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RAAN Statement on Mutual Aid and Hurricane Katrina Relief

Originally published on Infoshop News (9.14.05)

To all participants of the mutual-aid relief efforts being put forward by Mayday DC, Asheville APOC, and Infoshop News;

On behalf of the Red & Anarchist Action Network;

We have been appalled at the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, which was exasperated beyond all justifiable intensity by the calculated indifference of the white power structure, vested in this exploitative economic order. Despite our geographic isolation from the epicenter of the tragedy, we have remained determined to offer our available resources to those projects that are approaching the situation from a grassroots, anti-authoritarian perspective.

We wish to express our enthusiasm for the hurricane relief initiatives headed up by Mayday DC and Infoshop. Being as that our experience has shown both bodies to be responsible, committed, and capable conduits for concrete action in the face of our common obstacles, it seemed logical for us as a anarchist/libertarian communist tendency to throw our support behind them. Our decision to put available funds into this particular effort was solidified by the involvement of Mayday DC's Jamie "Bork" Loughner.

Some of us have had the pleasure of working with Bork on different projects in DC and have remained in a constant state of respect for her tireless efforts in the struggles for decent housing and shelter for all. Her fearlessness in seizing upon the kind of practical action that others only proselytize about continues to be an inspiration to the founding spirit of our network. We wish to extend these feelings to all members of Mayday DC, Asheville APOC, I-News, and Food Not Bombs as well as the independent street medics and EMTs who are participating in grassroots relief efforts by exercising our most important weapon in the fight for a better world: the horizontal application of mutual aid.

Although our small donation is not even a band-aid relative to the catastrophe at hand, it is our hope that it can make an appreciable dent in the most immediate shortages of medicine and other vital supplies. We have been reading Bork's updates through Infoshop News with great interest and would like to further commend all I-News volunteers in their continuing fight to displace the lies and distortions of the profit-driven media, which have only become more abrasive in the wake of Katrina and the man-made disasters that have followed.

In particular we look with hope towards the development of alternative health care and schooling networks in the areas abandoned by the racist state apparatus. Although these new institutions are the immediate result of desperate necessity, they bear within them all the hopes of a self-managed society. We ask that whenever possible, resources are directed towards the maintenance and promotion of these budding alliances. It is imperative that they prosper and survive Katrina's aftermath so as to become practical examples to the entire world.

We express a serious fear at the implications of emerging accounts of private mercenary armies patrolling New Orleans, as well as the Red Cross' efforts to shut down Food Not Bombs servings that do not share in their vision of corporate-controlled "relief". We have every reason to believe that the emerging community power organizations and mutual aid networks will be the targets of unprecedented repression in Capital's drive to author the history of Katrina's aftermath, and accordingly we are arranging ourselves to counter this tendency on every level, and alert all sympathetic communities to brace for the same.

Good luck in your efforts, we trust you will remain aware of the immense importance of your work not just in the immediate affected areas, but also in the historic process of a developing anti-authoritarian society for which we agitate.

In hope and solidarity,

The Red & Anarchist Action Network (RAAN)

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