"Local Political Leaders Urge Public Protest Against Ruinous Bush Policies"

Jim Protzman writes:

There will be millions of people descending on DC on
September 24th to protest the war in Iraq . . . and I suspect the focus
will expand to all aspects of the miserable failure that is George Bush.

Will there be a companion event here in the southern part of heaven?
Will we take to the streets in outrage at the state of this country and
our failed national leadership? I'm ready to help make that happen.
Maybe OP could lead the charge.

It strikes me that the proper focus for such a protest would be
David Price's office off Weaver Dairy Road (or, perhaps his home [not
far, I believe, from Jim's] given the extent to which Katrina has hit
people in their homes). If we view Bush's immoral spending priorities
as the main focus then the Democrats' failure to fight against them
would be the indisputable runner-up.

Put simply: if Price is not leading us in our expression of outrage then he, along with Bush, should be the object thereof.

Issues: 

Total votes: 147

Comments

I think that everyone needs to back up and think about somethings before preceeding with this Public Protest. In Loiusiana and Mississippi for instance, what did the Mayor of New Orleans, Governor of Louisiana do to prevent this? They ordered a mandatory evacuation. Were there any buses or mass transportation coordinated or provided to or for the people who could not afford to leave or could not due to medical and or physical reasons? The president can not mobilize US Armed Forces into a natural disaster area without the Governor of the state requesting it. Further more for all you people who are ready to protest the president for failing to act why don't you all protest yourself for not acting before hand or how about now? How many of you who are writing this garbage actually helping out? Are you opening your doors and homes to anyone displaced by this natural event? I should think not. I say that the people who were warned to leave and did not due to stubbornness or hardheadedness then you get what you deserve. For the ones who were unable to leave then fault your local elected officials who should have had a plan in place prior to this hurricane.

about 6,000 Lousiana and Mississippi National Guard are in Iraq - the governor didn't have access to.
Also about half the guard's equipment is in Iraq.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2005/09/02/demands...

Also, the governor had declared a state of emergency and ordered an evacuation before the hurricane hit.

What will be hard for the federal government to ignore is that they did have proper requests from the governor asking for assistance BEFORE the hurricane hit.

http://www.gov.state.la.us/Press_Release_detail.asp?id=976

"Press Release
Date: 8/27/2005

Contact:Denise Bottcher or Roderick Hawkins at 225-342-9037

Governor Blanco asks President to Declare an Emergency for the State of Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina

BATON ROUGE—Today Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco forwarded a letter to President Bush requesting that he declare an emergency for the State of Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina. The full text of the letter follows:

August 27, 2005

The President
The White House
Washington, D. C.

Through:
Regional Director
FEMA Region VI
800 North Loop 288
Denton, Texas 76209

Dear Mr. President:

Under the provisions of Section 501 (a) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5206 (Stafford Act), and implemented by 44 CFR § 206.35, I request that you declare an emergency for the State of Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina for the time period beginning August 26, 2005, and continuing. The affected areas are all the southeastern parishes including the New Orleans Metropolitan area and the mid state Interstate I-49 corridor and northern parishes along the I-20 corridor that are accepting the thousands of citizens evacuating from the areas expecting to be flooded as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

In response to the situation I have taken appropriate action under State law and directed the execution of the State Emergency Plan on August 26, 2005 in accordance with Section 501 (a) of the Stafford Act. A State of Emergency has been issued for the State in order to support the evacuations of the coastal areas in accordance with our State Evacuation Plan and the remainder of the state to support the State Special Needs and Sheltering Plan.
Pursuant to 44 CFR § 206.35, I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments, and that supplementary Federal assistance is necessary to save lives, protect property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster. '

On Monday the president was headed to Arizona to pump privatizing social security and on Tuesday a photo-op in San Diego to support the nation building in Iraq.

timeline here:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/4/111017/0402

The president didn't have any good visuals like standing on the rubble in NY after 9-11 with the bullhorn.

He was too afraid to go near the Superdome or Convention center in New Orleans. He knew he would be scolded in public by a bunch of poor minorities and this wouldn't make a good photo op. Contrast his reaction to this disaster compared to 9-11 or compared to handing out bags of ice in the election battle ground state of Florida last year.

http://www.floridabaptistwitness.com/3156.article

I guess if your vote doesn't matter foget about it.

