Archives > Newsday Special: Pass the Ammo, the world's ending

Fire at the Chopper!!

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Leave? Why would anyone want to leave? That's like bailing on a party just when the strippers and cocaine show up.

EDIT: In all seriousness, I think what you're seeing is a weird anti-police sentiment bubbling up. Poor, urban, and yes, let's juts get it out there: black areas like New Orleans teem with repression and anti-authoritarian sentiment that's barely held in check. That balance can be shifted by the slightest change. Look at Watts in L.A. in '68, Dc in '68, L.A (again) after the Rodney King verdict in 1992. And now New Orleans. The difference in New Orleans is that there's no percieved (or public) racial indescrepency that the rioters/looters are using to justify their revolt

* * *

Superdome Evacuation Halted Amid Gunfire

NEW ORLEANS - The evacuation of the Superdome was suspended Thursday after shots were reported fired at a military helicopter and arson fires broke out outside the arena. No immediate injuries were reported.

The scene at the Superdome became increasingly chaotic, with thousands of people rushing from nearby hotels and other buildings, hoping to climb onto the buses taking evacuees from the arena, officials said. Paramedics became increasingly alarmed by the sight of people with guns.

Richard Zeuschlag, chief of the ambulance service that was handling the evacuation of sick and injured people from the Superdome, said it was suspending operations "until they gain control of the Superdome."

He said shots were fired at a military helicopter over the Superdome before daybreak.

He said the National Guard told him that it was sending 100 military police officers to restore order.

"That's not enough," Zeuschlag said. "We need a thousand."

Lt. Col. Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard said the military — which was handling the evacuation of the able-bodied from the Superdome — had suspended operations, too, because fires set outside the arena were preventing buses from getting close enough to pick up people.

He said tens thousands of people started rushing out of other buildings when they saw buses pulling up and hoped to get on. But the immediate focus was on evacuating people from the Superdome, and the other refugees were left to mill around.

Zeuschlag said paramedics were calling him and crying for help because they were so scared of people with guns at the Superdome. He also said that during the night, when a medical evacuation helicopter tried to land at a hospital in the outlying town of Kenner, the pilot reported 100 people were on the landing pad, some with guns.

"He was frightened and would not land," Zeuschlag.

I was looking to post something about this and you already did.  And sort of defended these people.  I can't believe it.

Shoot the fucking looters in the head.  If you are not carrying food we will put many bullets into your body.


--- Quote ---In an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America," Bush drew no line between those looting stores for survival supplies like food and water and those stealing television sets that are of no use with electricity out in New Orleans.
--- End quote ---


I offered a reason why the behavior is taking place, which is far from defending it.

However, the thrust of my argument is that before Katrina, you had a community of poor people living our meager existences with few prospects for the future. They live in fear of the police. (Have you noticed that most of the cops in New Orleans are white?) All of a sudden, they're put in a chaotic situation where authority doesn't exist and the police are helpless. The gangs already have guns, and as far as they're concerned, it's time a for a little lesson in karma.

You realize of course that once the flood-water is gone, it's going to take the national guard and possibly martial law to retake the city, right?

Also the first time a (white) cop's nerve snaps and he shoots a (black) looter, you will have urban warfare the likes of which will make Fallujah look like Sesame Street.

The racial tension has always been below the surface. Now, you put people with little in a position where they have nothing, and suddenly, standing up and fighting just for it's own sake doesn't seem so ridiculous.

And just in case you thought it was just me . . .

* * *

Anger rises among Mississippi's poor after Katrina
Aug 31, 10:11 PM (ET)
By Paul Simao

BILOXI, Mississippi (Reuters) - For about a decade this gambling town on Mississippi's Gulf Coast has been the place to be in the state if you were poor, down on your luck and looking for work.

That changed on Monday when Hurricane Katrina came ashore, leveling hundreds if not thousands of houses, stores and commercial buildings and killing scores of residents.

The legalization of gambling in Biloxi created an economic boom in the early 1990s and the city developed a reputation as a place where a person could get a decent-paying job in the casino or hospitality business.

But not everyone prospered. In the devastated streets and atop the rubble piles where their homes stood before Katrina blew through, a bitter refrain is increasingly heard. Poor and low-income residents complain that they have borne the brunt of the hurricane's wrath.

"Many people didn't have the financial means to get out," said Alan LeBreton, 41, an apartment superintendent who lived on Biloxi's seaside road, now in ruins. "That's a crime and people are angry about it."

Many of the town's well-off heeded authorities' warnings to flee north, joining thousands of others who traveled from the Gulf Coast into northern Mississippi and Alabama, Georgia and other nearby states.

Hotels along the interstates and other main roads were packed with these temporary refugees. Gas stations and convenience stores -- at least those that were open -- sold out of water, ice and other supplies within hours.

But others could not afford to join them, either because they didn't own a car or couldn't raise funds for even the cheapest motel.

"No way we could do that," said Willie Rhetta, a bus driver, who remained in his home to await Katrina.

Resentment at being left behind in the path of one of the fiercest hurricanes on record may have contributed to some of the looting that occurred in Biloxi and other coastal communities.

A number of private residences, including some in upscale neighborhoods, were targeted, residents said.

Class divisions, which often fall along racial lines in this once-segregated southern state, are not new to Mississippi. It traditionally is one of the poorest states in the United States.

In 2004, Mississippi had the second lowest median household income and the highest percentage of people -- 21.6 percent -- living in poverty, according to a report released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau.


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