[xmca] Fwd: Mundane matter

From: Mike Cole (lchcmike@gmail.com)
Date: Thu Sep 01 2005 - 17:21:29 PDT

Peg Griffin, who will be coming to ucsd to visit this year, has sent me a
description of what it looks like up close

in Louisianna and Missippi. I asked if I could forward it. She said yes.

 Yes forward it. Red Cross/crescent money is a help, they say.


 Peg Griffin [mailto: Peg.Griffin@worldnet.att.net]
*Sent:* Thursday, September 01, 2005 6:29 PM
*To:* Cyndy Home
*Subject:* Monday seems a year away
 Two different groups I belong to here have action projects working with
refugees from the gulf. We were just finishing up the renovations on a house
to turn it into office space and now it's a crash pad. We have pooled our
resources to stock and staff three vans that have made a total of five trips
to meet up with folks escaping from the chaos. We pack the vans with water,
tooth brushes and paste, deodorant, and baby wipes – what the refugees say
is needed most at the shelters that have sprung up in MS and LA. (People get
depressed and some get angry when they are told to share 1 toothbrush for an
extended family.) I snuck in a bunch of jump ropes I found at the dollar
store and some comics and magazines. Getting gas is a real problem,
especially getting enough for the round trip. Our neighborhood gas station
price went up 40 cents between 8 and 11 Wednesday morning (and they talk
about looting in New Orleans?) Money isn't as much the problem as finding
the gas.

 We had been running out of space for the refugees to stay -- I had a family
of four in my small flat Wednesday night in the middle of the chaos of my
packing. Luckily my neighbor across the hall invited the kids in to watch
cable TV. Now though, it is almost a mainstream thing to help out. It's hard
for people as far away as here to realize that they need to open their
shelters now – with no wind and rain – and to change from expecting people
to bring their own provisions and to realize they cannot go home in a day or
so. But more shelters are open here now and many people see that they need
to do more and for a longer time. The governor even opened the state park
facilities – some are like motels some are campgrounds – and FEMA is
allegedly coordinating that space. Hope they don't much that up as much as
they have everything else.

We got the governor to relax the school rules so kids could go during the
day without papers and class size restrictions wouldn't keep them out.
Grownups have more than enough to do during the day but the kids need both
the activities and the lunch at school.

Now our groups are focusing on the people who have special needs and getting
them into the places (like my flat and my neighbor's) where more can be done
than in the large shelters. We are also doing a lot of internet work
notifying the world of who got this far and trying to help the refugees find
traces of their family, friends, neighbors, any possible source of news and
ideas for what to do tomorrow.

 We are all furious that the feds are sending boys and girls with guns and
not water and insulin and colostomy bags. No coincidence that an early
effective group here is the peace project group. And symbolic that yesterday
our voices were drowned by Bush's air escort for his fly over as we were
trying to get officials on the ground to do practical quick things. Did he
even look at the gulf shores or did he do what he did during Vietnam – visit
Montgomery! Oversight – I like it that the word has two meanings and I know
that the one he claims to do is not the one he does.

 Part of the so-called reason (not reasonable as I know it) for so little
resources is that withholding help will insure that the people will
evacuate. Aholes. Leaving is easy to motivate but punishment will do the
opposite. Leaving to go where and do what is the trick – they'll evacuate if
we get them someplace except another stadium that will be just as fetid and

 ah well; now to more internet searches and to help with the phones to find
gas for more van trips… And help the folks who are figuring out how to turn
started projects over to the Red Cross which is doing a decent job and to
try to goose FEMA into doing something right for a change. Someone just
called and said that the Civil Air Patrol people were about to revolt and
get going without fed approval and could we slip in to the Montgomery
resources whoever they get up here. Who know what tomorrow will bring.


*From:* Mike Cole [mailto: lchcmike@gmail.com]
*Sent:* Thursday, September 01, 2005 3:41 PM
*To:* Peg.Griffin@worldnet.att.net
*Subject:* Mundane matter
 I got the contexts of literacy book you were looking for for 90 days. It is
going in the mail priority
mail today.
 the scale of the hurrican disaster is incredible and, unless I am wrong,
has not peaked. :-(

xmca mailing list

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Oct 01 2005 - 01:00:10 PDT