Chris Hedges writes this week, in
about how post-Sandy mirrors post-Katrina. At least in regards to FEMA’s and other governmental bodies’ deliberate (?) ineptness.
“This storm—amid freakish weather patterns such storms will become routine—resulted in at least $71.3 billion in property damage in New York and New Jersey. Many of the 305,000 houses in New York destroyed by Sandy will never be rebuilt. New York City says it will have to spend $800 million just to repair its roads. And that is only the start. The next hurricane season will most likely descend on the Eastern Seaboard with even greater destructive fury. A couple of more hurricanes like this one and whole sections of the coast will become uninhabitable.
“This is the new America. It is an America where economic and environmental catastrophes converge to trigger systems breakdown and collapse. It is an America divided between corporate predators and their prey. It is an America that, as things unravel, increasingly sacrifices its own.”
But, Billionaire Bloomberg finally deigned to alight there recently for a few minutes from his helicopter . . .
One month after Hurricane Sandy [one of Hedges’ “corporate predators”, aka . . .]
Mayor Bloomberg visited The Rockaways,
to get a better understanding of what
the communities there are facing.
He acknowledged Occupy Sandy volunteers
for the first time ever, saying:
“Thank you for everything you’ve done.
You guys are great. We really do appreciate
it, all kidding aside. You really are making
a difference. Goodbye.”
He then immediately ordered a police eviction
of the biggest Occupy Sandy relief center on
A.K.: Here’s another mention of that raid. P.S. Neither story makes clear why the mayor chose to raid this particular relief shelter.
December 3, 2012
By JG Vibes
In the response to hurricane Sandy, Occupy Wall Street supporters have shown that voluntary, decentralized mutual aid is far more effective than government programs and agencies like FEMA.
At one point, pictures were taken of occupy sandy volunteers feeding FEMA workers who couldn’t even find supplies for themselves.
Now, super villain and globalist Mayor Bloomberg in New York is thanking them for their service to the community by ordering a raid and eviction on a shelter that they have helped set up and have been using as a base of operations.
For some background information on this case, this message was posted to the occupy wall street website just a few days before:
“This Friday morning Staten Island police representing the mayor’s office have threatened eviction action against the crucial Staten Island hub at 489 Midland Avenue, in the heavily hit Midland Beach area.
Aiman Youssef, a 42-year-old Syrian-American Staten Islander whose house was destroyed in the hurricane, has been running a 24/7 community pop up hub outside his property at 489 Midland Avenue since the day after the storm.
He and a coalition of neighbors, friends and community members are serving hot food and offering cleaning supplies, non-perishables, medical supplies, and clothing to the thousands of residents who are still without heat, power, or safe housing.
This popular hub is well-run, well-staffed, and has a constant hum of discussion, support, and advice as well as donations and pick ups and volunteer dispatch through another pop-up group, volunteers who call themselves “The Yellow Team.”
This approach that Occupy Wall Street has been taking, of competing with inefficient government monopolies, is a strategy called agorism.
Recently i wrote an article about how Occupy Wall Street has been adopting this approach in a lot of their recent projects.
This strategy is so effective and makes the government look so incompetent and obsolete that it is no surprise that they are showing this kind of force to preserve the false legitimacy of their monopolies.
Occupy Wall Street outshining FEMA in the wake of a natural disaster is reminiscent of actions taken by an agorist in early American history, Lysander Spooner.
Lysander Spooner was an outspoken philosopher, abolitionist, and voluntaryist during the 19th century who was not only a brilliant author and speaker, but he also started a letter delivering service to compete with the government post office, which out-shined the state monopoly until it was forced out of business.
A.K. Hmmm. “Agorism.” “Lysander Spooner” — two new google searches, coming right up!
Finally, here’s yesterday’s New York Daily News overview of Occupy Sandy:
Occupy Sandy relief effort puts Occupy Wall Street activists in the spotlight again a year after Zuccotti Park
Occupy organizers launched massive volunteer efforts in the wake of the storm, but don’t expect the movement to shift totally to relief work. They say their involvement is still primarily political.
