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Bywater evacuated at Gunpoint
by Andrea Garland Sunday, Sep. 04, 2005 at 11:52 AM

(reposted by Christian Roselund) By Andrea Garland of Get Your Act On and member, Green Party of Louisiana. The entire city of New Orleans is under evacuation orders. I just spoke to my friend Daniel in the Bywater (9th ward). He reports that unmarked police vehicles (cadillacs) are driving through the neighborhood with SWAT team police armed with 'big black machine guns' telling people through bullhorns they are under orders to evacuate and must leave the city now.

People in that neighborhood are being told to go to the big pool on the corner of Lesseps and St. Claude (this is one block from my house) to be airlifted out, tho people are allowed to leave by their own means if they can. He reports helicopters all over the place of all kinds - everything from large Army helicopters with guns to Red Cross helicopters - they are swooping down low in the neighborhood and 'buzzing' houses - he said one just flew low enough over him to blow shingles off the roof. He is starting to see National Guardsmen marching through the streets with guns to make sure people obey evacuation orders. He wanted to get into a neighbor's house to save their dog that is locked up in there, but was told by a National Guardsman that unless he has keys to the house, if he tries to break the door in he will be shot on the spot.

He also reported that Dr. Bob, Bywater artist, was beaten by NOPD who thought he was a looter - they beat him up severely and took his weapons.

We are being forced out of our city, with no word as to if and when we will be allowed to return. We've been wondering what they would do after enough people were forced to die of starvation. Population reduction has been accomplished.

Here are the updates I was working on before this latest call from Daniel:

Yesterday I finally spoke with my best friend Daniel who stayed in New Orleans as he finally was able to make a call on his cell phone. He was calling from the upstairs of the house he lives in, sitting on the porch with an AK-47 in his lap. More details on that call to follow.

He just left me a message about 5 minutes ago telling me that there are cops driving around the neighborhood with bullhorns telling everyone that there is a mandatory evacuation and EVERYONE must go. There are helicopters all over the skies. He is not sure if they are just trying to
scare people into leaving, or if they are serious, but he has found a ride and they are leaving the city.

We do not yet know how this will affect our plans to return to the city. We will be monitoring the situation as we drive towards New Orleans today and will assess our plans when we arrive in Baton Rouge, our first stop before heading into the city. If we are not able to gain access to
the city - which we will still try to do - we will be assisting with relief efforts in Baton Rouge and Covington, where there are hundreds of thousands of refugees from New Orleans in desperate need of assistance.

Some important information:

Thanks to everyone for your generous donations of money and supplies. We wish we had the time to thank each and every one of you individually, but please know that we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts, as do the people of New Orleans. Our government has failed us - or worse -
but the people are stepping up. Please keep spreading the word and encouraging others to send donations - our relief efforts will be going on for weeks, if not months, and we will keep getting supplies and getting them to the places needed the most.

You can always donate online via Paypal at

Some people have asked for a physical address to send money to, so here are two places you can do this. Our good friend Ward Reilly, who will act as our Baton Rouge liason and staging ground, can cash checks for us (we will not have access to bank machines in New Orleans to cash
checks!). The best and easiest thing to do is send a check or money order made out to Ward Reilly and note on the check that it is for Get Your Act On.

Please send to:

Ward Reilly
645 Kimbo Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Checks and money orders can also be sent to my sister in Philadelphia -
they can cash checks for us and paypal us the money. So you can also send donations to:

Rachel Garland
824 South Fifth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

We apologize for not having an official Get Your Act On! bank account set up, but, well, we weren't exactly able to plan ahead for this. If possible, we will have one sometime next week, but for now, please send snail mail donations to either of the places listed above or online via
paypal at our site.

100% of all donations go directly and immediately to relief efforts where they are needed most.

People that are on their way to Louisiana to help or want to come down - right now we do not advise people to try to enter the city of New Orleans until we know better what the situation is, especially with the breaking news about the forced evacuations. However, there are hundreds and thousands of refugees in the areas around New Orleans, and there is a desperate need for help there.

We need to make it very clear that if you want to go to Louisiana to help, you must be prepared for hard and exhausting work. If you are not up to this, you will merely add to the already overwhelming problems. There is plenty of work to be done in other places - helping raise money
- put on a fund raiser, hold a vigil or rally in solidarity, spread the word about what is really going on in New Orleans - all these efforts are just as important and crucial to what needs to be done as physically going down to help.

