side of
the Mississippi River, is largely intact, with any of its beautiful
homes still habitable. The neighborhood has running water and
electricity was recently restored. While there is little working
infrastructure in New Orleans itself, it is possible to drive to open
stores in surrounding parishes for medicine, food, and other
supplies. Communications are described as sporadic, but they've been
able to get messages out via cell phone and wireless e-mail.

Medics have established a clinic near a local mosque, now named the
Common Ground clinic, and activists are also distributing non-medical
supplies like diapers. Days after the initial crew from MayDay/DC set
up the clinic, FEMA finally arrived. "Officials" are providing medical
aid, have set up a relief center near the local public hospital, and
apparently are supplying medications, but many residents find their
heavily armed presence intimidating. One medic reports that military
trucks with loudspeakers are telling residents where to get help, in
an apparent attempt to direct them away from the grassroots
See also:
http://news.infoshop.org

This work is in the public domain
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