Algiers New Orleans: Where Common Ground Is Found
Yesterday, two Imcistia's and I from the west coast arrived from in Algiers, a neighborhood in New Orleans Louisiana.
Traveling by rental car we arrived in New Orleans around 3:30 P.M. central standard time. On the approach to the city it was a clear day. Damage was everywhere. Tree's were in twisted mangled messes along the roads. Roof tops off of gas stations had been completely ripped off in some places. Street signs were bent backward from the winds and hard to make out, and in some cases they just didn't exist. Gas stations are working as few as ten miles away. All the roads from what I saw were clear and traffic (yes there is traffic) was flowing.
On the way in almost all of the off ramps were blocked in one form or another. Check points are setup all over the place with military units dress in full camouflage with M-16's were walking around in full view.
Our main concern was to get to Malik Rahim's (a great guy and former Black Panther). A local resident of New Orleans in Algiers. There is a curfew from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. in place and is being enforced. Our main concern was to get from where we were to Malik's. After about fifteen minutes we found the house and were welcomed warmly to a very active household of independent journalists, bloggers, community organizers, doctors, nurses, people with vans bringing food and water, you name it.
There is running water here, working power, and gas. The power was just turned on yesterday an hour after I arrived. It was a welcomed site to many who lived here and who have been here since the hurricane, things it seems are getting better in some regards.
Health clinics have been setup, and more are on the way. People from all over are coming into the city with supplies that they have packed into their cars for the community on the ground here. Scores of people are being helped out each and every day. More health clinics are being setup as I type this all over the city by volunteers. Not to mention bringing the community together on a level that is working for the people, by the people.
I have not seen a single Red Cross vehicle here in Algiers since I have been here. I have seen many outside of the city from where I came through, but nothing in the area where I am currently. Dozens and dozens of helicopters fly overhead nonstop to wherever their destinations are day and night. It is also rumored that The Red Cross has a warehouse full of food and supplies that is not being disturbed to anywhere in the community except for one clinic that they have setup that I am aware of that feeds about 170 people.
The level of incompetence is astounding. On the drive into the city there were parking lots full of army trucks that could be driving around the city helping give people food and supplies, pick up bodies, and clean up trash, but none of that is happening. At least not until about ten minutes ago when a city garbage truck took some trash that had been collected from around the streets and put into a big pile outside. That's it.
I spent most of the day yesterday taking video of people and doing interviews as well as helping move food and supplies. There is a lot to do here and things are getting done, people are getting fed, and all without the help of the federal government or any outside influence other then regular people who are coming in from all over the United States, and the community here in Algiers New Orleans.
The army drove by around 11:00 A.M. today annoying that a free health clinic was opening up today and tomorrow between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M.
The community has had one running for six days now. FEMA can't even say that they have done that, nor the Red Cross.
Bicycles are being handed out for free to the community by the truckload and more are needed since there gas is extremely hard to come by unless you leave the city, which most of the people in the city can't do because they don't have gas to put into their cars in the first place, and most don't even have cars because they can't afford them.
If anyone can donate or make it down here with stuff, or know someone who can help, try. Some simple tasks that people can help out with are answering phones, storing and stocking supplies, and so on. Things are are needed are food, water, generators, baby products such as diapers, women's tampons, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, medical supplies, first-aid kits, gas for the community, you name it, the list goes on and on.
The address here is 331 Atlantic Street, New Orleans Louisiana for those of you who can make it down here. Just be aware that if you do decide to come down here you will have guns pointed at you, you most likely will have shots fired in your general direction, and whatever you do... do not run down any streets. A big mistake that a few people have made, but are alright.
I'll post more when I get the chance.
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