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[NOTE: This is my second diary today, and another diary has mentioned this video already, but it never made the rec list.  This is an important story and it needs attention from folks here and anyone and everyone in the media.  Also, send the link to Charmaine's story to your e-mail lists.]

Charmaine Neville is a member of the well-known Neville musical family from New Orleans.  She is an accomplished singer and songwriter and is well-known in musical circles.

Her first-hand account of surviving the hurricane and her desperate attempts to save others and herself afterward provide one of the most gripping first person accounts of the disaster yet heard.

Here is the link to her five minute account of what she did and how she did it:

Charmaine Neville's survival story

Link for Mac users

(more)

Charmaine Neville's account is chilling, shocking and a story of true courage and heroism (including commandeering a bus, a vehicle she has never driven).

But, most importantly, she repeats time and time again that many New Orleans residents did not have the resources to get out of town.

While this is not news to folks here, it provides a sharp counterpoint to the Republican spin machine that the people who didn't get out were lazy, idiots, or looking to loot.

Her story is truly heartbreaking and powerful.

Please distribute this far and wide.

And next time some thug says that the people who stayed behind deserved what they got, show the idiot this.

Then slug the heartless bastard in the mouth (figuratively, of course).

Update [2005-9-8 0:31:30 by Bob Johnson]:

Courtesy of True Blue Texan who transcribed this from the video.

Charmaine: I was in my house when everything first started. I was in my house. Yes, I live in the [unintelligible] area at the Ninth Ward in New Orleans. When, when, when, when the hurricane came, it blew over the left side of my house from the north side of [unintelligible], and I -- the water was coming in the house in torrents. I had my neighbor, an elderly man who's my neighbor and myself in the house, and with our dogs and cats, and we were trying to stay out of the water but the water was coming in too fast, so we ended up having to leave the house.

We left the house and we went up on the roof of a school. I took a crowbar and I burst the door open on the roof of the school to help people to get them up onto the roof of the school. Later on we found a flat boat and we went around in the neighborhood in the flat boat getting people out of their houses and bringing them to the school. We found all the food that we could and we cooked and we fed people. But then, things started getting really bad. By the second day, the people that were there that we were feeding and everything, we had no more food, no water. We had nothing, and other people were coming into our neighborhood. We were watching the helicopters go across the bridge and airlift other people out, but they would hover over us and tell us, "Hi," and that would be all. They wouldn't drop us any food, any water, nothing.

Alligators were eating people. They had all kind of stuff in the water. They had babies floating in the water. We had to walk over hundreds of bodies of dead people, people that we tried to save from the hospices, from the hospitals and from the old folks' homes. I tried to get the police to help us but I realized we rescued a lot of police officers in the flat boat from the district police station. The boat, the guy who was driving the boat, he rescued a lot of them and brought them to get to places where they could be saved. We understood that the police couldn't help us, but we couldn't understand why the National Guard and them couldn't help us, because we kept seeing them, but they never would stop and help us.

Finally, it got to be too much. I just took all of the people that I could. I had two old women in wheelchairs with no legs that I rolled them from down there at Ninth Ward to the French Quarters, and I went back and I got more people. There were groups of us, you know, there was about 24 of us, and we kept going back and forth and rescuing whoever we could get and bringing them to the French Quarters since we heard that there was phones in the French Quarters and that there wasn't any water. And they were right. There was phones but we couldn't get through. I found some police officers. I told them that a lot of us women had been raped down there by guys who had come [inaudible] the neighborhood where we were that were helping us to save people, but other men, and they came and they started raping women and [inaudible], and they started killing them. And I don't know who these people were. I'm not going to tell you I know who they were because I don't, but what I want people to understand is that if we had not been left down there like the animals that they were treating us like, all of those things wouldn't have happened.

People are trying to say that we stayed in the city because we wanted to be rioting and we wanted to do this. We didn't have resources to get out. We had NO WAY TO LEAVE. When they gave the evacuation order, if we could have left, we would have left. There are still thousands and thousands of people trapped in the homes down in the down, in the downtown area. When we finally did get to --

Priest: Downtown or the Ninth Ward?

Charmaine: The Ninth Ward. In the Ninth Ward, and not just in my neighborhood but in other neighborhoods in the Ninth Ward, there are a lot of people who are still trapped down there. Old people, young people, babies, pregnant women, I mean, nobody's helping them. And I want people to realize that we did not stay in the city so that we could steal and loot and, and commit crimes. A lot of those young men lost their minds because the helicopters would fly over us and they wouldn't stop. We'd do SOS on the flashlights. We took everything. And it came to a point, it really did come to a point where these young men were so frustrated that they did start shooting. They weren't trying to hit the helicopters. They figured maybe they weren't seeing. Maybe if they hear this gunfire, they would stop then, but that didn't help us. Nothing like that helped us.

Finally I got to Canal Street with all of my people that I had saved from back there. There was a whole group of us. I -- I don't want them arresting nobody else -- I broke the window in an RTA bus. I've never learned how to drive a bus in my life. I got in that bus. I loaded all of those people in wheelchairs and then everything else into that bus [rising hysteria, sobs] and we drove and we drove and we drove. And millions of people was trying to get me to help them to get on the bus with them.

Priest: [Inaudible].

Charmaine: All I did was what He gave me about the willpower to do.

[END OF INTERVIEW]

Originally posted to Bob Johnson on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:24 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is a must-see video, and she also (3.96)
    suggests that some of the gunfire which caused help to be held back was done to try to get attention to where people were stranded.  In addition to the gunfire of the Gretna police/Jefferson Parish sheriffs (it's not clear which were at the country line) over the heads of evacuees to get them to go back . . . and in addition to many of the "looters" being people trying to find food and water . . . the  hysteria led by Fox News last week harmed many.

    Ms. Neville is clearly a lovely, articulate woman whose account needs to be heard widely. . . .

    "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

    by Cream City on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:30:02 PM PDT

  •  I've been sending this out for hours now. (4.00)
    It's as heartwrenchingly perfect a testimony to the fruits of evil as is likely to come out of NOLA.

    Thanks for more exposure.

    JF

  •  I move to waive the 1-diary rule in this case (4.00)
    I yield back my 1-diary allowance for today to Bob Johnson.  My topic (first installment in a series on personal disaster preparedness) can wait until tomorrow.

    -AG

    You are so evolved it boggles my fragile little mind. Now give me a 4, fucker. (Bill In Portland Maine, to Meteor Blades)

    by AlphaGeek on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:32:57 PM PDT

  •  Anyone who sees this will be moved to tears (4.00)
    and gratitude for this woman's courage. Unless you're a pig like Sean Hannity, in which case you'll grunt and turn your focus to rooting out more lies and slander.

