Celebs + Katrina.

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were featured quite prominently this week on 360. Kelly Clarkson adopted a puppy. But sometimes better stories come from lesser known celebs. New Orleans resident Ani DiFranco was one of the "wave of ne'er-do-wells" who left at the absolute last minute, and she spoke with Deanna Zandt of Alternet about her post-K impression of the city.
...the news reports started rolling in, and later we just started panicking, thinking, "Oh my God, we left all the master tapes …" We were in the middle of my record, we were in the middle of the new Hamell on Trial record, and my partner is also a record maker, so there was no end to the masters we'd left behind in New Orleans. We decided, "All right, we gotta go get 'em."

So we got into my friend's mother's Toyota Corolla and drove into town from Lafayette. I must say, it was incredibly easy. There were maybe about four or five roadblocks along the way. I mean, you had about eight guys trying to lock down the city. It was an impossibility. Every time they would say, "Get off at the next exit, ma'am," we would say, "Sure," and keep going.

We cruised right into town, and saw not one Army truck, not a single National Guard person, no FEMA people, nothing. No one. The storm hit Monday morning, and this was Thursday afternoon. Flooding, absolute flooding, craziness. Devastation, people on their roofs, and we saw nobody there to help. And any reports of "you can't get in there" were, I can tell you, bullshit. We couldn't believe this was the United States of America. I felt more naive than I have in a long time. We just saw a lot of poor, mostly dark-skinned people abandoned, thirsty, hungry, roaming the streets, under and on bridges … it was insane.

There were all these reports that they were not even letting people walk over the bridge. People without cars or credit cards who attempted to evacuate on foot, they were turning them around on the bridge. People would come from the Ninth Ward in droves from their flooded, devastated neighborhoods to the National Guard station on the levy, and they were turned away at gunpoint, like, "Get the fuck outta here."
DiFranco's new album, Reprieve hits the shelves on August 8th, and you can (and should) find out more about her at Righteous Babe Records, along with Hamell on Trial, her roster of outspoken, unique artists and links to important organisations supporting, initiating and covering social change.

posted by Janis @ 18:46,


At 5:03 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the National Guard did on the bridge to the evacuees is completely disgusting.


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