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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

fema requires minders – north korea comes to louisiana

the concept of having a fema “public relations officer” present to interview the thousands of people housed in fema facilities post-katrina strikes me as… well… “evil empire”ish (to borrow a phrase).

have doubts? a transcript, in part, of an interview with a fema-housed katrina evacuee and an unidentified security guard. the key phrases are: “Yes, you can be interviewed — if they had a FEMA representative with them, but since they don’t and do not have an appointment” and “That’s not his privilege.”

in the united states, rights of free speech and press are both established by the first amendment to the constitution, and louisiana, when last i checked, was still part of the united states (and not some enclave of a foreign land where the us constitution doesn’t seem to reach).

SECURITY GUARD: Turn it off.

AMY GOODMAN: We were going in the car, and he said, “Please interview me.”

SECURITY GUARD: Yeah, he — he can’t. That’s not his privilege.

AMY GOODMAN: He’s not allowed to talk?

RENAISSANCE VILLAGE RESIDENT: What’s wrong? What’s wrong?

SECURITY GUARD: You can go — get that — you’ve known the deal since —

RENAISSANCE VILLAGE RESIDENT: No, I don’t know the deal. Tell me. What is the deal?

SECURITY GUARD: You can go get interviewed as long as it’s off post. Otherwise, you, like I said, I can call the 800 FEMA number and have them come in —

AMY GOODMAN: You mean, he has to come off of the property?

RENAISSANCE VILLAGE RESIDENT: What is — there’s a problem being interviewed?

SECURITY GUARD: Turn it off.

RENAISSANCE VILLAGE RESIDENT: Turn it off, man. I don’t want no problems.


RENAISSANCE VILLAGE RESIDENT: ’Cause I don’t know anything about not being able to be interviewed.

SECURITY GUARD: You — no, you can be interviewed, as long as it’s off the installation.

RENAISSANCE VILLAGE RESIDENT: Well, okay, we can move over there.

SECURITY GUARD: Other than that that [inaudible].

RENAISSANCE VILLAGE RESIDENT: Okay, we can move over there. ‘Cause I was sitting out here reading my Bible. But I didn’t know anything about — we will not being interviewed, because —

SECURITY GUARD: Yes, you can be interviewed —


SECURITY GUARD: — if they had a FEMA representative with them, but since they don’t and do not have an appointment —

RENAISSANCE VILLAGE RESIDENT: Oh, okay. ‘Cause I know they do it all the time.

SECURITY GUARD: Yes, they have the FEMA public relations officer with them.

RENAISSANCE VILLAGE RESIDENT: Okay, well, I didn’t know.

SECURITY GUARD: I’m not mad at you, Red. You know that.

AMY GOODMAN: As we drove off of Renaissance Village, we were chased by the guards in golf carts, who said they would be taking down our license plate and that we couldn’t return. This was the day after FEMA had ended the free meals that they had been providing to the more than thousand people, anyone who wanted to take advantage of it in Renaissance Village, again, about an hour away from New Orleans in Baker, Louisiana.

updateprevious article on fema trailer park rules here [via metafilter]

posted by roj at 1:03 pm