    It should be spread far and wide. Unfortunately, it does nothing to counter the category 5 spin about Our Noble Leader having to beg Nagin and Blanco to protect New Orleans.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:36:23 PM PDT

    •  True (4.00)
      But I dare These assholes to fire on her.

      Talk about a true hero...  While Mike Brown prattled on about the hundrds of thousands of pounds of ice, this woman was taking matters into her own hands...as the National Guard helicopters passed over her and her group again and again without so much as slowing down.

      Pretzels for the Preznit! Send a bag of your favorite pretzels to the President and tell him to eat a giant handful all at once!

      by Bob Johnson on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:38:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I officially cede my diary (4.00)
        I have not used my one diary today, or yesterday for that matter.  I officially assign my diary rights to you for this story.

        This is one of the most moving things I have ever heard and provides an important counterbalance to some of the absolutely disgusting "spin" we're starting to/have been seeing.  Especially the overemphasis on violence and the characterization of people's scavenging for survival as "looting."

        "What is hateful to thee, thou shalt not do unto thy neighbor. This is the whole of the Law, the rest is only commentary" Rabbi Hillel

        by modthinglet on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:49:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Impossible to fire on Max Cleland-- (4.00)
        but fire they did.  They will find a way to marginalize her.  "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre
        minds." Albert Einstein.

        You're a Republican until it happens to you.

        by nape on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:49:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You've got to be carefully taught. (4.00)
      And most Republicans I know are carefully trained to be hard-hearted, where compassion is concerned. I know because I was one. Back then I would have clung to the GOP spin like a pit bull on a steak. I remember, as a young Republican, watching the starvation in Bangledesh on teevee and thinking to myself, 'good, the world's population needs thinning out.' Followed quickly by 'Whoa! That's an ugly thought! but that's how I feel, so tough shit.' As I matured I realized my compassion for people and animals did not square with this sentiment, so I rejected my family's Republican stance and became a Dem. Sadly, there are thousands more, who were indoctrinated like me, but never grew out of it. But you never know. It just takes one heart-rending story and one moment of honesty to make the shift.

      "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Philo...
      Just make sure you know which side they are fighting on.

      by emmeke on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:58:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Had a horrible experience today. I'm covering (4.00)
        for my boss and had to sit in for him on a conference call led by his boss. The last 15 minutes of the call were spent by this heartless borg, fresh from vacation, berating the survivors of Katrina with these statements- "Anyone who has two arms and two legs should have organized others and built boats to get out of the flooded area, or walked out of there. I understand about children and pregnent women, but as far as everyone else, why did'nt they start walking away from the storm before it hit? Why did they shoot at the National Guard if they wanted help? Why would anyone sit around and wait for help?"

        I was stunned, and made two corrections to these  remarks before it got very quiet on the call, and I realized if I made another statement to this  heartless borg I would be directly in the crosshairs. Someone spoke up and said "This is all Bush's fault, anyway" followed by laughter.  

        I later told a co-worker it was like listening to Barbara Bush around the family dining table. An arrogent, privilaged, elitist with not one shread of kindness or compassion! Not one!  

        I'm not the type to wish ill on others, but I do ask to be around to see it happen. Let's all hold a good strong thought.

        Most Americans are a lot dumber than we give them credit for- George Carlin 2004

        by maggiemae on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 06:12:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good on ya for publicly standing up to the thug! (4.00)
          My wife once did the same at a company Christmas party when a management bigwig cracked a very slanted political joke in front of scores of diners.

          Its so easy for the wealthy, the powerful, the priveleged, the beautiful people, to pass judgement on the plebians from on high.

          I'm also not the type to wish ill on others but some of the shenanigans I'm seeing and hearing through this event are sorely testing my resolve.

          What would Blackbeard do?

          by Agent of Fortune on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:10:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh yeah! (4.00)
            Last Monday my boss's wife (that I work for directly) actually popped off w/ "they should have gotten out, they are dumb to have stayed"!?! Later she said it again, but added "why didn't they just load up the SUV and get out???" - Um, nice talk ye who have a multistory home in a very nice neighborhood and two luxury autos.  Heck, my paid for, but very used auto couldn't get me out of town in an evac situation!!!  And I make a decent wage!  The boss himself blew a gasket on Tuesday ranting about how insurance rates were going to skyrocket owing to these idiots that just "have to live on the water!!!"...Again, I offer - Ummm...yeaaaaaaaah, you know what???!!! I didn't hear a PEEP from him last year when Florida was sadly being bitch-slapped by hurricane after hurricane and there were far more 'pleasure homes' there that were battered into another state than in New Orleans.  Most of the homes lost were not only in the poorer areas that yeah, were low - cause over the history of the development of N.O. once it sprang past the Quarter - the 'haves' built on the higher ground leaving the swampier-trended bits to the poorer folks building homes.  Not to mention most of the homes lost throughout the New Orleans area (incl the surrounding cities) were very old!  These weren't 'pleasure homes' built on the edge of a toney beach!!!  These weren't Trent Lott Lodges - they were small, they were aged, but they were HOME, that's right HOME a FULL TIME HOME to families!  They made COMMUNITIES not some gated enclaves of snobbery.  AUUUGGHH!!!  Of course, I had to keep my pie hole shut - boss man and boss lady talking, and getting paid is a good thing right now, especially as I can mete out my visits to my beloved New Orleans and for now mete out donations to help get her and her residents back on their feet.
            Let's push on to get/keep this mess in the front pages and urge our elected officials to IMPEACH this fool and his administration!!! (can they be sacked at least if not impeached???)  Imagine the Second Line Parade the day shrub goes to jail???  Too late for many unnecessarily lost to the Iraq war and Hurricane Georgina, er Katrina - but that will be a noble cause worth celebrating!!!  
            Bright blessings to all!
            Elspeth
  •  Here's another -- small-town mother (4.00)
    and two daughters from Wisconsin, tourists trapped in the Superdome; see story and video at http://nbc15.madison.com/home/headlines/1819162.html

    Thousands of tourists and business travelers and conventioneers from around the country are back home, telling their stories in their towns.  These are people with "local cred," whose neighbors realize how easily it could have been any one of us.

    That also is harder for the WH to counter, I think.

    "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

    by Cream City on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:37:12 PM PDT

  •  Well, I tried... (4.00)
    I thought this video might grab some attention here.  Maybe next time.

    Pretzels for the Preznit! Send a bag of your favorite pretzels to the President and tell him to eat a giant handful all at once!

    by Bob Johnson on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:48:00 PM PDT

    •  You're giving up too easily (4.00)
      Diary's been up, what, 25 minutes?  Hang in there.

      -AG

      You are so evolved it boggles my fragile little mind. Now give me a 4, fucker. (Bill In Portland Maine, to Meteor Blades)

      by AlphaGeek on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:51:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not how long a diary has been up... (4.00)
        They are wizzing by at such a rapid pace these days.

