Katrina_1In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the ways in which activists deal with massive disasters has become a hot topic of debate. Should the active element provide direct support or concentrate on "framing the issue?" With many trying to do both, Gihan Perera of the Miami Workers Center has written up a short position paper Disaster: The New State of the State (pdf).

Perera writes: "Many on the left were dismayed by the progressive movement's inability to respond to Katrina. Even with the mainstream outcry against what was seen as blatant racist and anti-poor practice by the Bush administration, the U.S. left was not able to effectively harness this as a political turning point away from the conservative hegemonic agenda. The question is: Where was the movement to capitalize on this spontaneous moment of popular outrage and demand for radical reform?

John Kim, a New York-based hip-hop activist wrote a report back from New Orleans.

LeftTurn is hosting a regularly updated archive of writing and analysis on the disaster.

Also of note, the Revolutionary Communist Party has issued a call for political activists to head down to the effected regions to engage mass political work about the underlying reasons for the tragedy.