Just a reminder -- if anyone does want to go to DC for the protest on the 24th, you can purchase bus tickets at Internationalist Books, 405 W Franklin Street. 919-942-1740. They're selling pretty quickly.

Good people can honestly disagree about the performance of local, state or federal agencies the NOLA disaster. But I believe that question is a small part of a much larger and more deadly pattern of government malfeasance.

Under Republican leadership, the federal government has been methodically pursuing a "starve the beast" strategy to shrink government at all levels . . . protecting the interests of wealthy and corporate interests to the detriment of the common good. Funding for significant reconstruction of NOLA levees and surrounding wetland restoration has been decimated by the Bush administration in particular. But even there the picture is sordid. Instead of cutting back federal spending in the tradition of true conservatives, they have trashed our nation's financial health in favor an ill-conceived war of choice. The money already spent in Iraq could have reengineered most of the NOLA flood control system -- using plans that have existed -- and been unfunded -- for years.

(I take special exception to the idea that the plight of NOLA is a "local" problem. If there is one city and port in the US that is vital to the strategic interests of our nation's economy and stability, it is NOLA. Arguing that the city government has primary responsibility for dealing with this dire situation is like saying the city council of Fayetteville would be responsible for a nuclear bomb exploding at Fort Bragg.)

The litany of failures of leadership and cronyism in the Bush administration is too long to chronicle here. And frankly, the Democrats (IMHO) have not been much better on many fronts. That's why the September 24th action is not about FEMA's shaky performance in NOLA. It is about the ending the intolerable drain of financial, logistical and human resources that is happening in Iraq.

J

PS I agree 1000% with Dan. But judging from the swarm of enthusiastic responses to this thread, local action looks like a no-go. TIme to start planning for a road trip to DC.

'I take special exception to the idea that the plight of NOLA is a “local” problem. If there is one city and port in the US that is vital to the strategic interests of our nation's economy and stability, it is NOLA. Arguing that the city government has primary responsibility for dealing with this dire situation is like saying the city council of Fayetteville would be responsible for a nuclear bomb exploding at Fort Bragg.'

Good point, Jim. However, given our current set up for disaster response in this country, I do believe the city of NOLA and the state of Louisiana share in the failure of the evacuation.

Also, I wouldn't throw in the towel on the local protest just yet. I think many aren't responding to this thread because they are deep in thought.

There have been mistakes made.
1. The evacuation didn't take place sooner and didn't take place better - blame it on the local and state government if you wish.
2. The proper food and evacuation didn't occur AFTER the storm hit - blame it on the Federal Government and George W. Bush if you please.

These are mistakes, innocent or not, mistakes happen - even if they cost lives. What shouldn't be forgiven are the jaded crap pulled by this administration in order to make themselves look better.

1. A fake aid station was set up for a Presidential Photo-Op, when the President left, the aid left.

2. A fake recovery was set up complete with bulldozers and rescue workers for a Presidential Photo-Op, when the President left, the recovery operation left.

3. Rescue helicopter flights were shut down while the President was in Louisiana. SHUT DOWN. So that Bush could set up fake photo ops, people died.

4. FEMA lies that the refugees at the convention center have been receiving meals every day, when in fact they had (apparently) received none.

Mistakes are one thing, but these actions are unforgiveable - ever. They are clearly designed to make the administration look better at the expense of lives.

As I - like Dan and Mary - have a small child, I would LOVE to see a protest here. A long drive (by bus or car) to DC and unpredictable circumstances afterwards does not appeal to me - though I haven't ruled it out. I am positive that I am not the only one ready to rally to a protest outside David Price's office. (Just please can we stop marching down Franklin Street like it's Homecoming.)

In Florida they always objected to presidential visits in the midst of an emergency. Everything gets shut down since presidential safety takes precedence over everything.

My rant: I strenously object to the continue airing of the photo op with Bush hugging those two black teenage girls. Tt's the most shameful exploitation I've seen come out of this administration.

I think this administration is guilty of criminal negligence. There are innumerable health care professionals who are STILL not being allowed in the area. They are awaiting calls from the Red Cross and gulf state agencies.

Even Bush supporters can see now that Homeland Security is b.s.