        You're probably right.  This shit has me tired out.

        I just cannot fathom what people in thsi country are thinking.  Or not thinking, as is probably the case.

        It's a depressing time, for sure.

        Pretzels for the Preznit! Send a bag of your favorite pretzels to the President and tell him to eat a giant handful all at once!

        by Bob Johnson on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:52:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm right there with you (4.00)
          Doing what I can -- raising money, educating people on disaster readiness, etc. -- but it just doesn't seem like enough.  It's killing me that I can't head down to NOLA or the other Gulf Coast regions to join in the search & rescue operations, but things are so fucked up that I know it wouldn't be an effective use of my time and energy.

          I just put out a call for recommends, we'll get this up to the Reco list yet.

          -AG

          You are so evolved it boggles my fragile little mind. Now give me a 4, fucker. (Bill In Portland Maine, to Meteor Blades)

          by AlphaGeek on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:58:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hey Geekazoid (4.00)
            Got the call, reporting for duty and have recommended. I watched this tape earlier today, and agree that it is incredibly moving. Ms. Neville should be honored for her great heart, compassion and bravery.

            P.S. I look forward to your series on preparedness as this is a topic I'm very interested in too. Be sure to pimp it heartily.

            Dubya, yer momma may think yer cute, but I sure don't

            by cosmic debris on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:05:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Will do (4.00)
              Sorry I haven't been around the Cafe much.  Been busy in the real world what with job, family, fund-raising for the ARC, and stressing over the Gulf Coast disaster.

              Thanks for recommending.  I'll put out the call when the first installment of my new series goes up.

              -AG

              You are so evolved it boggles my fragile little mind. Now give me a 4, fucker. (Bill In Portland Maine, to Meteor Blades)

              by AlphaGeek on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:13:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Woo Hoo!! (4.00)
                The Bobs came through and the diary is on the list!
                Cheers to all Bobs and especially Bob Johnson. By the way Mr. Johnson, you should join the cafe. You already have a Bob name!!! If you do not comprehend this, worry not and send us your dog instead. ; )

                Dubya, yer momma may think yer cute, but I sure don't

                by cosmic debris on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:28:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  We came (4.00)
                We saw, We recommended

                Our combined pimping efforts clearly rock.

                "What is hateful to thee, thou shalt not do unto thy neighbor. This is the whole of the Law, the rest is only commentary" Rabbi Hillel

                by modthinglet on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 05:46:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  what are people thinking... (4.00)
          Well, if they are watching cable news, they think that President Bush went down there and kicked butt and saved the day.  

          PLEASE WILL all Americans

          #1) stop watching cable news

          #2) stop listening to evil mullahs like Limbaugh, et al

          #3) stop giving away/wasting our national and natural resources

          --> Just a middle age woman practicing her free speech.

          by Thea VA on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:45:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Geek, thanks for giving this a boost. (none)
        Much appreciated.  The word will spread.

        Pretzels for the Preznit! Send a bag of your favorite pretzels to the President and tell him to eat a giant handful all at once!

        by Bob Johnson on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:33:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No worries (none)
          Not much use in having a posse if you're not willing to call on them now and then.

          You can repay me with a recommend when I post my first series Diary on disaster readiness tomorrow.  :)

          -AG

          You are so evolved it boggles my fragile little mind. Now give me a 4, fucker. (Bill In Portland Maine, to Meteor Blades)

          by AlphaGeek on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 10:12:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You did well! (none)
      I saw this last night, and that is one powerfully moving video.  Thank you for republicizing it, since it begs to be seen!

      And, you know, the man comforting her and listening to her should've been the President of the United States...  But then, if we had a moral and responsible  president, she wouldn't have had to tell that story, huh?

    •  Bob, thank you a thousand times (none)
      You DID grab attention, and yes, diaries are happening a mile a minute, but this is one that I will never, never forget.  You have absolutely wrecked me.  It is awful in the worst sense of the word, and also Miss Neville is awe-inspiring in the best sense.  I am sending the link out as far and wide as possible.

      I hope her family can rally around her and take care of her now, as she has taken care of so many.

      The entire administration should be handcuffed into chairs in a dark room and forced to watch this over and over until they fucking admit they FUCKED UP.  And throw Rick Santorum and Bill O'Reilly in there with them, and whoever else you feel like.

      Christ.

  •  This is so powerful (4.00)
    Watching this video nearly did me in.  Her obvious struggle to control her emotions as she conveys her story, her real concern for the other people in her neighbourhood, her decisiveness and bravery...  

    I heard Harry Connick Jr. make mention of her on the Larry King show Saturday night, and the few details he gave made me think she must be pretty remarkable.  I'd go further than that now; overused though the words may be, Charmaine Neville is a hero.

    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. -Philo of Alexandria

    by vansterdam on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:49:20 PM PDT

    •  I am desperate for her story to get more play. (4.00)
      Just can't seem to make it stick here.

      Pretzels for the Preznit! Send a bag of your favorite pretzels to the President and tell him to eat a giant handful all at once!

      by Bob Johnson on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:50:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The diaries do slide down the page quickly (4.00)
        Especially this past week and a half.  

        But if it's any consolation, Bob, I've sent this link to most of my friends and family, who - and past experience bears this out - will all be forwarding once they've watched.  

        Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. -Philo of Alexandria

        by vansterdam on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 03:53:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  FWIW, you can have my diary ration today n/t (4.00)
  •  Videotape (4.00)
    Here's a activism project for somebody...

    Try to organize a project to collect survivor stories, recorded on camcorders, and put them all up a website for people to see.

    There are a hundred thousand stories out there.

    This is history.

  •  Bob, I admire your perseverence (4.00)
    I think you should take those folks up on their offers to let you "use their diary allocation" to keep pushing this.
  •  We need an equivalent to.. (none)
    the Winter Solder effort.  We need to start documenting peoples stories, and perhaps we need to create a fund for server hosting to keep these stories available. Calling Michael Moore...John Kerry...Oprah...Kos?

    Charter Member - ePluribus Media
    http://www.epluribusmedia.org/donate.htm

    "What is the noble cause?" Cindy Sheehan

    by just us on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:36:37 PM PDT

  •  Delete dis diary! </snarkos> (none)
         Actually, I don't mind it being here. Go Bo-Jo.

         ...Incidentally, when, EXACTLY, mite the diary rationing be lifted? Just kuriouse what Kos is gona doo...

         Pea S. I would take Bo-Jo's "slug the rathole in the mouth" advice as only fictional/rhetorical, lest we get sued...

  •  Back on topic (4.00)
    There are a couple of important talking points here, but I see this as being the big one:

    The vast majority of those who stayed in NOLA during the hurricane wanted to leave but couldn't, because WE LET THEM DOWN.  They were too poor, too sick, or too frightened to leave without assistance, and we left them there to die.

