The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Hurricane Michael:
It’s Business as Usual

Oct 15, 2018

In rural towns, villages and trailer camps along Florida’s Gulf Coast and inland, word went out as Hurricane Michael approached: “Get out! Get out now!”

These were mandatory emergency evacuation orders. Most of the residents complied: They packed up their cars with what they could on short notice and left for temporary shelter with family or friends or in hotels outside the expected path of the hurricane’s worst destruction. Some had to travel hundreds of miles.

But for thousands of those in harm’s way – many poor people – it wasn’t so simple. Many didn’t live near bus or train routes and didn’t have cars to get them out. Many with cars didn’t have the money they needed for gas and food on the road. Some didn’t have any place to go – no family or friends to take them in – and they couldn’t afford a room. Some just didn’t want to leave their belongings and pets unprotected behind.

Most of these people managed to survive – though not all – and some suffered serious injuries. But now they face the impossible task of repairing damaged homes and trailers – if they still exist.

In this richest country on this planet, with fabulously wealthy people fattened off the hard labor of workers and so rich they don’t even know what else to blow their money on, you might think in this situation, that a relatively few bucks would be made available to help the poorest, most vulnerable people survive a disaster like Hurricane Michael.

But no, it is business as usual. Working people have no one we can really count on for help, but ourselves, our friends and others of our class.