US: Hurricane Katrina

US socialists call for action programme after hurricane disaster

Full care and compensation for Katrina victims

All victims of this crisis should be fully compensated for all losses by the federal government. Free medical care for all those in need. Ensure that all affected people receive a stable income to get back on their feet after this tragedy. All those who have lost their jobs, have been displaced, or in need from the affected counties should receive a living wage of $500/week for up to 3 years. Immediate interest-free loans for workers, small businesses, small farmers who had their livelihood destroyed in the hurricane.

Initiate massive public works program to re-build & re-employ the Gulf Coast

Immediately begin the construction of decent, affordable public housing in the safe areas for all those in need due to the flooding. Employ the jobless victims of Katrina public works programs to rebuild the counties affected. All rebuilding and relief workers must receive a living wage with union rights and benefits. Ensure the homes, workplaces, schools and streets of New Orleans are cleansed of the toxic contamination caused by the flooded sewage and oil and chemical spills.

Stop racial and class discrimination in relief, compensation, rebuilding, and policing

All relief money received through government and charity should not be put in the hands of big business politicians and bureaucrats. Instead, elected oversight committees of the affected communities and relief workers should control the funding and administration of relief and rebuilding efforts. Don’t bankrupt state and local budgets for the relief. The federal government should hand over billions for the relief effort. Don’t cut social service funding, like for healthcare and education, to pay for relief and rebuilding efforts.

Stop profiteering off tragedy!

We need prices controls on gas and other products to protect consumers. Construction should be done for the public good, not for the profits of a few corporations.

Pay for rebuilding by ending the war in Iraq and taxing big business

This disaster is the direct result of the Bush administration de-funding levy strengthening and other disaster prevention programs to pay for the war in Iraq and tax cuts for the rich. Bring the troops home and redirect military resources to rebuilding. This disaster results from decades of corporate tax-cuts by the two major parties, and the resultant under-funded the infrastructure and inner cities. Make the rich and corporate America pay for reconstruction.

No more preventable disasters – stop global warming

Fully fund the rebuilding of New Orleans levies with the most modern technologies, and other disaster prevention and relief programs in all endangered areas. Launch a massive global initiative to end our reliance of fossil fuels and stop the progress of global warming, which has increased the frequency and strength of severe weather disasters.

This disaster has shown the inequality, poverty, racism and social deprivations that capitalism breeds. We need a new, socialist society based on human needs.

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September 2005