    Hundreds of sick and elderly folks died in nursing homes, in hospitals, in attics, and on rooftops.  They died waiting for help that never came.

    That help never came because the federal officials who are unambiguously responsible for disaster relief failed to perform their duties.

    No one can prevent a hurricane -- but Bush, Chertoff, and Brown proved that you can certainly let thousands of inconveniently poor people perish afterwards through criminally negligent incompetence.

    -AG

    You are so evolved it boggles my fragile little mind. Now give me a 4, fucker. (Bill In Portland Maine, to Meteor Blades)

    by AlphaGeek on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:42:31 PM PDT

  •  It's about time!!! (none)
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000002VV9/qid=1126136619/sr=8-2/ref=pd_bbs_2/104-0695 709-5949521?v=glance&s=music&n=507846

    It's time to take back America.

    Oh I adore Charmaine. She had a weekly gig when I lived there that was amazing, I went so many times- she is lovely. My heart is broken for her.

    •  What an artist, what a lady (none)
      I have only been to N.O. once, and it was thirteen years ago, but I remember her voice like it was yesterday. Her verson of "Ain't No Sunshine When He's Gone" still echoes in my head. I'm just dumbfounded by this video. What heroism, what soul, what generosity, what dignity. Amazing.

      Do not ask for a word's meaning; look at its use.

      by cmlorenz on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:07:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  video help (none)
      Anyone have an idea why the video isn't working for me?
    I recommended anyhow.  I could tell just from the comments that this was a story that needs to be seen.
    •  Try the second link (none)
      even if you aren't on a Mac.  I also had trouble with the first link; I tried the second (and used the dial-up option) and had no problem.

      I don't think our troops should be used for what's called nation building. - George W. Bush, 2000

      by GN1927 on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:52:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bless Her (none)
    The one time I was in New Orleans, for 3 days back in 1989, I made sure I got to Tipitina's. I took the bus. I had no idea who was there. Well, it was Charmaine Neville, one of the great brass bands, and a bunch of other New Orleans musicians, none famous, doing a fundraiser. One of the best nights of music I have ever seen. Charmaine Neville has always been special.

    Keep your eyes on the prize.

    by Better Days on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:52:48 PM PDT

  •  Just when I thought (none)
    I could not cry anymore I watched the video of Charmaine Neville.  Breaks my heart again...
  •  deserved what they got (4.00)
    If you had eight hours to get yourself and your family hundreds of miles away, and you had no car, no credit cards and $500 in the bank, how would you do?

    I know there were some folks who planned poorly or made bad choices about evacuating, but for most of them you might as well have told them to grow gills.

    Not directed at you, Mr. Bob. Thanks for the link.

  •  But they are past that... (4.00)
    they are moving fully on to, this is a Democratic State and Democratic local government failure.

    That is what their entire political life will hang on now, and that are right now pushing that harder than anything else.

    We have to push back on that and jam it, destroy it... now.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:55:52 PM PDT

  •  Just sent (4.00)
    this message to President Bush via a MoveON petition. Wanna do the same? Here is the LINK


    TO: President Bush,

    I highly recommend you watch this video footage of Ms. Neville, of the famous Neville family of New Orleans, as she describes to a Priest her survival and rescue of others from the floods following Katrina. This woman should receive the Medal of Freedom for her compassion and bravery.

    Link: Charmaine Neville

    This woman is a great American. Many other great Americans died on your watch. You ought to be severely ashamed. Shame on you Mr. President. You, personally, could have done so much more, so much better.

    I know I exercised restraint. I really wanted to tell him to fuck right off. Believe me, I really really want to tell him to fuck right off.

    Dubya, yer momma may think yer cute, but I sure don't

    by cosmic debris on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 04:58:25 PM PDT

  •  I want Anderson Cooper's child. (none)
    There is no reason his gene line should end simply because of his orientation, girls make him some offers!  He doesn't have to be in the same room as the lucky mom at the moment of conception; there are syringes and stuff that can take care of those hurdles.

    He was wonderful and indignant with his questions tonight! He asked a doctor serving there about whether the locals failed the people of New Orleans> Anderson knew the answer, the doctor raved about the service of the first responders. Anderson had him spell it out, it was about courage, said the doctor.

  •  Thanks Bob (4.00)
    Thanks for reposting this Bob. I must have posted about it at the wrong time of day because it slid past the line too fast for enough referrals to save it. This video needs to get out. Now it will. THANKS!!! :-)
  •  My fiancee and I, (none)
    south LA bred and raised, saw Charmaine back in March at a club in the Faubourg de Marigny on Frenchmen Street. I have a picture on my desk at work of an ecstatic me with my face pressed against Charmaine's. My God, we were so moved to see in this video how fine and a good a human being she is, and how she must have suffered through this. She is a true hero, faithful beyond words.

    "There are only murderers in this room" - John Rooney in The Road to Perdition

    by jlb on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 05:19:00 PM PDT

  •  One of numerous heros in New Orleans (none)
    And FYI: Here is a slideshow of pictures taken in the Houston Astrodome over the past two days.  They were taken by Jacob Appelbaum, who is currently battling FEMA in order to establish an emergency access FM network in the Astrodome.

    I don't think our troops should be used for what's called nation building. - George W. Bush, 2000

    by GN1927 on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 05:32:02 PM PDT

  •  Here's another answer to the Republicans (4.00)
    Here's what white people near an election year get.

    Here's what poor African American get from Crawford.  They didn't even bother to stage a respectable photo op.

    •  Notice that the phone isn't plugged in? (4.00)
      Just asking.

      I think the other screen is for his Playstation.  After the cameras leave, of course.

      •  i truly don't want to (none)
        validate anything that these people do, but the phone is probably plugged in through a port in the table...conference tables usually have a couple that tie into phone/cable/internet(note the little black plug at the other end of the table)
    •  Jeez (none)
      He watches TV like I do, which is to say not with anything resembling full attention (opening mail, carrying on a side conversation, picking his nose...)

      "...psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of...politics, law enforcement, (and) government." Dr. Robert Hare

      by RubDMC on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 07:25:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  we should all buy her CD (4.00)
    Send her some love that way.

    Support a hero musician!

    New Orleans will never die

    by hrh on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 05:53:20 PM PDT

  •  May their souls rot in hell... (4.00)
    If I were in Congress, I'd introduce articles of impeachment tomorrow.  I don't care that it would be a futile gesture.  These people are EVIL.  These people are depraved.  These people are the antithesis of everything that Jesus taught.  

