From Revolution Club Harlem

October 31, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


The Revolution Club-Harlem and the Uptown Revolution distributors called and e-mailed many people mainly in the Harlem area, but all over the area, including in the evacuation zones, to communicate an important message:  “Remember Hurricane Katrina! The authorities fighting for its interest villifed Black and poor people in New Orleans, those hardest hit by the strom, and left tens of thousands to needlessly suffer, and many hundreds to die. The police, National Guard, and racist vigalanties were unleashed to brutalize and murder many others.  We must never let that happen again! The interests of this system are not the interests of the people!

It is in the interest of the people to look out for each other, work together, and prevent unnecessary suffering and loss of live- to stand up to the outrages of the authority.  We called on people to contact friends, family, classmates, workmates and others, and have them spread the word: Any attack by the authorities and their police and National Guard on the people should be reported to the  Rev Club and back into this network. Together, we are working on how to stand up against and stop such attacks. 

One young woman commended the Revolution club for taking the initiative to do this and said that the people in the projects are stereotyped but “what we have going in our favor is numbers.”  She said she had a lot of ideas about this and was wrestling with what should be done about people dealing with food and water.  She was going to call her friends and have them report to her, then get back with us.

A student from an elite university who really got the Katrina connection and that the authorities’interests were not our interests.  In watching the coverage of this she said she could see that the authorities had done nothing to try to get people to work together and instead had threatened and tried to intimidate people.  She responded with enthusiasm as she became clear on the difference from the state with the revolutionary way of doing things of people taking responsibility for working in a collective way.  She said that she would call her friends and tell them to call her and get back to us.  She called at 3:30 a.m. with news about a disturbing video posted on Facebook of people “trying to swim to safety” and others who had been stranded in Coney Island.

Some people with whom we’d left messages contacted us the next day to let us know that they were ok.  One woman called back twice with comments saying that she needed to contact my family and find out where they had to flee to in New Jersey.  I see what you’re talking about people relying on each other and not relying on the venues set up by the system.

One young woman in the projects who related what authorities do to abuse the people to what has happened to her boyfriend with stop and frisk.  The buildings seemed to be full of folks and they don’t want to evacuate because they “don’t want to be thrown into some kind of shelter.”  She asked that we send her the e-mail we were sending out so that she could send it to everybody she knows.

As we were making these calls we heard on NPR that reporters in Brooklyn were denied access to shelters.

In one evacuation zone a young woman who reported that she was reading BAsics by flashlight told of school buses that had come to evacuate people on Sunday evening.  Those who did not evacuate were portrayed by the mayor as being irresponsible, although much of this comes from people’s distrust of the authorities.  Another reason became clear when we heard of one evacuation center that had flooded.

Before the storm hit on Monday night, the governor of Connecticut twisted the Katrina experience to blame those who did not evacuate, saying that CT faced a Katrina moment because 1000s of people were stranded in their homes because they had refused to evacuate and they should be prepared to sit on the roofs of their homes if necessary, rather than risk the lives of  “first-responders”.

We know that this situation is far from over and this is driven home by the fact that NY Mayor Bloomberg just announced on TV that there had been “looting” in Coney Island and that “those who would take advantage of the situation” should know that there would be increased police presence on the streets tonight.

We plan to send reports out to people and continue to work with them.

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