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A Haitian-American reports from New Orleans

Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:29 am
by admin
I received this extraordinary report from Charles Arthur, and I wanted to communicate it to the readership of this forum as soon as possible. I do not have, however, at this point any more information about the identity of the Haitian-American eyewitness and author of this must-read account.

From: <Tttnhm>
Sent: Monday, September 05, 2005 10:52 AM
Subject: A Haitian-American reports from New Orleans

[quote]I know I sound very bitter. It's because I have personally lost everything. All I have is my computer, which I just hooked up after a week offline, some clothes and my camera. I have photographed and documented ground zero of my hometown spending tuesday, wednesday, and thursday trying to do what the US government DID NOT do, save 300,000 people stranded. As I speak there are still thousands of people in attics, floating on debris, and in under supplied shelters. There are dead bodies everywhere.

After rescuing about 50 people, a majority of them over 60 years of age, in my 16 foot bateau, I became very ill due to contact with the toxic water. I have very bad sores on the bottom of my feet, my face, lips, arms and neck are burned from the motor oil in the water and the intense sunlight. I'm awaiting the results of my blood work to see if contracted one of the many diseases that are now festering in the flood waters of New Orleans. I have been stuck with about 12 needles and my arms looks like a heroine addicts. I also have bites all over my legs from floating ants and I still smell like gasoline. My hair was big and curly, until I had to dive under to cut a pad lock off the base of an iron door to release an 80 year old man that was in his attic for 2 and a half days. But when I resurfaced, my hair was matted with oil and other chemicals. When I returned to the refugee drop off point at the I-10/ 610 split in Metairie, there was already a shortage of water as well as medicine, food and help. So I borrowed some surgical trimmers and shaved my head bald and returned to the water.

The media has caused so many problems and made rescuing people very difficult. The media's biggest crime was announcing that the gunfire heard all over New Orleans was only acts of violence, which is NOT true. Sure some of the gunfire was acts of violence, especially downtown in the CBD, but where I was rescuing people, people used gunfire to get the attention of airboats which are extremely loud. So loud that the pilot wears ear protection. But after the careless media report, people began to panic. Also, some people were trying to evacuate but could not because there was no deisel and gas was very difficult to find. I have friends with a deisel vw and were not able to evacuate. I also know someone that ran out of gas looking for gas. The I-10 west was literally a parking lot of traffic before the storm and people became frustrated when it began to rain, so they turned around and went home. The media likes to portray the people that remained in New Orleans as stupid for staying, when in actuality the infrastructure and emergency preparedness of New Orleans did not allow some people to leave.

Thursday, my last day I will probably ever see my home again, I was deputized National Guard Military Police and issued a badge and a sidearm because of the violence. I really detest the police and I strongly believe that the institution of police has been failing at their job for more then 200 years, but I put my politics aside and made it possible to rescue more survivors. We tried to enter uptown thru Holygrove launching the bateau from an Earhart ramp, but we were unable because of masses of people desperate to leave and they were to the point of car & boat jacking.

I already had lost faith in this nation, but after witnessing the lack of response by Bush and the U.S. government, I do not consider myself American anymore and I will try to relocate to the islands and denounce my U.S. citizenship (I am a dual citizen - France). If 300,000 fake blonde girls from Alabama went missing in Aruba, Bush would have immediately started a third war to save them.

Please donate anything you can. Le Cap and Haiti's sister city, La Nouvelle Orleans, might be lost forever, as well as the rich creole culture. And if they decide to rebuild New Orleans, it's probably going to look cheap and un-historical, like Houston with strip malls and store signs that bombard the horizon.


Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:18 pm
by admin
Thank you, Marilyn! Here are, below, the missing paragraphs. I immediately recognized the value of this report, as I received it from Charles Arthur, but I have not read the line of discussion in which it is integrated. It is likely outside our primary area of concern anyhow. The following, though, will provide additional information about our eye witness and unlikely American hero, even if he follows through with the rejection of his U.S. citizenship. I hope that he will reconsider, because the U.S. needs more people like him and fewer people like those he wants to disassociate from. I still cling to the notion that the U.S. is something more than Bush World.

[quote]From: Nathan Bassiouni <sove_ayiti>

How dare you say there is NO Haitian community in New Orleans. The Haitian community in Greater New Orleans was about 10,000 strong and there were plenty of local organizations, including mine which is the oldest and biggest, L'Association pour le Developpment Humain (AHDH). We have been here in New Orleans and in Lavalle de Jacmel for almost 30 years.