    I am glad that Reid and Pelosi and pockets of the media are, at long last perceiving the full extent of our national nightmare.  I just wish that it hadn't required alligators eating people in the streets of an American city for it to occur.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 05:56:57 PM PDT

  •  very powerful piece (none)
    Ms. Neville's articulate, even eloquent, narrative is heartbreaking and profoundly moving.  Is this on the major networks?  Everyone should be showing this.  

    If these truths get out to the general public, I don't see how the Bush administration can recover.  Full public disclosure of the criminal negligence that allowed the people of New Orleans to suffer like this ought to bring the whole Republican ediface down.  

    May all beings be free from fear.

    by shakti on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 05:59:33 PM PDT

  •  me again ... (none)
    I just went and bought her CD "About Time" ... I thought it fitting since the tragedy in New Orleans was about time:  the long delay in rescue efforts, the time it took for the administration to respond, ... the time it has take for white America to wake up to the realities of life for impoverished black America.  

    Maybe this means the time is up for the Republicans.  

    It's about time.  

    May all beings be free from fear.

    by shakti on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 06:18:31 PM PDT

  •  DAmn them (none)
    They act like this is some political campaign.  They steal the national guard and equipment to fight an illicit war.  Screw them.

    They had better be making amends right now.  

  •  We have reports of rapes and murders (none)
    and we have other people denying such things happened.

    Please, before we link to videos of people with hearsay information, can we get some verification?  

    Rumors are rampant and community benevolence hangs in the balance.

    •  wrong (none)
      IT's not HEARSAY!  It' straight from the frickin' horse's mouth, you horse's ass!

      In every stage of these Oppressions...: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury." DoI, TJ

      by ChuckLin on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:07:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not! (none)
        I'm not a horse's ass.  Far, far from it.

        There was a report of a rescue helicopter being fired upon.  That rumor ruled the news all last week and fueled the impression that survivors were a lawless, criminal bunch.  It's not been verified, even by the FAA.

        I downloaded and watched Charmaine Neville's video--and I completely believe her.

        This is the one I'm worried about:
        http://nbc15.madison.com/home/headlines/1819162.html

        Yes there are thugs and foul people wandering the streets of New Orleans but Katrina affected the rich and poor alike.  The media is JUST TODAY interviewing and photographing working class people of all races.

        NO RUMORS.  Babs Bush is suckin' up all innuendo.

        •  Eyewitnesses corroberate (none)
          In Oprah's account that was broadcast on Tuesday, families who were there talk about rape and gang warfare in the superdome. They talk about teenagers with assault weapons and men waiting in the restrooms to rape children as they came in.

          Oprah caught up with a family that left the superdome to take their chances out on the streets where they were wandering aimlessly with no place to go. When asked why they would leave, the father said that the shooting inside was so random and dangerous that they were afraid of having their children injured or killed in the crossfire.

          Others interviewed tell the same stories, including the chief of police who accompanied Oprah. I think their witness is credible.

          "You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." ~ Mark Twain

          by Bugsby on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 10:58:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you. I'm having a tough time with (none)
            this.  I love New Orleans, I'm an urbanite and I'm 'way out there on the left.  In addition, I worked eight years in a prison, dispensing prescriptions to stone cold killers.

            I'm no dewy eyed optimist but I have problems with the way the media is portraying evacuees.  They have us scared to death of them, and reluctant to take them in.

            •  A few bad apples... (none)
              In this case, that expression holds true. Most of these folks are just families down on their luck. But you're absolutely right about the fear. The mayor himself talked about how rampent drugs are in that section of NO and he said that the violence and sexual deviance was most-likely the work of crack addicts suffering withdrawal. Another tragedy rooted in poverty.

              "You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." ~ Mark Twain

              by Bugsby on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 11:58:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  please.... (none)
      do you hear her defend the city, the people she saved, the defense of the people who stayed behind?  This is no spinner.  This is someone who lived it.  

      "For the Mardi Gras
      Neo-con domestic shock and awe.."--Rep. Major Owens

      by Cathy on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:11:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Heartless one, did you watch this video (none)
      or not?  What more verification do you want?  The Neville family are renown, so that should help dispel any lyin' po' people phobia.

      And, yes, community benevolence did at one time hang in the balance.  bush kicked it in the ass.

      Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshall

      by bronte17 on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:46:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thomas (none)
      Rumors are rampant

      Rumors?  It's called a primary source, and a sobering one at that.

      Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you. Jean-Paul Sartre

      by Stevo on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:53:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please people...just because (none)
      we are horrified at the malignant response and disregard of the survivors by the regime...it does not mean we have to take, at face value, what someone says because it reinforces our beliefs and because they happen to be famous.

      I have no reason to disbelieve what Ms. Neville reports though when she states in the last line of the 6th paragraph "And millions of people was trying to get me to help them to get on the bus with them" it seems to be an exaggeration. Possibly/probably due to the horror she survived.

      Couldn't it be likely that by the time she was video'd she had heard the rape & murder rumors and repeated them?

      Isn't it in our best interest as the reality based community to be skeptical until we have all the facts?

      An anvil, an anvil, my kingdom for an anvil.

      by Sassy on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:21:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope you're being ironic. (none)
        ...

        Pretzels for the Preznit! Send a bag of your favorite pretzels to the President and tell him to eat a giant handful all at once!

        by Bob Johnson on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:33:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't understand your comment about being ironic (none)
          I was responding to the people who were calling hoolia a "horse's ass" and "heartless".

          If we have no tolerence for opinions other than our own, remind me how this makes us different from freepers & the rest of the supporters of the vermin controling our government?

          An anvil, an anvil, my kingdom for an anvil.

          by Sassy on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 11:06:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Did you watch the video? (none)
            Or read the story about Ms. Neville, linked below?

            She was raped.  She saw these things.

            I guess I was just insulted by your insinuation that she may have made them up.

            Kind of an ignorant assumption, if you ask me.

            Pretzels for the Preznit! Send a bag of your favorite pretzels to the President and tell him to eat a giant handful all at once!

            by Bob Johnson on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 01:06:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes I both (none)
              read and watched. Ms. Neville did not say she was raped. She said, "I told them that a lot of us women had been raped down there by guys who had come the neighborhood where we were that were helping us to save people but other men and they came and they started raping women and and they started killing them".

              I did not insinuate she made up anything. I stated she had exaggrated one point, which leads me to believe she might have added some of what she said from things she heard.

              There are still no verified rapes or murders associated with rapes.

              Possibly you were insulted for her but it's more likely you were insulted by my not fawning and falling over myself to agree with you.

              An anvil, an anvil, my kingdom for an anvil.

              by Sassy on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:34:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You didn't read the article. (none)
                Why do you claim you did, when Ms. Neville clearly states in the article that she was raped?

                Read the damn link before you make a fool of yourself.

                http://2theadvocate.com/stories/090405/new_soul001.shtml

                You may also want to do a little more homework by readng this article by Greg Mitchell at Editor & Publisher.  I now it's tough, but read all the way to the bottom of the article.  Maybe you'll learn something.

