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More on Common Ground Algiers

Cindy Sheehan, Veterans for Peace, a former Black Panther, anarchists, the place has got it all going on:

The locally-led, mutually based community relief effort in Algiers is now being called Common Ground Algiers. Currently, more than 40 volunteer medics, doctors, cooks, communications technicians, community organizers and concerned people are directly involved in the Common Ground collective effort. Emergency services that have been created include a community garbage pick-up program; mobile kitchens to provide free hot meals to anyone in the area; a first aid clinic in a local mosque and a mobile first aid station staffed by doctors, nurses and emergency medical technicians; and bicycles for volunteers and residents to transport aid around the area; and the development of a free school for children...

Ah, peace and freedom. But, lo!, I hear the discordant tones of the White Devil Oppressor Bourgeois running dog reactionary come to Oppress the Oppressed Peoples of Color:

Cracker squads are groups of white supremacists who are using the slanderous media coverage and storm chaos to terrorize communities of color in Louisiana and Mississippi. One young woman in a Mississippi town relayed to us that a cracker squad had shot black men in the woods and threatened retaliation for those going public with the story. Similar stories have come in from Algiers, downtown New Orleans, and the outlying parishes of Louisiana.

Cindy Sheehan: "occupied New Orleans"

The Cindy Sheehan column "A Bright Spot in Bush World" covers a lot of points. In other words, it rambles all over the countryside, with the last paragraph being the most discrediting:

The people on the ground in Covington scoffed at George's little junket to Louisiana yesterday. He stayed in the French Quarter and a Ward that weren't even damaged a bit. The VFP took me to the city of Algiers on the West Bank. The part of Algiers we went to was very poor and black. The people of Algiers know what hard work is...
Even though Algiers came through Katrina relatively unscathed, our federal government tried to force (mostly successfully) the people out of the community. Malik Rahim, a new friend of ours and resident of Algiers, told us stories of the days after the hurricane. The government declared martial law, but there was no effective police presence to enforce it. Malik said the lawlessness was rampant. People were running out of food and water and they were being forced to go to the Superdome. They didn't want to go to the Superdome, because their homes were pretty intact: they wanted to stay and have food and water brought to them. A town of 76,000 people dwindled down to 3,000. The die hards were rewarded last Wednesday when the [Veterans for Peace] rolled into town with food and water. The Camp Casey III people were the first ones to bring any relief to Algiers. The people who were supposed to look after its citizens, our government, failed them...
One thing that truly troubled me about my visit to Louisiana was the level of the military presence there. I imagined before that if the military had to be used in a CONUS (Continental US) operations that they would be there to help the citizens: Clothe them, feed them, shelter them, and protect them. But what I saw was a city that is occupied. I saw soldiers walking around in patrols of 7 with their weapons slung on their backs. I wanted to ask one of them what it would take for one of them to shoot me. Sand bags were removed from private property to make machine gun nests...
...If I had a store with an inventory of insured belongings, and a tragedy happened, I would fling my doors open and tell everyone to take what they need: it is only stuff. When our fellow citizens are told to "shoot to kill" other fellow citizens because they want to stay alive, that is military and governmental fascism gone out of control...
...I was told that Pat Boone was on a conservative radio talk show in San Francisco (yes they do exist) with Melanie Morgan (who has a vendetta against me) and he told the listeners that after we "stole the supplies" from the Red Cross, we gave them to the "enemies of America who are like the people who want to fly airplanes into our buildings." Boone says that we were giving them to enemies of America, because we were distributing the supplies from a Mosque. First of all, accusing me of stealing is slander, I think, and second of all: we were helping Americans...
...George Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq, and excuse his self from power...

And, from this:

The situation in Algiers got a bit more surreal this week when the U.S. military asked the anarchists for help in providing basic services to local residents. A medical military clinic commander asked the folks running the Common Ground Clinic if they could lend a few medics and doctors to the military until the military sets up a "permanent" health clinic on Newton Avenue on Monday...
Malik Rahim is a local activist who has served as the catalyst for most of the rebuilding and mutual aid work being done by residents and outside volunteers.
"We've opened up a clinic [Common Ground Clinic] and are opening up a mobile clinic. We've set up a food distro that has fed 300-400 people. We've distributed around 500 personal hygiene kits. People have come together to found the Common Ground Collective. There are people from all over the world here: volunteers from Denmark, doctors from France, Veterans for Peace and Cindy Sheehan. We are doing whatever it takes to fill the void of the needs that exist."

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