hip hop music

September 16, 2005

Grim Reports From the Astrodome

Jeff Chang passes on word from the inside:

Frustration and Survival In the Astrodome

...At press briefings organized by local officials, the story was upbeat; a shining example of government, business and charity coming together to do good. Thousands of evacuees were being processed, more than 500 children were been reunited with their families, and life went on. But behind the doors of the Astrodome, survival and frustration were the order of the day. Jamel Bell, who fled his flooded Ninth Ward in New Orleans, found no salvation here. "Inside it feels like prison," he said. At curfew, he says, the evacuees were locked in.

News teams from independent sources, such as our own, were continuously harassed by local officials and police. Reporters from KPFT, the Pacifica station in Houston, tossed their press badges for Red Cross volunteer badges in order to do their work. In Baton Rouge, hip-hop journalist and WBAI reporter Rosa Clemente was arrested and briefly detained after National Guardsmen attempted to confiscate her recording equipment.

Despite news reports that evacuees were being moved through the system and out of the center efficiently and quickly, there were up to 35,000 evacuees daily in the building. Cots filled with weary people stretched across the floor. Celebrities, followed by television cameras, filed in and out. The food was terrible, the meat in the sandwiches sometimes served still frozen. Surveillance was heavy, and tensions on the floor remained thick...

Posted by jsmooth995 at September 16, 2005 12:41 PM

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