If you are ready and willing to help, here are some places you can go to help:

In Baton Rouge:

Volunteers are asked to go to the LSU P-MAC Assembly Center on the LSU Campus. Very important: they WILL NOT be able to put you up, so it is a good idea to come in a vehicle you can sleep in, or bring a tent and
sleeping bag.

In Covington:

People and supplies are needed in Covington at the Pine View Middle School, 28th Street. Please contact Albert Marino at for more details - I have heard that some kind of official permission may now be needed to get into Covington.

In Donaldsonville:

The 'Dream Center' Shelter is in desperate need of volunteers. To help them, please contact the Dream Center in Los Angeles at or in louisiana call (it’s mostly busy- but keep trying) 225-474-6688.

We will continue to post more locations that need volunteers as we get the information.


As I mentioned above, my friend Daniel Finnigan who also lives in the Bywater neighborhood, 9th Ward, of New Orleans was finally able to call me yesterday. He and a group of friends have been holed up in the top
floor of the building he lives in, guarding the property with guns. As of yesterday, the people he was with had all left - he has his dog and our two cats (we were roommates for many years) and refuses to leave without them - and he has described himself as the now being the New Orleans SPCA so I have a feeling he has adopted a number of abandoned and lost animals in the area. When I asked him what he wanted us to bring him, he asked nothing for himself, but requested cat and dog food. That's my Daniel ;) You'll never meet a bigger animal lover.

Daniel says that in 6 days they have not seen or received any help. In 6 days they saw one policeman - flying through the neighborhood in a police car at 40 miles an hour. He reported that for the first two days after the storm, Wildlife and Fisheries were rescuing people from the flooded out lower 9th ward, blocks from my house and his house by boat - and just dropping the people off on the dry side of the levy, with no food or water or anywhere to go. He said that after two days the boats just stopped coming. He had no idea why until I explained the situation with the National Guard to him, and that the rescue boats were told to stand down and stop rescuing people. The people locked down in the city have no idea that supplies are sitting just outside the city and being turned away. The only reason they have food is they managed to gather what they could from friends' apartments, etc., but again, no one has come to help them or bring them food. Other than the people left stranded in the neighborhood, it has been completely abandoned by all official entities.

Here is a bit of heart breaking news. There is only one radio station people can receive in the city. Daniel said that people trapped in their attics in the lower 9th ward have been calling the station saying where they are and asking that some one come get them. But there is no one to come. Those that are not already dead are dying. Daniel estimates that there are easily some 40-50,000 people dead in their homes in the lower 9th ward. I can not imagine listening to this on the radio, knowing that these peoples pleas are falling on deaf ears. They have simply been left to die.

Daniel affirmed reports of people marching through the streets with guns, taking what they can out of sheer desperation, though he says that situation has largely calmed down. This is why he is sitting on his porch with an AK-47 - he ways if someone asks him for water he will give
them water, but if they point a gun at him he will have to shoot them. He does not blame people for these actions - again, they are desperate and abandoned. Now, as with others we have had contact with in New Orleans, the people are afraid to leave their homes because of the National
Guard, who have permission to shoot anyone on the spot.

There are many more small details Daniel relayed, but I do not have time for them all now. Just to say that he confirms reports we have received about supplies and relief not getting through. Apparently some assistance is starting to get into the city, but not to the poor neighborhoods.

OK, I have to go now - we need to get on the road towards New Orleans. We will be stopping in Baton Rouge where we will be meeting up with Daniel (they have found a car to get out of the city) and we will then assess the situation and take things from there. It looks more and more like we will not be able to enter the city without the extreme likelihood
of being killed in the process. So we will regroup in Baton Rouge and start relief efforts with the refugees already there and the rest of the people being airlifted out of New Orleans. If we deem it at all possible, we will still try to enter the city of New Orleans, but we will not put ourselves in the position of being killed as then we can be of no help to anyone.

All these people will need places to go. Please start finding housing, campsites, etc. in your communities and forward any information to us.

Oh, I also received word that Bill Quigley from Voices in the
Wilderness was last known to be trapped in Memorial hospital in New Orleans. I assume that those folks will now be airlifted out as well. If anyone hears from Bill, please let us know asap.