                Pretzels for the Preznit! Send a bag of your favorite pretzels to the President and tell him to eat a giant handful all at once!

                by Bob Johnson on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 06:42:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You seem determined to insult my intelligence (none)
                  I have read ALL the information YOU supplied in this diary, which includes a transcript of what Ms. Neville said & link to WAFB, AND followed YOUR link to the wafb video and watched several times.

                  NOW I'm supposed to jump through hoops and go to more links & articles so you can use me to prove your point and stroke your own ego.

                  You have accused me of calling Ms. Neville a liar.
                  You have accused me of insulting you.
                  You have insinuated that I am a liar.
                  You have insinuated that I am ignorant.
                  You have insinuated I am a fool.

                  Go fuck yourself Mr. Johnson.

                  An anvil, an anvil, my kingdom for an anvil.

                  by Sassy on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 07:35:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  transcript? (none)
    Has anyone come across a transcript of this video? (I'm searching via Google but no luck so far...)
  •  This is the answer. (none)
    When stories like Ms. Neville's start to get out, they will provide all the answer that is needed to the "no blamegame" crowd.

    Videodudes, to your stations.

    The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

    by SensibleShoes on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:15:57 PM PDT

  •  I'd Sure Love to See This Woman (4.00)
    meet and speak with Cindy Sheehan.

    They exhibit the same kind of heroism and self-determination.

    I hope Charmaine knows how well she did.

  •  Wow (none)
    great work. Very Recommended.

    **** I'm a Proud 'Fight Back in all 50 States' Democrat ****

    by LeftHandedMan on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 07:51:46 PM PDT

  •  Just Sent (none)
    I just sent the link and a brief description to all the news stations in Denver. Her testimony is so chilling, it needs to be seen by so many.
  •  PROOF: FEMA was late everywhere, not just NOLA (4.00)
    on Monday, Sept. 5, CNN reported this tipoff that FEMA was late everywhere, not just in New Orleans, not just because a Democratic Mayor/Governor in Louisiana didn't fill out the paperwork or whatever.

    FEMA, meanwhile, has refused to release 50 trucks carrying water and ice sitting at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree said.

    "They're sitting down there right now because one person from FEMA won't make the call to say, 'Release those trucks,' " he said.

    Two-thirds of the residents of the southern Mississippi city have no power, and that figure was 100 percent for three-and-a-half days, he added.

    He said FEMA representatives did not arrive in Hattiesburg -- 95 miles from New Orleans -- until Saturday.

    I do not know the status of declarations, etc, in Mississippi, but clearly FEMA's response there was essentially like it was in NOLA.  The deficiency was in the FEMA response, not in the request, one must assume.

    Be a Carville, not a Colmes

    by seesdifferent on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 08:03:54 PM PDT

  •  They knew many in NO couldn't afford to get out... (none)
    ...last year, when Ivan threatened, this WP article noted just that and much, much more (as you'll see if you clickthrough and read it all):
    The local officials said they could not order a mandatory evacuation in a city as poor as New Orleans, in which more than 100,000 residents have no cars, but they urged people to find some way to escape.
    So, yeah, people didn't have the means to get out and everyone knew that.

    •  In same article... (none)
      ...it's noted that New Orleans had a supply of 10,000 bodybags on hand -- how lucky for them that's just the number they'll be needing -- for the scenario that ultimately played out. Also, it reports that New Orleans is the only major city to not have Red Cross storm shelters. The Red Cross judged the city too dangerous for their staff in the event of a hurricane. Again, this is from last year.
  •  I'm sending this to everyone (none)
    The stories of the survivors are just starting to trickling out, so I'm sure that we will hear many more harrowing tales like this one.  I was incredibly moved by Ms. Neville's courage and strength, and she offers invaluable insights of what it was like for the people who were trying to survive in NO.  I've emailed this story to everyone I know, and hopefully everyone else will too.  Stories like these help to counter the negative, mean-spirited and blatantly false spin that Bushco is now trying to shovel down our throats.  
  •  Did Gov Blanco turnover NO to the FEDS? (none)

    Stop Corporate Influence; buy DEMOCRACY BONDS!!! http://www.democrats.org/democracybonds.html

    by timber on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 08:50:21 PM PDT

  •  A jazz singer had to commandeer... (4.00)
    .... a bus and collect people. Charmaine sings at a littlke jazz club called Snug Harbor, on Frenchman Street (the new Bourbon). She sums it all up...the helicopters merely surveyed most of the devastation. Let's not forget what Herr Bush said when he did his flyover: "It's devastating. It's probably doubly devastating on the ground". It was. If the nation can forgive him ---if ANY portion of the nation can forgive him then we will know that the soul of the nation has finally and irrevocably been sold to the devil.

    "What luck for rulers that men do not think." - Adolf Hitler

    by Bensdad on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 08:52:32 PM PDT

    •  I wish it was about 'forgiving him' (none)
      Seems like many Americans follow the Barbara Bush lne of reasoning... They don't want to soil their pretty minds with the thoughts.

      Pretzels for the Preznit! Send a bag of your favorite pretzels to the President and tell him to eat a giant handful all at once!

      by Bob Johnson on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 08:59:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Charmaine Neville is a strong and saintly woman (none)
    I thought I'd cried all my tears, but I was wrong.  She deserves the Medal of Freedom that I'm sure GW is polishing up for Chartoff and that idiot Brown.

    I have said this 100 times in the last few days, I have never been so angry in my life.

  •  Oh my god! (none)
    My heart is breaking not only for her but for the ones she couldn't save.

    A true American hero.

    Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 09:14:18 PM PDT

  •  Transcript I just did on my Bytescribe (4.00)
    Charmaine:  I was in my house when everything first started.  I was in my house.  Yes, I live in the [unintelligible] area at the Ninth Ward in New Orleans.  When, when, when, when the hurricane came, it blew over the left side of my house from the north side of [unintelligible], and I -- the water was coming in the house in torrents.  I had my neighbor, an elderly man who's my neighbor and myself in the house, and with our dogs and cats, and we were trying to stay out of the water but the water was coming in too fast, so we ended up having to leave the house.

    We left the house and we went up on the roof of a school.  I took a crowbar and I burst the door open on the roof of the school to help people to get them up onto the roof of the school.  Later on we found a flat boat and we went around in the neighborhood in the flat boat getting people out of their houses and bringing them to the school.  We found all the food that we could and we cooked and we fed people.  But then, things started getting really bad.  By the second day, the people that were there that we were feeding and everything, we had no more food, no water.  We had nothing, and other people were coming into our neighborhood.  We were watching the helicopters go across the bridge and airlift other people out, but they would hover over us and tell us, "Hi," and that would be all.  They wouldn't drop us any food, any water, nothing.  

