Katrina The People Did Not Have to Die
Statement by the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
August 31, 2005
There was no way to stop Hurricane Katrina. But the chaos,
suffering and death that resulted from this storm WAS
Why didn’t the government organize massive
and systematic evacuation? Why weren’t 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 didn’t 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
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, we’ve 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.
Louisiana’s 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.
At the government’s expense:
People must be housed and cared for
until they can safely return to their homes.
Hotels, convention centers, and
other buildings must be provided to people in need of
shelter; there must be free communication for people to
Immediately, there must be
emergency medical care and measures to prevent massive
epidemics and needless dying.
There must be no arrests for
There must be emergency relief
–people must be immediately provided with water, food,
medicines, and other basic needs FREE OF CHARGE.
The needs of all must be met, with
first priority to those most urgently in need.
There must be immediate, orderly,
and safe evacuation.
If necessary, events in nearby
cities must be cancelled to accommodate people.
People must not be evacuated into
situations which are going to reproduce disease and
There must be intense search and
rescue efforts in all areas.
People must NOT be allowed to die.
All necessary resources, including
mobilizing volunteers, must be brought to bear on this.
The government must not repress
people who volunteer or prevent them from helping, but
instead, must assist these efforts.
There must be no profiteering and
speculation off people’s misery by the sharks of
insurance companies, oil monopolies, real estate
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Contact the Revolutionary
PO Box 3486 Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654, firstname.lastname@example.org
posted in English and Spanish on
Revolution Online http://revcom.us
Write: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4497
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posted 1 September 2005 / updated 24