November 4, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
The crisis set off by Hurricane Sandy has laid bare the real ways society operates. It has shown why those ways must be radically and fundamentally changed. And it has shown some of the outlines of how that change could come about.
A Call to Those in the Areas Affected by Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy is potentially one of the most catastrophic natural disasters since the path of the storm struck one of the most populated areas of the United States—the New York-New Jersey area and stretching well beyond.
We are calling on everyone who reads this to go out among the people who have been most affected by the storm and its aftermath and report on what is happening to them. The picture painted by the media does not reveal what is happening among the people in all the different neighborhoods, in the housing projects and the evacuation shelters; the people with few resources who normally survive week to week... the incredible mosaic of nationalities in New York and New Jersey. There are clearly areas of tremendous devastation and millions who have been affected. These are stories that need to be told. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you do not have access to the internet due to the storm, “phone in your report” at this special hotline: (312) 905-4335.
If you know people who cannot access this article online—call them up and read this to them and have them phone in their reports to (312) 905-4335.
There are disasters from natural causes fueled and magnified by global warming—and then there are the catastrophic workings of the capitalist system which compounds such disasters, causing unnecessary hardship and suffering. While millions are without power and critical care patients at NYU’s medical center had to be relocated, getting the New York financial markets up and running is a major priority from the point of view of the capitalists, and the media is bragging that within a day of the storm the New York Stock Exchange will re-open. What is the situation among those who count for nothing, like the prisoners on Rikers Island which NYC decided not to evacuate? This is a story that needs to be told.
If the authorities are trying to control and “lock down” the people at a time when they are trying to help each other deal with horrific conditions ... if this is being suppressed then that needs to be exposed and opposed. Remember, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there were numerous stories about the heroic efforts of people to rescue people from the flooding, while the authorities were busy portraying and shooting people as “looters” for trying to get food and medicine to people in desperate need. (See Statement by the RCP, “On Hurricane Katrina: 3 Fundamental Lessons," 2005).
What does and does not matter to the powers-that-be—and in particular their complete lack of concern for the masses of poor and oppressed people, and indeed for the people in society in their great majority can stand out for all to see at times like these. We are calling on people to go out among the people, including to help formulate and fight for demands which speak to the needs of the people.
Wherever people reading this editorial find themselves, as we unite with people’s struggles to recover their lives, we should be finding creative ways to link those struggles to solving the great challenge of bringing forward a movement for revolution and bring into being a new society and a new state which would put the interests of the great majority of the people at the foundation and at the center of everything it stands for and everything it does.
As the letter from the reader puts it so well, “Tens of millions of people in the most densely populated region of the U.S. have had their lives uprooted, and are facing serious challenges to remain warm and safe. For months to come, people will be struggling to recover from this disaster. Things are not going quickly or smoothly back to ‘normal,’ whatever that meant for different sections of the people in this grotesquely unequal society.”
FIGHT THE POWER, AND TRANSFORM THE PEOPLE, FOR REVOLUTION!
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