Photo Credit: Melanie Stengel

Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief

Posted on Posted in solidarity

Melanie Stengel for New Haven Register | 11/10/2012 11:39pm

On the ride back from St. Camillus Church in Rockaway, Queens, New York, Occupy New Haven member and recent Quinnipiac University graduate Mark DiPaola said the group is employing the “SUDS” formula for Hurricane Sandy clean up — Shut Up and Do Something. A surprise, maybe, to a public used to seeing Occupiers shouting from encampments, the streets or the steps of various municipal buildings. But it’s no surprise to Occupier Ray Neal of New Haven. “We’re perfectly suited to this job,” said Neal. “We’ve built camps across the country. We know how to set up a kitchen. We know how to distribute goods. We know how to use technology to bring people together. With us there are no forms to fill out, there’s no hierarchy to deal with. We don’t have to answer to someone states away unable to see the situation changing on the ground.” Case in point: Occupy Boston drove a truck to Rockaway, stopping at towns in Massachusetts and Connecticut along the way. When they arrived at St. Camillus, they found that the food and supplies they brought were needed, but that the church had been swamped with clothing donations. They dropped off the needed items, filled the truck with surplus clothing and brought it to a location where clothing was in short supply.

Occupy New Haven’s camp on the Green often drew criticism. Ocuppiers in general have expressed frustration at trying to connect with the rest of the so-called 99 percent. Occupy’s Sandy relief work may finally help bridge that gap. One banner hanging from a Brooklyn staging center states, “Mutual Aid is Not Charity.” That’s the point, said DiPaola: “We’re all in this together.”

Pick up donations on the New Haven Green Sunday 11am to 1pm and 5pm to 7pm upper green near Phelps Gate on College St.

Also Monday & Tuesday same hours.

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