Home > Michael Moore helps provide real relief for the people of New Orleans

Michael Moore helps provide real relief for the people of New Orleans

by Open-Publishing - Saturday 17 September 2005

Edito Movement Catastrophes USA Michael Moore

by Michael Moore


Last week I closed my New York production office and sent my staff down to New Orleans to set up our own relief effort. I asked all of you to help me by sending food, materials and cash to the emergency relief center we helped set up on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain with the Veterans for Peace. We did this when the government was doing nothing and the Red Cross was still trying to get it together. Every day, every minute was critical. People were dying, poor people, black people, left like so much trash in the street. I wanted to find a way to get aid in there immediately.

I hooked up with the Vietnam veterans and Iraqi war vets (Veterans for Peace) who were organizing a guerilla, grass-roots relief effort. They were the same group that had set up Cindy Sheehan’s camp in Crawford and now they had moved Camp Casey to Louisiana.

I have good news and horrible news to report. First, your response to my appeal letter was overwhelming. Within a few days, a half-million dollars was sent in through my website to fund our relief effort. This money was immediately used to buy generators, food, water, a mobile medical van, tents, satellite phones, etc.

Others of you began shipping supplies to our encampment. People in communities all over the country started organizing truck caravans to us in Louisiana. Twenty-two trucks from southern California alone have already arrived. A semi-truck from Chicago delivered ten tons of food. A group of friends in New Jersey got two 24 foot trucks, got their community to load them up with goods, and arrived in Covington tonight. Fifteen iMacs are inbound from California. One man gave us his pick-up truck and another donated truck is en route from Houston.

Your response to my appeal has been nothing short of miraculous. And it has saved many, many lives.

A number of you decided to just get in your cars and drive to our camp to volunteer to help. We now have had 150 volunteers here doing the work that needs to be done. Last night they unloaded twenty tons of food from a tractor trailer in under two hours. Each day more volunteers arrive. Everyone is sleeping on the ground or in tents. It is a remarkable sight. Thank you, all of you, for responding. I will never forget this outpouring of generosity to those forgotten by our own government.

My staff and the vets spend their 18-hour days delivering food and water throughout the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. What they have seen is appalling. I have asked them to post their daily diaries on my website (www.michaelmoore.com ) along with accompanying photos and video so you can learn what is really going on. What the media is showing you is NOT the whole story. It is much, much worse and there is still little being done to bring help to those who need it.

Our group has visited many outlying towns and villages in Mississippi and Louisiana, places the Red Cross and FEMA haven’t visited in over a week. Often our volunteers are the first relief any of these people have seen. They have no food, water or electricity. People die every day. There are no TV cameras recording this. They have started to report the spin and PR put out by the White House, the happy news that often isn’t true ("Everyone gets 2,000 dollars!").

The truth is that there are dead bodies everywhere and no one is picking them up. My crew reports that in most areas there is no FEMA presence, and very little Red Cross. It’s been over two weeks since the hurricane and there is simply not much being done. At this point, would you call this situation incompetence or a purposeful refusal to get real help down there?

That’s why we decided not to wait. And we are so grateful to all of you who have joined us. The Veterans for Peace and my staff aren’t leaving (and that’s why we are hoping those of you who can’t get to Covington will make it to the Veterans for Peace co-sponsored anti-war demonstration in DC on September 24: www.unitedforpeace.org .)

If you want to help, here’s what we need in Covington right now:

Cleaning Supplies (glass cleaner, bleach, disinfectant, etc.)
Aspirin and other basic over the counter drugs.
Bottled Water
Canned Goods
Hygiene Supplies
Baby Supplies - Baby Food Formula, diapers #4, #5, Wipes, Pedialyte
Sterile Gloves
Batteries - All kinds, from AA to watch and hearing aid batteries.
Volunteers with trucks and cars
Self contained kitchens with generators, utensils, workers

Consider sending supplies in reusable containers. List the contents on the outside of the package so the folks in the warehouse can easily sort the items.