I demanded that David Price begin impeachment proceedings 2 days ago. I think he needs to see some VERY angry constituents.

Problem is that the Republicans control the committees of both houses of congress. If we can get the Dems a majority in the Senate in '06, Bush will be investigated up the wazoo.

James--In terms of what is going on here: On September 15th, at the Community Church, there will be a forum about getting out of Iraq with Medea Benjamin, Sarah Shields, and others. On September 16th, there will be a fundraiser at the Art Center with various theatrical groups planning to protest on the 24th.

Also, on September 26th there is a lobbying day in DC. People are certainly planning to have a 'talking-to' with Price or his staff.

There are vigils against the war every Monday in front of the Post Office from 5pm to 6pm.

more info-- ncpeacejustice.org .

Steve

David Brooks wrote in today NY Times: (a repeat of what he said on The NewsHour Friday night)

"Katrina means that the political culture, already sour and bloody-minded in many quarters, will shift. There will be a reaction. There will be more impatience for something new. There is going to be some sort of big bang as people respond to the cumulative blows of bad events and try to fundamentally change the way things are....We're not really at a tipping point as much as a bursting point. People are mad as hell, unwilling to take it anymore."

I hope he's right. I also hope that in addition to protesting the Iraq war we revisit the War on Poverty, both locally and nationally. Not using the 1960s strategies that were too grounded in welfare, but taking a long hard look at our society and figuring out how to achieve more fiscal equity. We can start by demanding that our federal representatives vote against the elimination of the estate tax or any further tax reductions on the wealthy.

Terri,
Don't miss what he thinks the result will be:

Reaganite conservatism was the response to the pessimism and feebleness of the 1970's. Maybe this time there will be a progressive resurgence. Maybe we are entering an age of hardheaded law and order. (Rudy Giuliani, an unlikely G.O.P. nominee a few months ago, could now win in a walk.) Maybe there will be call for McCainist patriotism and nonpartisan independence. All we can be sure of is that the political culture is about to undergo some big change.

Hey Robert, can you please share where you learned about the aid stations and such being fake/photo op? Thanks.

Joan,
I'll find the links today. The bulldozer seen was reported independently by two German stations. All the American reporters stayed with the President's gaggle - only the foreign journalists seem to understand that HE wasn't the story. So, they were the only ones to notice that everything left when he did. I'll get the information about aid station ASAP.

Someone was kind enough to send me This Link which describes the events.

Interview with David Pricein CH News on his Iraq war views:

http://www.chapelhillnews.com/news/story/2781594p-9220724c.html

It's a strange perspective - he basically admits there is little chance of successs,but we should not pull out yet. Says it's not about oil...This is the sort of convoluted double-think that leaves normal common sense citizens with no-one providing leadership on their behalf. Quite depressing.

Those interested in this topic should consider attending tonight's planning meeting of the NC Peace & Justice Coalition:

Community Meeting, Tuesday, September 6th, 7:00-8:45, Durham Main Library Auditorium, 300 N Roxboro St, 560 0100. Contact: Andrew Pearson, 919 360 2028.

On Tuesday, September 6, the North Carolina Peace & Justice Coalition hosts a meeting of community groups and individuals to mobilize direct, grassroots relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina survivors and work together to end to the Iraq War.

Participants will learn about North Carolina's grassroots response to the Hurricane disaster, including an effort to raise funds to charter buses from Durham with donated supplies to Hurricane survivors. The buses will then bring survivors back to be hosted in the Triangle. We need to raise $5000 for each bus to send - $100 per survivor. Donations in any amount can be made online at www.NCpeacejustice.org starting immediately.

The meeting will also plan a huge welcome rally and march for the Camp Casey Bring Them Home Bus Tour, coming through Raleigh on Sept 15, Fayetteville on Sept 16, and Durham on Sept 17. We need to know if Raleigh and Durham can throw a huge rally and march to show our support for Cindy Sheehan's efforts. Nearly 1000 people came out for the Support Cindy Vigils on Aug 17 – One month later, can we double that number? Info here.

Organizers will also present mobilization plans for the Sept 24-26 march, rally, and lobby days to end the Iraq War in Washington DC. So far organizers are sponsoring 2 buses from Durham, 3 from Chapel Hill, and van and carpools from Raleigh. People will have the opportunity to sign up for buses to DC, and volunteer to help with ticket sales, publicity, NC march contingent preparation, fundraising, and joining grassroots lobby teams for Sept 26 visits in Washington. Info here.