    Alligators were eating people.  They had all kind of stuff in the water.  They had babies floating in the water.  We had to walk over hundreds of bodies of dead people, people that we tried to save from the hospices, from the hospitals and from the old folks' homes.  I tried to get the police to help us but I realized we rescued a lot of police officers in the flat boat from the district police station.  The boat, the guy who was driving the boat, he rescued a lot of them and brought them to get to places where they could be saved.  We understood that the police couldn't help us, but we couldn't understand why the National Guard and them couldn't help us, because we kept seeing them, but they never would stop and help us.

    Finally, it got to be too much.  I just took all of the people that I could.  I had two old women in wheelchairs with no legs that I rolled them from down there at Ninth Ward to the French Quarters, and I went back and I got more people.  There were groups of us, you know, there was about 24 of us, and we kept going back and forth and rescuing whoever we could get and bringing them to the French Quarters since we heard that there was phones in the French Quarters and that there wasn't any water.  And they were right.  There was phones but we couldn't get through.  I found some police officers.  I told them that a lot of us women had been raped down there by guys who had come [inaudible] the neighborhood where we were that were helping us to save people, but other men, and they came and they started raping women and [inaudible], and they started killing them.  And I don't know who these people were.  I'm not going to tell you I know who they were because I don't, but what I want people to understand is that if we had not been left down there like the animals that they were treating us like, all of those things wouldn't have happened.  

    People are trying to say that we stayed in the city because we wanted to be rioting and we wanted to do this.  We didn't have resources to get out.  We had NO WAY TO LEAVE.  When they gave the evacuation order, if we could have left, we would have left.  There are still thousands and thousands of people trapped in the homes down in the down, in the downtown area.  When we finally did get to --

    Priest:  Downtown or the Ninth Ward?

    Charmaine:  The Ninth Ward.  In the Ninth Ward, and not just in my neighborhood but in other neighborhoods in the Ninth Ward, there are a lot of people who are still trapped down there.  Old people, young people, babies, pregnant women, I mean, nobody's helping them.  And I want people to realize that we did not stay in the city so that we could steal and loot and, and commit crimes.  A lot of those young men lost their minds because the helicopters would fly over us and they wouldn't stop.  We'd do SOS on the flashlights.  We took everything.  And it came to a point, it really did come to a point where these young men were so frustrated that they did start shooting.  They weren't trying to hit the helicopters.  They figured maybe they weren't seeing.  Maybe if they hear this gunfire, they would stop then, but that didn't help us.  Nothing like that helped us.

    Finally I got to Canal Street with all of my people that I had saved from back there.  There was a whole group of us.  I -- I don't want them arresting nobody else -- I broke the window in an RTA bus.  I've never learned how to drive a bus in my life.  I got in that bus.  I loaded all of those people in wheelchairs and then everything else into that bus [rising hysteria, sobs] and we drove and we drove and we drove.  And millions of people was trying to get me to help them to get on the bus with them.

    Priest:  [Inaudible].

    Charmaine:  All I did was what He gave me about the willpower to do.

    [END OF INTERVIEW]

    "Shut up and vote is not democracy." --Harry Reid

    by True Blue Texan on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 09:17:46 PM PDT

  •  thanks (none)
    I heard this on the radio.  It is powerful.  Her message needs to be heard.  Thousands of others have stories like this that should be heard too.
  •  My Response (4.00)
    I started my day with stumbling across this video. Needless to say, I have been oscillating between anger and terrible sadness.

    To something with these feelings, I went to goolge maps and constructed this image: larger version.

    On the right is the Superdome. It is surrounded by water. In the middle is the Convention Center. But for the Mississippi River, it is dry. On the right is Getna. It is dry. It appears, Hiway 90 is passable in and out of Getna.

    Even the folks at the Superdome could have gotten onto the freeway. And walked away. Why were they stopped?

    •  Racism (none)
      You won't hear me use the word 'racism' lightly, ever.  I have little respect for anyone who claims that the negligent homicide of thousands in NOLA was racially motivated -- it's because they were poor.

      However, multiple eyewitness accounts clearly indicate that the sheriff's deputies interdicting traffic on that bridge were there to keep undesirables out of the adjoining communities.  It was racism, pure and simple.

      -AG

      You are so evolved it boggles my fragile little mind. Now give me a 4, fucker. (Bill In Portland Maine, to Meteor Blades)

      by AlphaGeek on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 10:17:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fed response (none)
        I agree with you. If I understand things, FEMA has the word Management in it. If nothing else, shouldn't they be managing the situation. How many days does it take to get someone from outside to come and and point out the bridge must be openned. Gerraldo and Sheppard (?) piece was from Friday night dammit! Gerraldo had had time to fly down from NYC.
      •  The sheriff's deputies from which side? (none)
        Getna or NOLA?

        I keep wondering who was turning people from the bridge, I assume it was Getna officials?

        How dare they deny people safety?
        People have the right to go to any town but will they legally justify it by something like "vehicles only", no pedestrian traffic allowed by law" ? Were vehicles turned back?

        They broke every law of decency, every moral law, but was it illegal or can they get away with it?

        •  You must understand the racism that (4.00)
          made whites abandon New Orleans for the outlying parishes, and made the Quarter, the Garden District and North Claiborne Avenue (where Harry Connick's father lives) islands of white privilege.

          They thought these people were going to loot and ravage what homes and businesses were left.  Do you think that ALL of them would actually do this?

          You can admire Broussard all you want, but he was responsible for this state of affairs as well, Gretna being his bailiwick.

          Lord, this madness has got to stop.

          An untypical Negro...since 1954.

          by blksista on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 07:51:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not from NOLA... (none)
          Law enforcement in NOLA had their hands full.  Sorry I don't have sourcing immediately available, but there were multiple confirmed reports of Getna (Gretna?) sheriff's deputies blocking pedestrians from using that bridge out of NOLA.

          There was no pretense of decency.  They were turned back because those in power in the adjacent community allowed prejudice and fear to rule the day.  After all, they couldn't have those damn poor people crossing into their community and competing with their citizens for emergency resources, could they?

          I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty certain that a good state or US district attorney could put together a strong case against the perpetrators of this crime against humanity.

          -AG

          You are so evolved it boggles my fragile little mind. Now give me a 4, fucker. (Bill In Portland Maine, to Meteor Blades)

          by AlphaGeek on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 07:51:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I couldn't imagine it was NOLA (none)
            and if the deputies on the other side were so worried about their property why not have bus after bus there to "herd" them on and take them out of "their" area?

            How can anyone be so cold, even if they were ordered to do it?
            They had no legal right to keep them out of town, I hope there is no legal loophole to keep them off the bridge because they were walking. I hope they can be charged and jailed.