Clothes are not needed. If you go, keep in mind that you MUST be self-sufficient. Bring a tent and a sleeping bag. People are driving to Covington from across the country and often have extra room in their cars for you or for an extra box of supplies. For more information, go to the Veterans for Peace message board: www.vfproadtrips.org/katrina/.

Thanks again for funding and supporting our relief efforts. It has been a bright spot in this otherwise shameful month.

Michael Moore


The supplies keep rolling in at Camp Casey III in Covington, Louisiana.

Cars, trucks, buses are loaded up in the morning and sent off in different directions. They are told not to come back until everything is gone, and they don’t come back until everything is gone.

Forum posts

  • It does look like genocide is happening in America, under the noses of Americans who keep their TVs on full blast but still have no idea what is going on in Louisiana. It was clear last week, when CNN showed all the heavily armed National Guard troops coming into New Orleans, that this was no rescue effort, but a military occupation. Are Americans too blind to get it?

    • Of course genocide is happening in America, Darfur is nothing compared to what’s happening to us here. And yes, Americans are too blind to get it, didn’t Michael Moore tell the whole wide world how dumb Americans are? Yup, he sure did and Michael Moore doesn’t lie about things like that.

    • To the ’smart’ commenter second in line.:
      I gather by your smurky sarcasm, that you pretty content with yourself, that you have found a place in the world where greater tragedy is occuring than in New Orleans. So, even if the US falls short in comparison to Cuba or China in saving lives during natural disasters, you can always quote Somalia, Mali, Burundi or Zimbabwe as something even worse. What can say? Bravo, Bravissimo!

    • My husband is in The National Guard. They are on corpse duty in addition to law enforcement.
      America hasn’t been ready for a disaster of this magnitude long before the Bush administration.
      People need to learn how to become independent and quit feeding off the teet of American Government. Would have been nice if Michael Moore was as caring about our community instead
      of exploiting it to line his purse (Yes, I’m from Littleton) I suppose a documentary of how the Bush Administration failed America during Katrina is next. Let’s hope the local government is held responsible as well. I’ve been homeless in New Orleans as well and I promise you, I would have been out on the highway with my thumb in the air if they said a hurricane of that magnitude was coming.

      Karen Schoen
      Littleton, Colorado

    • To Karen Schoen,

      Who are you going to rely on if not the "teet of the government" when there is sewage in your water and you are too poor to get away? Have you not seen the devastation of a racial society throughout this destruction? What are YOU doing about it? Your nievety is exactly what is causing the breakdown among our culture. You are right about one thing though...we have all put far too much trust in our government to help us in situations such as Katrina’s aftermath. It is a slap in the face that we can not rely on that faith. What you need to realize, fellow patriot, is that there are many other cultures in America that do not live comfortably, and it is shameful for you to judge them for counting on our nation’s leaders for help. After all, who signs your husband’s checks?!

      K. Taylor
      Oakland, CA

    • I agree, if you read the Declaration of Independence you will see just how far our current administration has gone to drive our country into the ground and all of U.S. right along with it.

  • You fools, another proof of how incompetent and disconnected from the real world your corrupt goverment is. What else will it take to wake you people? Keep up the good work Michael by spreading the truth about this administration even if most of your people are just like sheeps living in fear. And please Mr. Bush stop using God for all your comments because I don’t think that he approve on all of your statements. Once again Mr. Moore keep on informing the world on what is realy going on ...

    Paper Clip

    • The point is to come together. If we divide and become enemies of thought and words we are playing their game. They win when we can’t agree, the NWO wins when we hate. This is a time to come together in unity for humanity, for the love of each other and the planet. If the paradigm is to change, we must change it. It is not about right and wrong it is about ONE!

    • Agree 100%. This Administration is about "Division & Distraction", and they have done a brilliant job of it! They make issues black and white (red vs. blue) because they know if we are fighting each other we can’t all join in masses against them! Then they distract us with all their "staged"media events that are covered all day and night for weeks, as they are putting in law after law to help Corporations and hurt the public, and packing the Supreme Court with scarey judges.
      We do need to join together, it should be us vs. them in this battle to take back this Country, not us vs. us!