A few more points I'd make to like in the name of the C3 organization in New Orleans:

- no involvement by Halliburton, Kellogg, Brown and Root
or any other contractor for which elected representatives
have a financial interest, such as dirty Dirk Cheney

- full restoration of affordable housing for all residents of New Orleans as of midnight, August 29, 2005

- complete hearings on all aspects of this disaster,
including sabotage of plans for Category 5 levees, repair of existing levees, total budgeting for all needed drainage projects for City being constructed by the Corps of Engineers

- cease removal of low income residents from any Section 8, or public housing unit, a full accounting of all residents
displaced from St. Thomas Housing Project and all other

- full investigation of public subsidies for real estate developers including Press Kabacoff and Canazzaro and how those subsidies cut into funds not provided for needed social services for the poor, infirm, elderly, and disadvantaged

- full investigation of the role of the city's preservationists in the seizure of properties, arsons, murder, and other crimes

- demand that from the point that the state of emergency
ends in the city, government will be conducted in such
a way that it is transparent and accountable. Hearings on
proposals for how that could be accomplished will be held
and the best ideas passed into law by the City Council...and
if they don't pass them, those ideas will be the issues for
the coming elections....NO, those elections will NOT be
cancelled...this disaster HAS to on the agenda for change.

Peace out - we must hit the road now and go see what is happening to our city and do our best to help save our people. Please keep sending donations and supplies, everyone has been so generous, but it is still but a drop in the bucket. We will post more info when we arrive in Baton

With sorrow and a broken heart -

Andrea Garland

add your comments

Nice try...
by Kaba Sunday, Sep. 04, 2005 at 5:30 PM

...but the only people that are using this to further their agenda are the right wing loudmouths on television, the ones who are more concerned with the looting than saving lives. The ones who are more concerned with saving their President than saving the lives in your hometown. Why is it that you seem to be the only one I have come across from your hometown that talks like this, huh? With the exception of the neo-cons - and not even all of them, mind you - most of the country are pretty much in agreement that this was a disaster that could have been prevented, and a lot could have been done to protect and save the victims of it. We are all right to question the steps that were and are being taken, particularly when people are STILL dying while DC twiddles it's thumbs. Even I am making plans to get down there to help somehow. Tell you what. You keep playing politics. The rest of us will do something that the right never does: put our money where our mouths are and get some shit done.

And you had better stay out of our way this time.

add your comments

One other thing
by Kaba again Sunday, Sep. 04, 2005 at 5:32 PM

You know how we know you are playing politics? You wrote an open letter to Michael Moore when he wasn't even the topic of the thread. It was written by someone else from your hometown.

Marylin Manson had the most appropiate line for you: "I wasn't born with enough middle fingers."

add your comments

Hey Luis
by Jorgito Sunday, Sep. 04, 2005 at 6:32 PM

Andate a cagar

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by Ken Sunday, Sep. 04, 2005 at 8:04 PM

Y'know, there were mandatory evacuations before the storm for a very good reason. They knew this was going to happen, which is why they opened up the superdome, etc. It's why they had the contraflow out of the city. It's why they encouraged everyone to leave. Your city is below sea level, and if they rebuild as they did, it will happen again. Period. There is no other way to put the fact that this was bound to happen. The NWS warnings before the storm stated that there was going to be catastrophic flooding, that most places would be destroyed. Stating that this was somehow some evil government conspiracy is borderline insane. Y'all need to grow up.

add your comments

by Dan Mulligan Sunday, Sep. 04, 2005 at 8:54 PM

I am a Canadian from Vancouver Island.

Please accept the solidarity of Canadians in this crisis.

Two rescue teams and four naval ships filled with emergency supplies are coming your way.

add your comments

Thanks for blaming the victims, Ken
by Corrie Sunday, Sep. 04, 2005 at 8:57 PM

We'll all sleep better now knowing that Bush's negligence is not at fault, and we can blame the dead instead. You must be one of those "compassionate conservatives."

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if it doesn't kill you...
by Alicia de la Paz Sunday, Sep. 04, 2005 at 9:28 PM

it could make us stronger, at least those that have lived through this. if we have to look for a silver lining we can point to the curtain falling from the golden boy and his crime family. I have heard various Bushie supporters turn coat and run to our side. He has been exposed for the incompetent oaf that he is, surrounded by corporatist thugs who count people as disposable collateral damage.

This will push us closer to revolution, for better or worse. It fills my heart to see so many pull together regardless of color creed or class.

add your comments

by makimaki-iti Sunday, Sep. 04, 2005 at 10:23 PM

solidarity from the south pacific, aotearoa (NZ). Yet again it's the poor (and coloured) who suffer the most. Big ups to Kayne West for speaking his truth to millions on your east coast and not sucking up to the corporate media ( Why can't the govt there sort their shit out. They can put billions into invading countries and but can't help out a city and their own people, in their own country. Goes to show what their priorities are.

