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Conservatively liberal, moderately well-educated, and highly opinionated...

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Algiers Under Seige

There are an estimated 100 people still in their homes on the Point, and they know their neighborhood is one of the few lucky ones. In the immediate aftermath of Katrina, when it was apparent that the city across the river was in horrific trouble, this small community pulled together to take care of one another for the long haul. They certainly didn't expect to be facing down armed intruders today on their front porches.

I talked tonight to Julie and Patrick. They sheltered in a tall hotel (known as a vertical evacuation), and then were able to return to their home on the Point. They'd prepared as they'd been told, putting aside supplies and food.

The first day or two after the storm, Julie tells me, brought them closer to their community than ever. They met neighbors they'd only waved to in the past, and everybody settled in to keep things going against the day all could come home.

She's wonderful to talk to, by the way - lyrical with her manner of speech. So hearing what's going on now, from her, was surreal.

There have been quite a few shooting episodes today on the Point. Depending on who you ask, there are two? four? more? dead. So far, the dead are all looters.

They've barricaded their streets - downed tree limbs on one end and a neighbor's vehicle on the other.

They are targets. Sitting ducks. And they know it. There is total social breakdown across the river, and the madness is spreading. There is a sense of impending disaster, personified in the hysterical, desperate survivors from ravaged New Orleans.

There are small groups of armed residents walking the streets in Algiers. I understand completely why they would want to do that - but it's amplifying the anxiety. And as Julie put it, "We've loved living here. This sickens me, and I don't want to have to kill anybody. We should be trying to help one another."

They came through Katrina relatively unscathed, while so many others are suffering horribly. They feel that they've been forgotten utterly as a result. There are armed looters walking openly on their streets, and they are facing them alone.

Somebody needs to get some help to these folks. Many of them want desperately to get out, but they can't see a path to safety through the incredible violence surrounding them. Are there no authorities left on the West Bank? Is everybody gone?

For Algiers, the storm is coming again.


  • At 10:20 PM, Blogger stieffel said;

    anyone reads this from the behrnam heights area email me at stieffel@yahoo.com

  • At 11:39 PM, Blogger 400blockElmira said;

    please do not post speculation.
    people are worried enough.
    And as far as humanity is concerned, we have to allow others to take advantage of anything we may have remaining there.
    just please....do not post speculation.

  • At 11:54 PM, Blogger fergie said;

    I just called the Governor's office and they are calling state police.

    Have Vinnie or someone call the Governor's office right now!


  • At 1:30 AM, Blogger navy_walnutbend said;

    Is ther anyway to get into Algiers? I am planning on bringing a group of military in on Monday. We wanted to establish in one of our homes in the Walnut Bend subdivision. I have been trying to reach police officers Donald Paissant and/or Vaughn Valeary w/o luck. If anyone can help please e-mail me at jmfox3@cox.net. Wish everyone luck. Pass my info to NOPD. I had planned on bringing supplies. Need to hear by tomorrow AM.

  • At 4:01 AM, Blogger Amber said;

    Polimom, I would really appreciate a plug if possible... For those of you trying to deal with the nola.com forums for information you know that it's a real mess. I've started another forum that should be much easier to use and far better organized. At least this way people don't have to post the same thing over and over again to get any sort of answer. Thanks!

  • At 10:50 AM, Blogger PFO said;

    Spoke to local Fox Station in Tampa regarding the situation in the Point, I then called the Governors office, could not speak to any one so left a message. Called State Police and spoke to Trooper Cameron about lack of police presence in the Point. He told me that the local police had a presence all over the city. I informed him that apparently everywhere except the Point, where residents were trying to protect themselves.I asked if he could look into this and he said yes.

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