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A Building Bridges Special Report
On Hurricane Victims in NYC's Coney Island:
After The Storm: Coney Island's Beleaguered Residents Remind Us That The Real Devastation Is Continuously Drowning In Poverty
Coney Island's residents wander about amidst the mounds and mounds of sand, pushed blocks back into their streets and homes by Sandy in this oceanfront community. And there's the historic Nathans eatery, its boarded up plywood sheets have been partially pried loose by wind and rushing tides that threatens to ripe dangerously down the streets. Every-where is a landscape of small stores with their fronts blown out, ominous high water marks ringing what's left of their exteriors and their inners just
dangling wires wiping about furiously from the frigid, ocean wind blasts. Every- where are the cherished furnishings and belongings of the areas residents, now all jumbled together and tossed on the streets looking like the carelessly left playthings from a child's dollhouse.
Disabled, elderly residents are still trapped on the uppermost floors of public housing developments, without heat and light, without water, amidst the power outage. Other tenants and low-income home owners in the area have lost all their life's possessions. And there are so many without food, and who face the prospect of prolonged homelessness. Coney Island's residents were drowned out by a hurricane, but before Sandy they were as well drowning in poverty, and now it seems they've been hung out to dry, by a plutocracy who could very well provide storehouses of food immediately and build "we the people" veritable Taj Mahal's in which to live our lives.
Government has virtually ignored the residents of Coney Island & mass media has covered them almost exclusively to sensationally and raise the fraudulent specter of looting. But, there's another reality as well, there amongst the devastation are brigades of youth tirelessly shoveling the sand back, bringing the scarce resources, bottled water an other necessities they can find to their neighborhoods. Again and again they've climbed the stairs to assist and offer their concerns, refusing to leave or ignore their sisters and brothers - the power of the people's collective will and energies provides fortitude and hope for one of our communities, fighting to rise above the tides.
produced by Mimi Rosenberg and Ken Nash
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