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Solidarity message from Europe
by Jazka Monday, Sep. 05, 2005 at 4:58 AM

I want to express my solidarity to all the white people of New Orleans affected by this terrible hurricane Katrina. I have been reading the news and i am horrified about the loss of human life and shocked to see your city being ruined. I hope you can build the city back as soon as possible.

add your comments

To Jazka
by ak47 Monday, Sep. 05, 2005 at 5:08 AM

You do not represent Europeans, only a small group of racist nutters. Most Europeans care for ALL of those caught up in this.

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Time for the Love of God to manifest!!
by Jozelo Monday, Sep. 05, 2005 at 5:38 AM

Sice the begining of this tragedy, i been praying for all the people afected directly and indirectrly from katrina, i pray that this tragedy make us think that life is very fragil and short to expend it chaising mony or other chaising wind thigs..., is thime for all of us to show love for each other, Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

add your comments

Here's what happened
by silent Monday, Sep. 05, 2005 at 7:36 AM

I sent a few emails trying to figure out who to tell this to because nobody seems to remember this - In a news conference very early on I saw and heard the lady governor say" We want people to understand that there will be no help for them in the city because we want everyone to evacuate" This was in response to a question about where is the Red cross...Do you understand? There is your answer as to who turned back the help that could have been there. They decided that if they fed and helped the people in N.O. that they'd refuse to leave so they cut off any help. This was before the media started complaining 3 days later...this was before the violence...They DECIDED not to let the Red Cross set up in the city because they wanted to force the people to leave---so babies started dying-people died because of a decision..not just because of incompetence...the governor DECIDED. Someone go back through the news clips and you'll see her say this. Someone find that news clip and play it now-over and over again.

add your comments

Oh, yeah? What about gov't plan B?
by crozbud Monday, Sep. 05, 2005 at 10:00 AM

Okay, Ken... say you might be right.
~Say all the people who were left in line when the buses left town for the last time were at fault.
~Say that all the people who were left waiting at the airport were at fault.
~Say the people who had kids but not cars deserved what they got.
~Say, if you must, that they were wrong to trust the government when they told them that they would be safe at the superdome.

Even then, how do you account for no food, no buses, no boats, no water—no nothing— being allowed in for five days? How do you account for setting up checkpoints to keep people in the city? How do you account for the government jamming of radio frequencies? How do you account for the feds turning off the city communication center so that the city had to post armed guards to make sure it didn't happen again? How do you account for tens of thousands of people being left for a week to live in among dead, decomposing bodies and feces?

If you don't see something screwy here, wake the fuck up.

add your comments

Here's what happened
by silent Monday, Sep. 05, 2005 at 6:01 PM

I remember what you are talking about. I saw her on BBC and on CNN making those comments.

add your comments

Darwin revisited
by Martin Essenberg Monday, Sep. 05, 2005 at 8:52 PM Australia

Down in Australia we have seen the crisis on TV for the last week. Sorry about the tough time you are having.

A couple of observations:
In 1974 the Australian town of Darwin got wiped out by a cylone. The size of Darwin is small compared to New Orleans but comparable given that the entire Australian population is only 20 million.

Darwin is about 1000km from the nearest major towns of Mt Isa or Alice Springs and probably 3000km from Sydney. Within 18 HOURS rescuers were in town and residents were being evacuated. Darwin has since been reconstructed.

New Orleans:-
An Australian TV reporter was able to get into New Orleans, go to the superdome on 3 occassions during the crisis and after doing his story was able to load up his 4WD with refugees (including Australians- how did he find them amongst 25,000 people?) and leave so he could send his stories here. So where were the buses for the refugees? Where was the food and medicine? Where was the violence? Surely if the streets were taken over by gangs the reporter would have been bashed and his vehicle taken?

It all looks very strange to people in Australia. Is it because the victims were black? or poor? or Democrats? Were they flying "Rebel" flags?

