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Puerto Rico's DIY Disaster Relief
Two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit, aid remained a bureaucratic quagmire, mismanaged by FEMA, the FBI, the US military, the laughably corrupt local government. The island looked as if it were stuck somewhere between the nineteenth century and the apocalypse. But leftists, nationalists, socialists—Louisa Capetillo’s sons and daughters—were stepping up to rebuild their communities.

Natural disasters have a way of clarifying things. They sweep away once-sturdy delusions, to reveal old treasures and scars.

Over the next month, Luis, Christine, and ARECMA, took over the group’s storm-ravaged hilltop center and set up the Proyecto de Apoyo Mutuo (Project for Mutual Aid). I flew back home to New York before I could see it open. They began by feeding hundreds of people a day, with rice, pork and beans, rather than the MREs and tropical-flavored skittles provided by FEMA and the military. Then they added a weekly health clinic. Classes in chess and bomba dance for bored kids (the vast majority of schools remain closed). A free meal delivery service for the elderly. Potable water. Even Wi-Fi. Their Proyecto is one of a rapidly growing network of autonomous, self-managed Centros de Apoyo Mutuos (CAMs), which now also exist in Caguas, Río Piedras, La Perla, Mayagüez, Utuado, Lares, Naranjito, and Yabucoa. Each offers a communal dining room, with delicious free food. They distribute goods donated both by locals and those abroad, and they organize brigades to clear roads with machetes and axes. The CAMs are established by and for their communities, and in the course of providing aid, they create spaces for discussion and political organization. In theory and in practice, they resemble the solidarity networks that left-wing Greek activists used to survive their country’s financial crisis. In the words of AgitArte, a radical San Juan art collective deeply involved in the CAMs, they don’t exist just to address urgent needs, but “to combat the onslaught of disaster capitalism and its henchmen.”
Molly-Crabapple  Puerto-Rico  Disaster  solidarity  mutual-self-aid  collectivism  survival  capital  2017 
3 days ago by zzkt
When will the Earth try to kill us again? | Ars Technica
Most mass extinctions began with vast convulsions of Earth’s interior—can we detect that?
“The revolutions and changes which have left the earth as we now find it, are not confined to the overthrow of the ancient layers” - Georges Cuvier, 1831.
Our planet Earth has extinguished large portions of its inhabitants several times since the dawn of animals. And if science tells us anything, it will surely try to kill us all again. Working in the 19th century, paleontology pioneer Georges Cuvier saw dramatic turnovers of life in the fossil record and likened them to the French Revolution, then still fresh in his memory.
Today, we refer to such events as “mass extinctions,” incidents in which many species of animals and plants died out in a geological instant. They are so profound and have such global reach that geological time itself is sliced up into periods—Permian, Triassic, Cretaceous—that are often defined by these mass extinctions.
geography  science  history  earth  disaster 
9 days ago by rgl7194
How One Las Vegas ED Saved Hundreds of Lives After the Worst Mass Shooting in U.S. History - Emergency Physicians Monthly

The night that Stephen Paddock opened fire on thousands of people at a Las Vegas country music concert, nearby Sunrise Hospital received more than 200 penetrating gunshot wound victims. Dr. Kevin Menes was the attending in charge of the ED that night, and thanks to his experience supporting a local SWAT team, he’d thought ahead about how he might mobilize his department in the event of a mass casualty incident.

disaster  management  medical  stories 
9 days ago by casey.chow

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