I know Vidho well and if he tried to ride out the storm in his neighborhood, the lower 9th ward, chances are that he is not with us anymore, god forbid. The lower 9th ward had over 20 feet of water at the time the hurricane hit and the shotgun houses began to float. If he survived in the lower 9, he would of been most likely airlifted by the local coast guard since they were the only authorities to respond immediatly after the storm Monday morning. Since the houses were floating, gas lines to each house would break, causing gas leaks at every foundation. So no boats were able to do search and rescue in that area, as well as Chalmette in Saint Bernard Parish across the canal.

Your contacts for the Haitian community in New Orleans are not good ones, because they did not interact with the Haitian community. Instead they entertained tourist, tourist that made New Orleans there home, and white folk captivated by Vodou. So before you make general statements that are very offensive at the present time of crisis, get your facts correct. To overlook the Haitian community in New Orleans, who lived in an area that will probably remain under water, on the Westbank, could mean they will be forgotten if they did not survive.

Other local Haitian organizations in New Orleans are: The Haitian Culture Association, the Saint Domingue geneology research group (predominantly a white group), and there are 4 haitian churches here also, two catholic and two missionary baptist. If New Orleans ever recovers and you return to New Orleans, flag a cab down in the CBD or Vieux Carre, and chances are a Haitian will be picking you up. I did see quite a few Haitian cabs on the road filled with people and supplies, so at least some Haitians made it out.

If anyone needs info on certain areas of New Orleans that the media and government is censoring, please contact me here on the corbett list. I personally did rescue missions in the following neighborhoods: 7th ward, 8th ward, UNO, Gentilly (west-near elysian fields), Lakeview, Paris ave. from the lake to the Saint Bernard projects, 17th ward, Holygrove, Gertown, Carolton, and the Riverbend. If anyone has any info. on my loft in the 3rd ward/Central City, 1712 Oretha C. Haley, above Ashe and Zeitgeist, please email me direct at[/quote]

Bassiouni: more on Haiti and New orleans

Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 9:07 am
by admin
From the Corbett List
Reprinted per general agreement with List Owner, specifically dealing with Corbett List and Windows on Haiti materials.

[quote]Bassiouni: more on Haiti and New orleans
From: Nathan Bassiouni ( )

I regret to tell you that Arabi was another area hit very badly and that will probably remain underwater due to it's location by the river, the industrial canal and surrounded by coastal bayous. Arabi is in Saint Bernard Parish and Katrina's eye traveled directly over Arabi, Michoux, Meraux & Chalmette. The Mississippi and canal levees broke in this area and they immediately received over 20 feet of water making the rooftops not places of refuge, which caused widespread drownings. This the area of town is where the gov't and media are censoring because everything is underwater since sunday night last because the people that went to their roofs from rising waters drowned and most of the dead are floating in the debris, unlike where I was rescuing in 10-15 feet of water where roofs are exposed and attics are dry, but most of the dead in my search and rescue area will be found dead later in their homes or dead from the heat in their attics. I hope you did not have people that tried to ride out the storm there because that is the worst hit area of town, as well as Plaquemines Parish. look at the map of Arabi on Just goto the menu on the right of the screen and click maps. type Arabi, LA and you will see that Arabi was completely surrounded by water before the hurricane.

May I ask you for help? I'm homeless and I've lost most of things, including my diplomas. Transcripts are not available. My best friend is in Brooklyn recording music, but he is from Esplanade area of New Orleans. He has lost all his musical equipment, computer, and clothes he did not pack for his short stay in NY. He is trying to find a place for my daughter, my girlfriend and I to stay while I approach CIA school in Hyde Park for a culinary degree to eventually move to Martinique, Guadeloupe, or Saint Martin. My studies have been focused on helping Haiti, but I was angry at what the U.S. government was doing there, as well as the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Colombia. I don't want to study this anymore because I am to the point that all I can do now is fight like the heroic Cacos did during the Haitian Invasion in the 1917. But that is not doable.....yet. So I want to denounce my U.S. citizenship and leave this country forever and live a peaceful life in the Antilles somewhere ( I also have French citizenship). Because everything I love culturally about New Orleans is present in the Caribbean, and everything I hate about New orleans is American, i.e. crack, murder of black men by black men, prostitution, heroin, crooked cops, very poor funded schools, teenage pregnancy....etc. Is Hyde Park, NY commutable from Brooklyn or other boroughs in NYC?

Thank you.

Nathan Bassiouni