I guess we will all find out soon enough why the New World Order was a bit tardy with the rescue.

add your comments

by silent Tuesday, Sep. 06, 2005 at 9:09 AM

Thank you whoever wrote this....I wish some newspeople would remember. They sit around debating what happened-why so slow- and there's the answer right there on film somewhere. (Well part of it anyway) I hope someone finds it and she's held accountable when this is investigated later- I'm so so sorry this happened-I don't know what to do except go voluteer at the local shelter(I'm in Fort Worth)-I don't have money or room to take anyone in(my granddaughter is already sleeping on the couch) Everyone needs to stay angry,though-and use that energy in a productive way to make sure the people who added to this disaster are brought into the light and they don't get away with what they did.Mrs. Blanco especially.(ugh and Micheal Brown-what an idiot-I'm not forgetting Bush either.....) Anyway, God Bless everyone struggling with loss right now and ease their pain..........

add your comments

You utter moron!
by Lauren McGrattan Tuesday, Sep. 06, 2005 at 5:56 PM

In response to Jaska, people like yourself would really do best if you just kept your mouth shut! What an absolute idiot you are to post such shit! Shame on you you racist moron!

add your comments

Ken, Ken, Ken
by Lauren McGrattan Tuesday, Sep. 06, 2005 at 6:03 PM

Ken, judging by your letter you do not live in the fine city of New Orleans. Just a bit of education for you: New Orleans is one of the poorest cities in the United States, most people live hand to mouth, most do not own a car, and some Ken are just too old or ill to consider leaving. Oh, and by the way Ken these fact apply to both black and white citizens. Would you intentionally stay in a spot when you knew you were going to die? Do you honestly think that anyone would? Have a shred of compassion darlin', this could have easily been you.

add your comments

by Hilary_155 Tuesday, Sep. 06, 2005 at 9:35 PM

Hello. This is Frelling Surreal.

People (citizens, rescue workers, charity workers and local government employees) have seen this stuff first hand. I don't know how they plan to keep this stuff quiet. Karl Rover already started the spin machine. If I were a local government official in one of these hurricane affected areas, I would be scared for my life.

I practice Emergency preparedness. All citizens should store food and water and supplies for 1 or 2 weeks or more at all times. This is just the beginning.

add your comments

Origin of the Sniper Story
by Rowan Berkeley Wednesday, Sep. 07, 2005 at 1:06 AM

Regarding the sniper stories, I think a lot of them can be traced back to one person, Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Cheri Ben-Iesan. She is single handedly responsible for the following official urban legend :

"Hospitals are trying to evacuate," said coast guard Lt.-Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesan, spokesperson at the city emergency operations centre. "At every one of them, there are reports that as the helicopters come in, people are shooting at them. There are people just taking potshots at police and at helicopters, telling them, 'You better come get my family.'"

Now if you google her you will find that while this quote circulated through the MSM at lightning speed, Lt.-Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesan was never seen nor heard from again.

Things that make you go h'mmm ....

add your comments

firing upon hospital evacuations
by Christian Roselund Wednesday, Sep. 07, 2005 at 3:34 AM

Saw the posts about the shots being fired, and I am sorry to say that I have two more sources for you: Drs Morrisey and Bennet, both of whom went through the five day ordeal at Charity Hospital. Both confirmed that evacuation vehicles were fired upon, and that helicopters flew away after shots were fired that they believed were shot at them (hard to know in a helicopter). I interviewed both of them, and I know Dr. Morrisey personally.

This just isn't a simple, clear cut, good guys and bad guys thing.

add your comments

by Sheepdog Wednesday, Sep. 07, 2005 at 8:44 AM

What possible reason would anyone trying to survive have to fire at rescue teams?
Unless it was a black ops tactic to provide a 'reason' to validate withholding help.

add your comments

because they are paranoid like you
by Jiminraleigh Wednesday, Sep. 07, 2005 at 3:43 PM

and stupid

add your comments

Don't Worry, Jiminraleigh
by NOLAs Poor Jailed, Bush's Bigots Smile Wednesday, Sep. 07, 2005 at 7:20 PM

You'll be happy to know FEMA is locking up NOLA's poor in detention centers:

Google "Rex84," "Operation Garden Plot" for more details.

add your comments

by Sheepdog Thursday, Sep. 08, 2005 at 6:24 AM

Also look up 'Operation Cable Splicer'. BTW, it's a bit early to accuse anyone of paranoia. Particularly when one sees the insanity of this criminal administration.

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French translation
by R. Saturday, Sep. 10, 2005 at 2:47 AM

Bywater évacué par les armes

add your comments

by Jake Friday, Sep. 16, 2005 at 12:08 AM

You guys are moonbats!!! We must not stand for Cheney's mind control device any longer!!! We need to shut down Bush's weather control machine!!!

add your comments

"Also look up 'Operation Cable Splicer'"
by pointer Friday, Sep. 16, 2005 at 8:58 AM


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