Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

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Katrina Updates

September 7th, 2005 12:00 PM

Camp Casey III: Day Six and Seven (It’s all the same day)

--A message from Dennis Kyne, at Camp Casey III in Covington, LA.

When I sat back down to fill you in, day six had become day seven. As Janis Joplin said many years ago, and as I quote her in my book, Support the Truth, "It’s all the same f’ing day man."

I can’t recall all the names. There was no time to write them down as there has been the past days. John Le Stevens of the Million Worker March and Theresa showed up shortly after my posting on day five of Casey III. That is it, I haven’t written any other names than the contacts who need food since than. However, the loads of supplies are coming, and the volunteers for distribution have kept pace. If you are coming, have come and gone please post to the message board so we can have my job of historian be fulfilled. Who would have thought in six days we would stretch out into Mt. Harmon and Slidell. There is an animal facility in Slidell that Jim and Jamie from Norman, OK visited and took a good amount of animal food to them.

Christian Parenti came by on day six and gave me Malik Raheem’s phone number. I spent all day trying to get through to Malik after Parenti said that nothing was getting in to Algiers, a Parrish in Orleans. He informed me Martial Law was strong and Malik and his community were going to stick it out.

Mid day a few trucks all arrived at once. All I can say is, "Night Mare." Not because people don’t need clothes either. We were not prepared for what turned out to be an estimated one ton of clothing. Please Remember, if you are coming, have come and gone or are just telling the folks around the neighborhood; We are a four man crew, who came to set up infrastructure using modern technology that wasn’t even here before Katrina, and we are a supply line for the distribution of food. If you want to bring clothes, please bring a vehicle to deliver them in. We will guide you in the right direction.

We were able to get out three trucks, two loads per for day six, and we rented a storage space and are set up so that we can move our distribution program to a bigger facility. Commercial, Government, and Charitable supply lines are failing. It is a joke. In six days we have fed thousands of people.

I got through to Sharon, Malik was already asleep. We talked about what was needed in Algiers.

Ann Wright left camp today. She helped negotiate the new facility, and would go to rejoin the bus tour. And day seven began.

Still locked down by a half ton of clothes, we boxed up flashlights, propane, medical supplies and food headed for Algiers. I got Malik on the line, he said Conjunctivitis was spreading. They needed generators and gasoline. Also, he mentioned they wanted a boat to go out to the water and pull bodies from it, than he handed the phone to Sharon. "We’re coming," I said, and we continued loading.

I looked up and there was Ann Wright. She had returned to get some stuff. Having run into a community that was getting no services, she turned around and grabbed a generator and some gear and headed out. I know the tour missed her, but we need her, we need everyone.

Timothy set out for Laurel, Mississippi where we heard they hadn’t a thing. He made it there and back today. And confirmed they have nothing. Timothy had been riding with Ben and Scott yesterday so he is a new point man. Ben and Scott split this morning saying we would see them again on Monday. James Dunson, Tampa, Florida rode with Timothy to Laurel today. He arrived with a group of donators and stayed behind to help until there is stability.

Ralph took a bus load of clothes to an area and a distribution center was opened. There was still a quarter ton of clothes on the pallets. When Ralph returned we loaded up the bus for Algiers.

It was mid afternoon, and curfew is six nightly. We were stopped at the Causeway by a police officer and a US Army soldier. Ralph handled it, explaining the mission of relief and evacuation. We made it to Atlantic Street in Algiers where Malik stays. When we turned the corner we met a wonderful family on Atlantic and gave them a beautiful quilt made by the children of Ralph and Lenora’s community. Lenora takes photos and video and has some incredible coverage of the last few days in the swamp. We are hoping to post it soon.

Ralph McAtee, Summertown, TN is a hero. He’s been in the thick of it in Central America. When we got to Atlantic, and were at the house in the neighborhood. Malik pulled up and said we need to move down to his place and unload. It was after six and a squad was pulling a patrol on the neighborhood. I looked down the road and it was none other than the guys I spent fifteen years with, the United States Army, with full battle gear. We followed Malik, were stopped by the Army and I was told to move as the bus was boarded. Ralph was accused of stealing the bus, because it appeared hot wired. It was the inverter wires so Ralph could charge his shaver. He handled it though, smooth, we got by. Left a bus load of goods with a hero, a leader in his community and a man who is willing to hold his home and neighborhood intact through HELL.

We are back in camp, ready to move because the parking lot is full. Food not Bombs has arrived, Billy Kelley from New York is here. He is the original vet from the first day at Camp Casey. A fearless man, decorated Vietnam Veteran, and a friend. It is good to be amongst friends.

We hope you all can come, stay for a day, distribute some food. We hope you know that this is REAL activism. There is no party lines, no political agendas. People need to get fed. And when you realize that people aren’t, while others are sitting down to caviar, you smell it. It ain’t coffee, it is the scent of something this country claims to have departed from decades ago. In the deep South Racism is alive and well. At Malik’s house today I felt it, at the very shelter we support I see it, and in the air of the agencies who claim to be helping I smell it, it is Bull Sh.....

To them, It’s all the same f’ing day too.
Support the Truth

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