We get an update from a few people we previously heard from who are searching for missing loved ones hit by hurricane Katrina. We are also joined in the studio by a war resister seeking discharge from the Texas National Guard who has family missing in New Orleans. [includes rush transcript]
On Monday, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin estimated that 10,000 people may have died in his city following last week’s devastating hurricane. Across the country thousands of people have been desperately trying to track down loved ones. Last week Democracy Now interviewed several individuals who were searching for relatives and friends. We caught up with some of them again yesterday for an update on their searches.
And another update — last week we reported the musician Alex Chilton was missing in New Orleans. He has since been located and has reportedly been evacuated from the city. We speak with a 39-year-old war resister who is seeking a discharge from the Texas National Guard. His whole family is from New Orleans and he has not been able to contact them since the hurricane hit Monday morning.
- Carl Webb, War resister.
AMY GOODMAN: We caught up with some of them again yesterday for an update on their searches.
DIANA ROCHON: My name is Diana Rochon. I’m still looking for Barita Scott of 6349 Pauline Drive, in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a woman that will be 89 years old on September 29th. My phone number is 773-613-6608. We are frantic to hear from her. We love her. We miss her a lot. And we want to be able to take care of her. Please help us. All of the family members have been watching CNN and MSNBC and all of the TV coverages looking for her face. We have been on the internet. We have a family phone network. We have been calling each other. We have been frantic to find any information at all regarding her.
JUDY LENDSEY: My name is Judy Lendsey. I’m still looking for my sister Victoria Lenza. She lives one block outside the French Quarter and we are not able to contact her by telephone. And we don’t know where she is. If anyone has seen her or heard from her and knows she’s safe and well, please contact me at 630-202-6970.
HILDA WHITE-SINGLETON: My name is Hilda White-Singleton. I’m on my way right now to the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. I’m still looking for one brother. His name is Anthony White. I located the rest of my family except for him. And if anybody seen him or recognize the name, please get in contact with me as soon as possible I apreciate it. Thanks for everything. And God bless. And I hope it work out fine for us all.
AMY GOODMAN: And another update: Last week we reported that musician Alex Chilton was missing in New Orleans. He’s since been located and reportedly evacuated from the city. We’re joined now in the studio by Carl Webb, a 39-year-old war resister seeking a discharge from the Texas National Guard. His whole family is from New Orleans. He hasn’t been able to contact them since the hurricane hit on Monday morning. Carl, you also listed your mother is that right, Craig’slist online?
CARL WEBB: Yes, somebody sent me an e-mail, I think the New Orleans Indymedia and said that if you go to Craig’slist, you could possibly find a list of folks looking for —
AMY GOODMAN: How have you been looking? How can you find where your family is?
CARL WEBB: Basically, I’ve been using, not the government, and the Red Cross is too bureaucratic, I’ve been using the alternative media. I’m an editor with Tennessee Indy Media. I found that New Orleans Indymedia was still up and running. So I sent them an e-mail and told them to post the message that I was looking for my family. I’ve been to other yahoo groups that individuals on their own are outside of the government have been setting up. I’ve been trying to establish a network that way.
AMY GOODMAN: This weekend listening to one of the head national guardsmen saying this is the best reason to join the National Guard so can you help with devastating situations like these, you are a war resister. You were in the marines. Is that right?
CARL WEBB: No, the Texas Army National Guard.
AMY GOODMAN: Texas National Army National Guard. What about that? And you — what about going down to New Orleans?
CARL WEBB: Well, I would tell the General he’s on crack. This hurricane is just another example of how oppressive the capitolist system that we live under is. It’s an extreme example. It’s just one more example of why I refuse to fight for this government, for this system. And I’m sure that there are other people in the military on bases and ships and planes around the world are wondering why, you know, they weren’t sent in or allowed to come back home and help. So it’s not going to be a recruiting tool.
AMY GOODMAN: I was thinking of Celeste Zappala who lost her son Sherwood Baker who joined the Pennsylvania National Guard to deal with natural disasters like this. But ultimately was sent to Iraq. And died there.
CARL WEBB: Yes. And that’s one of the misconceptions that people have about The National Guard. The National Guard is not an institution primarily there to assist in natural disasters, its not there to protect the population, its just there to augment the regualar army to go around the world to oppress people.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, Carl Webb, we’ll continue to be in touch with you to find out if youre able to find your family.
CARL WEBB: Thank you.
AMY GOODMAN: Thank you very much for coming in.