Cesare Ottolini, Coordinator International Alliance of Inhabitants.
2005 Katrina demolished the United States Golf Coast with catastrophic results, previously known only to residents of the poorest countries like Bangladesh, but with an unprecedented mass media impact: this time the first world was the victim.
After the emotion and the initial phase of confusion, everything seemed to be under control, so much that the Bush Administration declared that America was able to handle the catastrophe on its own, refusing the assistance of countries that, like Cuba, were ready to send urgently needed assistance. More than 110 billion dollars were immediately allocated for the reconstruction. The government, marking August 29th a National Day of Remembrance of Hurricane Katrina, today affirmed that in excess of 70% of the resources were either utilized or available.
This is not the truth. We are familiar with the dramatic images of those days, with survivors desperately clinging to their roofs in Louisiana and Missouri, the inferno of the Superdome transformed into a welcome center, and the army set to patrol to keep order and defend private property.
We know even less about what happened during the last 12 months: the solidarity initiatives, the marches, the protests, the lawsuits, the network proposals, the citizens’ organizations, the labor unions relegated to the local news. read
date of on-line publication : 18 October 2006