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Eyewitness Louisiana: Presidential candidate La Riva, PSL members on the ground with Lake Charles evacuees

Presidential candidate Gloria La Riva changed her national tour stops to return to the battered state of Louisiana to help the residents of Lake Charles who have been devastated by Hurricane Laura. Together with Louisiana and Georgia PSL members, the team is meeting with evacuees who are temporarily housed in New Orleans.

The Party for Socialism and Liberation has started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise the funds for water and food, and for organizing tools for the community.

“We were in Lake Charles last week to help bring food and water. People there were completely on their own, lacking even drinking water. It will take a struggle to force the federal government to give people what they truly need to rebuild,” La Riva remarked.

Now, the PSL team is on the ground in New Orleans, where more than 12,000 people are temporarily sheltered in City hotels.

Lake Charles, LA

La Riva continued, “We are here to continue that relief work but also to help the community organize for long-lasting government aid.

“FEMA and other federal agencies feel they can ignore the structural needs of the people to rebuild their homes. Only $29 million has been disbursed from FEMA for temporarily hotel stays and food, to a region that has suffered billions in losses. It is an outrageously tiny amount. 

“Here in the New Orleans hotel we are at, the evacuees are paying out of pocket, racking up bills on their credit cards or using their unemployment income. But the money is running out. This hotel is not accepting hotel vouchers, so we are working to help them with food.”

Donate to the relief effort here

The PSL is issuing demands that will grow as the situation develops.

  • Release billions of dollars in aid for home and community rebuilding, and for incomes
  • Extend hotel vouchers as needed, guarantee three free meals a day 
  • Free parking for evacuees, stop ticketing people
  • Ensure COVID-19 protections for all evacuees and free quality PPE
  • Food and shelter as long as the disaster lasts
  • Disarm National Guard and police in Lake Charles civilian areas—money for relief not repression

“It will take organization and mobilization to make a deeper change. An organized people will have the ability to make their needs and demands met. We have just begun,” concluded La Riva.

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