Depressing indeed. Sounds like the politics of hope. "I hope things will get better, but I'm pretty sure they won't."

Sheesh.

Yah, uh, Mr. Price .... that, uh, sounds like, uh ... a load of bullshit ... sir.

Incumbents in Congress have something like a 99% chance of being re-elected because of the advantages offered by incumbency. Nonetheless, it wouldn't hurt to send e-mail messages expressing our disgust to those such as Mr. Price that have exhibited the lack of spines in this and other important matters.

If local leaders do decide to protest the federal response to Katrina, I recommend they check with the Orange Co Emergency Management Services to verify the information below. If indeed FEMA is being taken out of natural disaster relief (which would explain in part the poor performance in NO compared to last year's stellar performance in FL), then there is indeed a very good reason to protest. Counties and states cannot handle the full extent of catastrophic disasters. If that is the expectation, then the feds need to reduce our tax rates. If this report is correct, then this is a magnification in the shifting view of federalism.

********************************************
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0902/p09s01-coop.htm
This year it was announced that FEMA will lose the disaster preparedness function that it has had since its creation. The move is a death blow to an agency. In fact, FEMA employees have been directed not to become involved in disaster preparedness functions, since a new directorate (yet to be established) will have that mission.

FEMA will be survived by state and local emergency management offices, which are confused about how they fit into the national picture. That's because the focus of the national effort remains terrorism, even if the Department of Homeland Security still talks about "all-hazards preparedness." Those of us in the business of dealing with emergencies find ourselves with no national leadership and no mentors. We're being forced to fend for ourselves, making do with the "homeland security" mission. Our "all- azards" approaches have been decimated by the administration's preoccupation with terrorism.

The evidence of intentional environmental racism toward the African American/poor sections of NO, both in the planning and execution of the evacuation/relief efforts is overwhelming. Bush delegated his authority directly to the FEMA and Homeland Security Directors, while he fiddled at his Hollywood Prop "ranch" in Texas. His high crimes and misdemeanors, even before his lie about WMD. were accurately pled in John Dean's "Worse than Watergate." His lies about the reasons for an illegal invasion of a sovereign country are legion and easily proved. His policy and practice toward poor people of color has always been clear, from his state's death penalty record, his record on disenfranchising African American voters, and his misfeasance in the rescue and relief efforts.

Now we are being inundated with a second flood--a flood of Rove diversions. Soon, we will be treated to a blue ribbon Commission to "study" the weaknesses of the response, based on such cover-ups as the Warren Commission, or the many Riot Commissions. These Commissions place the blame all over the place except where the Buck Stops.

Democratic party leaders can not be expected tolead on the impeachment issue. Therefore we must focus our work in making "Impeach Bush" the simple slogan of the two major marches in Washington in September and October. The Anti-War March in September should call directly for Bush's impeachment (indictment) on the many crimes he has committed. The people who mobilize for and attend this march should make as their main goal a single questionnaire for all candidates for the Democratic and Republican Party primaries and general election in 2006: Do you support the impeachment of George W. Bush?

The Anti-Racism march in October, which will be focussed on Bush's racist response to the cries of hundreds of thousands of people in three of his "red" states, will draw more than a million people to Washington. Ben Chavis--the founder and first important leader in the fight against environmental racism here in N.C --is working closely with Minister Louis Farrakan, Russell Simmons, the NAACP, and literally hundreds of churches and organizations) to bring Black and White and Brown, women and men and children, to D.C. This time the Million More March is working on building a grassroots response to the crisis that Bush has exascerbated in the Black and Brown communities, as well as among poor and working class white people.

The Classic Rove Response, to blame the victims, to dilute, to delay, and to disperse responsibility for the genocide in Iraq and New Orleans is quite effective, when the only response are disorganized demands from the "feeble strength of one" and the feebler equivocations of most of the leaders of the Opposition Party.

If we unite around one simple demand, which capsulizes both the problem, the process to solve the problem, and the solution, we can stop the Rove machine once and for all. Impeach Bush.

Sincerely, Al McSurely

 

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