Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Can the watchers do other than watch? Can watchers become actors and activists?

In the wonderful world of the intertubes, it is relatively easy for the watchers to watch what we say about governments, their agencies, and the corporates.  Don't mind a bit but FEMA dropped by to have a look at this post.  Were they amused or bemused do you think?

But in case they are still watching, I want to put a word in for how Australia handles disasters.  I have been simmering about this since the Katrina aftermath in New Orleans when the USA govt's inability to help its own was shameful.

Now Australia is not perfect as the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission has demonstrated so controversially.  But we do have a huge network of skilled volunteers across all sectors who spring into action at the get-go - sometimes leaving their own families to cope so they can use their skills to help others.  I didn't see hide nor hear of this in the Katrina coverage and I wonder what is happening now to the Gulf States.  On the news here, it is like Katrina.

We are not seeing the high fliers of the merchant banking and political world.  We are seeing ordinary everyday folk - a lot of whom are not of Anglo origins - struggling against the odds.  And I begin to wonder how much racism or not being in the power elite contributes to the helplessness so many people are clearly feeling.

Now I am sure my words will upset a lot of people but perhaps there are some among you who are clear thinking enough to comment and let me and the rest of us in the Land of Oz know what is happening and how you might be helped.

Blessings to all the affected and may you soon have peace!

Related reading
Mass Care in Disasters: Fema, the Red Cross and Volunteers
Further reading:
Lennox Head: the spirit of survival

MissEagle racism-free Photobucket

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