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Panel Presentation from the North American Anarchist Studies Network Conference
experience is the best teacher
In 1980, Keith and seven friends started the first Food Not Bombs chapter in Cambridge, Massachusets. At first more of a street performance than a protest, the group provided entertainment and vegetarian meals in Harvard Square and the Boston Commons after making deliveries of uncooked food to most of the housing projects and shelters in the area. After eight years of serving free food in New England, Keith moved to San Francisco where he started a second Food Not Bombs group. He was one of nine volunteers arrested for sharing food and literature at Golden Gate Park on August 15, 1988. In the following years, Keith was arrested over 100 times for serving free food in city parks and spent over 500 nights in jail. He faced 25 years to life in prison under the California Three Strikes Law but in 1995, Amnesty International and the United Nations Human Rights Commission brought about his release.
- Keith McHenry “The Anarchist Response to Sandy, Katrina, and the Global Economic Crisis”
- Moderator: Sean Walsh
In the days leading up to Hurricane Sandy I watched along with countless others as the Media frenzied Halloween coinciding "Frankenstorm" Sandy appeared to make a beeline for New York and New Jersey. Sandy brought with it an ecological wake up, with a swirling natural example of a Fibonacci sequence contained in an immense storm and delivered to the doorstep of Wall Street in New York. Sandy had more “wake-up” painted on it than the equally sad storm of Honey Boo Boo foisted on the American public during prime time people programing hours. Sandy headed quite literally for ground zero of the Wall Street/Governmental poster child for disparity replete throughout our present system and the heart of Americas Occupy movement. The sweeping northern arm of the storm was in a placement for optimal damage around New York and New Jersey. The BBC had aired the scenario in a 2009 Episode of Hot Planet and it had painted this exact scenario as a probability of Global Warming due to slight temperature rises in the Atlantic. Hot Planet could not have been more uncanny in its prediction or theory. Add to this, the screaming silence of omission in the presidential debates about the environment and global warming. Now a "monster storm" was headed dead on and like it or not debate stopped upon the fact that this was to be massive! Indeed it was massive. Its' wake is equally so on many levels. The storm hit, emergency services scrambled, store shelves vacated, generators flew from the Home Depots stores in my area as if beamed up by Scotty on the Starship Enterprise prior to an ion storm that would deplete the dilithium crystals and render warp drive inoperable. The cacophony of preparation soon met the cacophony of real-time emergency action. It stretched many services to the breaking point as well as many lives. The onslaught of the activity is almost impossible to outline in coherent form, but chaos is a word now familiar to those who bore the brunt of it. The after effects equally so in scale and ramification. In its wake Sandy left emergency response further politicized by Mayor Bloomberg's reluctance to cancel the mass of supplies headed to 40,000 marathon runners while another 40,000 were literally and figuratively left in the dark. Bloomberg is reported to have finally conceded to pleas and threats from senior staff and even the New York Marathon organizers themselves. Mayor Bloombergs marathon priority in the face of so many suffering was demonstrative Hail Mary bonehead play if there ever was one. Clearly it showed the disconnect that exists in the disparity of real lives and the uppity out of touch privileged rich and galactically misinformed and/or uncaring. After affects met with slow or no response by FEMA bureaucracy, along with other large Aid agencies, some neighborhoods completely leveled by fire, a total disaster for great swaths and a near miss for others around New York. Yes, disaster all around was an understatement. continued below---
Occupy Sandy Relief - My House is Your House is Our House
Volunteers and donations needed. Www.furee.org/donate
Gowanus community center is located at
420 Baltic Street. Brooklyn, NY 11217.
Broadcasting from Post Hurricane Sandy NYC
New York, November 2nd 2012--On Avenue C and Tenth Street in Loisaida, the power has just returned after four days of power outage following superstorm Sandy, which made landfall on the New Jersey shore on October 29. Compounded by a full moon and colliding with a low pressure system from the mid west, the storm sent a 14.5 foot surge up both the Hudson and East Rivers. According to Jerry the Pedler, featured in this video, immediately after the flood and power outage caused by the surge, resourceful squatters took their barbecue grills off the roof and emptied their refrigrerators of meat and other foodstuffs that might spoil and set up an open kitchen on the sidewalk. Other neighbors contributed and the ad hoc operation fed about 200 people everyday for four days. On Friday, the FEMA trucks finally showed up on Tenth Street between Ave C and D. However, in recognition of the local community effort, they passed on boxes of A Pack Emergency Rations, bottled water and soda to the street kitchen. Contributing the festivities on Friday evening were the Rude Mechanical Orchestra and two fire dancers.