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Thread: Protesters Deride VP Cheney As He Visits Austin Shelter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Protesters Deride VP Cheney As He Visits Austin Shelter

    Protesters deride VP Cheney as he visits Austin shelter

    By Liz Austin
    Associated Press

    AUSTIN - As Vice President Dick Cheney toured Hurricane Katrina shelter operations in Texas' capital city Saturday, a group of about two dozen protesters gathered outside chanting, "Cheney, Cheney, you can't hide, we charge you with genocide."

    Cheney visited the Austin Convention Center shelter and the Texas State Operations Center, where state officials orchestrated the intake of more than 240,000 people last week after flood waters rose in New Orleans.

    At the convention center, where some 1,500 evacuees remained Saturday, Cheney met briefly with 23-year-old Telisha Diaz, who told him she spent four days at the New Orleans convention center before being brought to Austin a week ago.

    "It's overwhelming that the state of Texas is giving so much, just giving us everything - jobs, food," Diaz told the vice president, who was surrounded by local officials and congressmen.

    Cheney said Diaz's sentiments of gratitude were echoed by all of the evacuees he had spoken with in the two weeks since the hurricane pummeled Gulf Coast communities in Louisiana and Mississippi. He applauded Texas' response to the disaster and the outpouring of support from the state's leaders and residents.

    "I was impressed with the caliber of the effort that was mounted here and it's a good place to come learn some valuable lessons," Cheney said.

    He brushed off media questions about the federal government's slow response to hurricane victims in the hours and days after the storm, and FEMA director Michael Brown being removed from his command post in Louisiana amid the criticism and questions about his qualifications.

    Cheney said he supported Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff's decision regarding Brown and would not comment on any other possible leadership changes.

    While the evacuees seemed to appreciate Cheney's visit, protesters saw it as an opportunity to voice frustration over a Halliburton Co. subsidiary's involvement in emergency repairs at Gulf Coast naval and Marine facilities.

    Cheney headed Halliburton from 1995 to 2000, and Democrats have questioned whether the company has gotten favorable treatment because of his connection.

    "Cheney is profiteering off of murder," said 36-year-old Debbie Russell of Austin, who flashed an obscene gesture at the vice president when he waved at her and other protesters as he got into his vehicle.

    While Cheney was in Austin, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt visited a shelter in Dallas. He said his department has established special "evacuee" status for affected individuals to simplify and expedite their access to benefits.

    The process will allow states to enroll evacuees without requiring documents such as tax returns or proof of residency for programs such as Medicaid, child care support, foster care assistance and substance abuse treatment.

    In Houston, thousands of people dodged a cloud burst outside a church where the Red Cross offered financial assistance Saturday afternoon. Inside, evacuees sat across rows of tables from Red Cross volunteers who processed their aid requests.

    "This was the fastest line I've been in since the storm," said Danny Whitehead, 50, an offshore worker from New Orleans. "We got what we needed, and things are getting better everyday."

    The crowd included many evacuees who've spent the past two weeks in hotels or in the homes of extended family, friends or good samaritans.

    Officials said the population at Houston's Astrodome, Reliant Center and George R. Brown Convention Center went down overnight by about 1,300 to a total of 7,327 as evacuees continued to find other places to live. Officials at shelters in Houston and Dallas said they still hope to have everyone in temporary or permanent housing by Sept. 17.

    "We have a goal of getting these lives restored as quickly as possible. We don't want them in the dome for six months," said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Joe Leonard, area commander for Houston shelter operations.

    The NFL team the Houston Texans plays its first home game at Reliant Stadium on Sept. 18, but Harris County Judge Robert Eckels said that was not a factor in trying to get all of the evacuees moved.

    "This is a shelter, not a home, and it will not become a refugee center," Eckels said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    PhilosophyGenius Guest
    "This is a shelter, not a home, and it will not become a refugee center," Eckels said.

    According to Barbara Bush, some of these people like being there because of the upgraded conditions of what there used to, so it's a shame seeing them being kicked out of there new homes.

  3. #3
    911=inside job Guest
    did you guys see wolf blitzer say " look at these people theyre so poor and look theyre so black.."... holly shit!!! HAHAHHAHAH!!!! what a dick!!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    when did he say that?
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  5. #5
    PhilosophyGenius Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Gold9472
    when did he say that?
    Howard Stern played the clip of him saying that on monday i think.

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