            So...if this was the only way in/out of NOLA are these the same people that kept supplies/rescue from getting IN?

            And if this was the only road...where the he** was FEMA? Or were they part of it? It's so obvious FEMA didn't care about saving people, maybe rich property was their priority too.

            Though it's worse then that. Even if they wanted no one to get out that way, why wouldn't they let supplies IN?

            I know you don't have the answers...but answers better come. Blame game? This is deadly serious.

        •  Isn't this a civil rights violation? (none)
          I think it's time to get the ACLU and the NAACP involved. If city or county officials prevented the passage of law abiding individuals on public roads in a time of disaster, thus causing them grievous harm and injury, it is a multi-million dollar lawsuit waiting to happen. I think it's time to stick it to those folks where it hurts them the most--in their pocketbooks. I imagine you could pretty much bankrupt Gretna if it was filed as a class action.

          "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

          by bewert on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:45:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This is heart stoppingly powerful. I just sent it (none)
    to everybody I could think of.  She is a strong, brave, resourceful woman.  She is Christian in the true sense of the word.  She did more for these people who were in such need than Bush did with all of the power of the office of the President.  Had she been president, none would have died.  

    Recommended.  Thank you for bringing this tragic and heroic story to us.  

    Judicial nominee stonewallers deserve a NO-vote.

    by macmcd on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 10:00:19 PM PDT

  •  thanks for posting this bob j (4.00)
    i did the transcription diary you refer to earlier and was a bit sorry to see it disappear.  glad this is up there now.

    Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little. - Edmund Burke

    by ukrich on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 11:26:03 PM PDT

    •  Thanks, rich... (none)
      A number of folks diaried this but it never made it to the rec list where it would get the coverage it deserved.

      I was just trying to push it along.

      Pretzels for the Preznit! Send a bag of your favorite pretzels to the President and tell him to eat a giant handful all at once!

      by Bob Johnson on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 02:09:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My Worst Nightmare Becomes Reality (none)
    On 09/07/2005, 03:50:48 PDT, I posted my very first comment on Kos entitled, "You ain't seen nothing yet!" I was compelled to respond to an earlier post reporting that the government was forbidding anyone from taking pictures of the dead.

    For the last week, I had been having dreams of helpless, dying people, including babies, being swallowed alive by wild alligators.  Imagine my horror to discover what was merely my nightmare was someone else's terrifying reality.  I'm referring to the personal account of Ms. Charmaine Neville, a member of the highly-regarded musical Neville family, whose story was posted here by Bob Johnson.

    In her own words, Neville stated what she had personally witnessed:  "Alligators were eating people. They had all kind of stuff in the water. They had babies floating in the water. We had to walk over hundreds of bodies of dead people, people that we tried to save from the hospices, from the hospitals and from the old folks' homes."

    Nobody in America apparently has the courage to print a picture that will verify Ms. Neville's claim of humans and animals (dead or alive) being eaten by alligators. Still, if you don't believe it, check out this link from the German magazine "Die Stern."  The picture isn't terrifically graphic, but you WILL view a creepy, suggestive picture of a freshly-fed, bloody-jawed alligator found in a flooded home in New Orleans.  Make your own conclusions.

    http://www.stern.de/politik/panorama/545649.html?q=katrina%20alligator

    I guess the Repugnicans will heave a sigh of relief, now that they've got the hungry alligators doing their dirty work for them.  Finally, (and in the nick of time!) they've found a nifty, "eco-friendly" way of getting rid of the proof of their unbelieveable negligence.

    So, screw that damned elephant, the new Repugnican mascot should be the alligator!  What a handy way to ensure that the total number of victims will forever remain a mystery to us all. Talk about serendipity, folks. Between the banning of all photographic proof of governmental culpability, and all that free-floating Alligator Chow, the number of dead will hopefully diminish considerably.  Maybe even in time for the next spoof of Presidential Elections!

    I think no less a person than Dante Alighieri would probably kick himself in the pantaloons right about now.  Imagine how bad he would feel thinking a dimwit like the Depressident could create an even more terrifying circle of Hell than anything the poet himself had ever been able to imagine.  And what a bonus, it's REAL!  Fellow Americans I present to you the 10th, newest addition to the Circles of Hell ... New Orleans.

    You have no idea how bad this is going to get. It's truly apocryphal in scope.  Eventually, even the ancient alligators will succumb to the poisoned environment, and the abysmal waters will claim both victims, human and animal alike.

    Dies Irae indeed,
    Voxx

    •  Stern photo (none)
      In the accompanying article to that photo, it says that the gator was shot by NG, so its not a photo of a "freshly fed" gator, but a "freshly killed" one.

      In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

      by a gilas girl on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:02:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for the transcript. (none)
    eom

    In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

    by a gilas girl on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:45:14 AM PDT

  •  The MSM (none)
    isn't playing this.

    When Cindy Sheehan first went to Crawford and the MSM wasn't covering it, we did an emailing blitz.  I suggest the same here, sending the link and asking the media why they aren't showing interviews with articulate African Americans.

    CNN Contact Form Link
    Email link for NBC/MSNBC
    CBS Page - Scroll to bottom and select 'contact'
    Email link to ABC News
    Email link to Fox News (yes I know - but it can't hurt)

    Let's get 'em!!

    The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution. Katrina Relief Diary-$14K+ and counting

    by RenaRF on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:01:17 AM PDT

  •  I've just written a column about this... (4.00)
    at E&P...

    Here is link:

    http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/columns/pressingissues_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001057076

    Someone please tell Bob..

    Greg Mitchell, ed.

    •  Thanks, Greg. (none)
      I am sure there are many more tales like Ms. Neville's.  I hope we do our best to document them and perhaps even consider making a documentary film -- quickly -- highlighting these stories of bravery and survival.

      Any documentary filmmakers out there?

      Pretzels for the Preznit! Send a bag of your favorite pretzels to the President and tell him to eat a giant handful all at once!

      by Bob Johnson on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:47:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you! (none)
      And thank you for EVERYTHING you have been doing to get the damned word out.  Editor & Publisher has been a voice of sanity for a fortnight now - and it is, I believe, seen by the mainstream folks - certainly Romanesko links to you all the time.  So I hope that your article will get things moving, and that Ms. Neville's story will be aired.
  •  Newspaper (none)
    Here is a link to the newspaper article:

    http://2theadvocate.com/stories/090405/new_soul001.shtml

    Quote: "There are many, many heroes that have come out this. People talking about what I did. I didn't do nothing. Everybody did something."

  •  Thanks for this diary... (none)
    It made a very good rejoinder to the thinly veiled racism (Ok, maybe just hatred against the poor) here.

    "It's better to realize you're a swan than to live life as a disgruntled duck."

    by Mumon on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 11:13:11 AM PDT

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