December 5, 2012
BY REBECCA DAVIS AND MEENA HART DUERSON
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Those who believed the Occupy Wall Street movement was all but dead after its dramatic removal from Zuccotti Park last fall may have been surprised to see the group pop up again in the days after Hurricane Sandy.
But this time, they weren’t organizing protests – they were calling on their large network to come to the aid of those hit hardest by the storm.
Brett Goldberg joined Occupy in October of 2011, and considers himself a full-time activist. In the aftermath of Sandy, as Occupy organizers launched a relief effort dubbed Occupy Sandy, Goldberg quickly pitched in at the group’s hub in Brooklyn’s St. Jacobi church.
“At the beginning the priority was flashlights, batteries, blankets and hot food,” Goldberg said. “I came in, started fielding questions and inquiries that were coming in on Twitter and Facebook, and then within a few days, because I was answering those questions, I started getting a big picture idea of what was going on. I started doing site coordination and that’s primarily what I’ve been doing since.”
Goldberg now helps coordinate volunteers at the church who take donations and hot meals out to Occupy Sandy satellite sites in the Rockaways, Staten Island, Coney Island, Sheepshead Bay, Gerritsen Beach and Red Hook. There are now at least 30 of these small hubs in the affected areas, and thousands of people have volunteered through Occupy.
Longtime activists like Jessica Roff weren’t surprised that Occupy quickly became a leader in the Sandy relief effort, viewing the shift from organizing in Zuccotti Park to community aid as a natural extension of the movement’s original mission.
“When we were down in the park those first couple of months, it really was a community that was really communal and really supportive of itself and of each other,” Roff said. “People’s needs were provided for in that park…And that’s what we’re doing out here, too. I don’t really think it’s that different.”
“What Occupy Sandy is doing is it’s making a lot of the Occupy organizing very tangible for people,” Goldberg said. “It is definitely bringing in people who never really connected with Occupy before but now it’s starting to click for them in a different way.”
Occupy Sandy has drawn in volunteers who had no prior connection with Occupy Wall Street but were looking for a way to help, and has also provided an opportunity for sympathizers with the movement to return after scattering over the last year.
Chris Devlin, who has been volunteering on the ground in the Rockaways, was skeptical of the Occupy movement before becoming involved with Occupy Sandy but has since become more politically involved.
“I’ve been impressed,” he said. “As far as the next operation…ideology’s not really my big thing, so I wouldn’t be like, yes I will support everything that this group does, but I’m an ally.”
Devlin has even taken on an organizing role, and has started attending Occupy meetings – a step that doesn’t surprise Goldberg, who sees it as a natural progression.
“People come in as volunteers and very quickly become organizers, and then the next step as we continue to push politically is to take volunteers into organizers and then make them activists,” Goldberg said. “It’s the work that everyone has always wanted to do.”
But for committed activists, Occupy Sandy isn’t just about the relief effort – they see this as an opportunity to draw attention to the same message they’ve been delivering since their days at Zuccotti Park.
“Something hit New York, it feels very real, it feels very tangible, and people feel like there is a way that they can contribute without just donating a dollar to the Red Cross when they go to the ATM,” Goldberg said. “Our job while we’re doing this relief and recovery work is also to show people how this situation is inherently political.”
Whether or not community groups in areas impacted by Sandy agree with Occupy’s political agenda, they certainly welcome the help.
Semeo Deo, who has run the Action Center in the Rockaways for the last 12 years, says Occupy Sandy’s volunteers have made up a significant percentage of the help he’s received since the storm.
“My wife commented the other day, ‘I didn’t know what to think of Occupy until they started doing what they did,’” he said. “But since the storm we have got nothing but tremendous support from Occupy. Every single day they’re here with supplies, food and moral support…So they’ve been a tremendous help to us.”
Many involved with Occupy say this is the work they’ve wanted to see the group do for a long time, and hope it will continue.
“We’re kind of saying we’re here til we’re not needed anymore, but what exactly that means we don’t know yet,” Goldberg said. “The relief effort will hopefully not be needed after the next couple weeks, but recovery and rebuilding will go on for a very long time and our role in that will change and evolve. We may not necessarily be doing the construction work but we’ll be engaging with the communities and doing community building and helping community empowerment and community connections – that’s the role I hope we’ll still continue to play.”