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The Gretna Bridge socialists are back!

You may recall Larry Bradshaw and Lorrie Beth Slonsky as the pair who wrote about their experiences trying to get over the Crescent City Connection from New Orleans into Gretna ("Building communism under the overpass"). Bradshaw will apparently be featured on December 18th's 60 Minutes talking about the incident.
From Drudge:

...Larry Bradshaw, who is white, says he thinks the explanation the officers gave for turning them back seemed racist. "The only two explanations we ever received was, one, 'We're not going to have any Superdomes over here,' and 'This is not New Orleans,'' he remembers. Shauron Holloman, a black man who was also on the bridge, agrees. "A group of people trying to leave a city that's predominantly African American and you have the officers, who were white -- that's the way it appears,' Holloman says. "[We were stopped] I think because the group was 95 percent African American."
Holloman says that when the crowd sat down and attempted to stay on the bridge, an officer became aggressive. "He sped down in his cruiser and over the loudspeaker he just continuously said, 'Get the f--- off the bridge,' and would point his gun at some people," he tells Bradley.
"We're not a predominantly white, racist community that some people may assume," says Ronnie Harris, the mayor of Gretna, whose residents are 35 percent African American. Harris says Gretna had already helped to evacuate thousands of people fleeing New Orleans but at that moment could not accept more for lack of food, water and buses. "The city of Gretna was completely on its own. Our entire services were disrupted -- no city services, no electricity. We had no shelter. We had no medical services. We were hit by a category four hurricane. What were people expecting us to do?" says Harris.
Harris does say that another reason for sealing off his town was to protect his citizens from looting and chaos reported in New Orleans that some in the large crowd, which included women and children, could have taken part in. He says the shotgun blasts were warranted. "When law enforcement is present, order is expected. Without it, terror and mayhem can ensue," he tells Bradley. "The crowd was desperate.... had gone through some unbelievable sights and sounds.... They were looking for safety and security - something that I could not provide. It was as simple as that," says Harris.
The Louisiana attorney general is investigating whether civil rights were violated or if any laws were broken. Oliver Thomas, the president of the New Orleans city council, thinks Gretna could have handled the situation better. "Your politics cannot be bigger than your humanity, and in this case, we didn't need politics. We needed humanity."

Obviously, there are different sides to this story, and one wonders whether the apparent agenda of Bradshaw will be discussed at all.
Previously: "March demands accountability of Gretna police action" (the bridge is back!), Ray Nagin: "We" told people the Crescent City Connection was open, Ray Nagin meets with Louis Farrakhan, discusses conspiracy theories, LAT on the Gretna bridge incident, and Conyers supporting socialists' Gretna bridge tale

New York Times regurgitates socialist screed

The NYT article "Police in Suburbs Blocked Evacuees, Witnesses Report" discusses the strange incidents on the Crescent City Connection, over which evacuees from New Orleans tried to get to promised safety in Gretna. See Gretna Police "trapped survivors in New Orleans" for the more trustworthy UPI version of events, and see "Building communism under the overpass" for the original screed which the NYT article claims to confirm.
While I don't doubt that the paramedics' tale is more or less accurate, it's the "less" part I'm concerned with. What parts of their tale are true, what parts are lies, and what parts are embellished? The fact that the NYT doesn't approach their tale with any shred of skepticism tends to make me... even more skeptical.
Should I trust what the (apparent) socialists have to say? Should I trust the NYT's "confirmation" of what they say? Unfortunately, I can't do that. I'm waiting for a more trustworthy source to find out exactly what happened.
Also see: A little more on the Gretna Police chief and Did LA state employees block the exit from New Orleans?

Building communism under the overpass

The liberals are passing around what purports to be a first-person account of living through the hurricane, as narrated by two paramedics who claim they were in NO for a convention. There was such a convention, and the two authors appear to be paramedics. Larry Bradshaw is from the SEIU, and Lorrie Beth Slonsky is apparently retired on disability.
However, something about the story seems a little... overspun to this blogger. I'm not alone in my skepticism.
First of all, here's a comment of someone from Daily Kos:

Probably these two stayed behind to experience the catastrophe, suffer with the proles, and then muckrake. BUT THAT IS OKAY!!! I hasten to add. It just puts a slightly different light on the story.

And, there's a long discussion about this here. And, here's an article the same authors penned on November 5, 2004. That URL and the red fist logo will alert you that you're at the site of the Socialist Worker Online. (This page identifies the SWO page as its source, and that does indeed appear to be the original location where that story appeared. It's reprinted at the EMSNetwork with an 11/7 date.)
Now, before excerpting the authors' tale, here are some articles that more or less support them. First, Sep. 2's "St. Louisans survive lawlessness in French Quarter" sounds vaguely like their tale, and it also mentions the Gretna P.D. blocking evacuees from entering Jefferson Parish.
"Ordeal tests island medics" is somewhat similar, as are "Surviving hurricane no vacation for tourist" and "Holiday in hell: Sask. pair recount ordeal in New Orleans". And, if you can't trust Saskatchawaneans, who can you trust?
Now, finally!, let's get to the screed, entitled "Hurricane Katrina - Our Experiences". It appears here with a timestamp of Sep 6, 2005, 11:59. But, it appears to have been originally published here, with a timestamp of 2005-09-05 17:39:00.
As with the other article, note the red fist. That last link is to the San Francisco Socialists. Perhaps you're sensing a bit of a... link between the authors and socialism.
If you don't want to bother reading the article, just imagine the 9/2 STLToday article, but with a far-left twist:

...The much-promised federal, state and local aid never materialized and the windows at Walgreen's gave way to the looters. There was an alternative. The cops could have broken one small window and distributed the nuts, fruit juices, and bottle water in an organized and systematic manner. But they did not. Instead they spent hours playing cat and mouse, temporarily chasing away the looters...
What you will not see, but what we witnessed, were the real heroes and sheroes of the hurricane relief effort: the working class of New Orleans...
...Our little encampment began to blossom. Someone stole a water delivery truck and brought it up to us. Let's hear it for looting! A mile or so down the freeway, an army truck lost a couple of pallets of C-rations on a tight turn. We ferried the food back to our camp in shopping carts. Now secure with the two necessities, food and water; cooperation, community, and creativity flowered. We organized a clean up and hung garbage bags from the rebar poles. We made beds from wood pallets and cardboard. We designated a storm drain as the bathroom and the kids built an elaborate enclosure for privacy out of plastic, broken umbrellas, and other scraps. We even organized a food recycling system where individuals could swap out parts of C-rations (applesauce for babies and candies for kids!)...

They did damn near everything except electrify the countryside. Before the Oppressor knocked their dream to the ground.
Now, for all I know they might be telling the truth, more or less. But, the revolutionary subtext is going to make the bourgeoisie - and most of the proles - very skeptical.
UPDATE: As others have pointed out, what they're calling "C-rations" have been called MREs for at least the past two decades. Those MREs are marked as such, and "C-rations" probably exist only in museums or long-abandoned fallout shelters.
And, UPI has confirmed part of their tale: Gretna Police "trapped survivors in New Orleans". However, it's basically the same part that was confirmed by the 9/2 STLToday link above.

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