New Orleans - Street Militia

New Orleans - Street Militia

This is a discussion on New Orleans - Street Militia within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Just in from the NOLA Picayune. Good story about the locals effrts to keep the peace. Contains a few good lessons (already discussed here) about ...

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Thread: New Orleans - Street Militia

  1. #1
    Member Array XD40's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Florida Space Coast

    New Orleans - Street Militia

    Just in from the NOLA Picayune. Good story about the locals effrts to keep the peace. Contains a few good lessons (already discussed here) about being prepared.

    Makeshift militia patrols Algiers neighborhood

    Armed to the teeth, but they haven't fired a shot

    By Susan Langenhennig
    West Bank bureau

    Just after dusk on Tuesday night, with the rumble of helicopters and airplanes still overhead, Gareth Stubbs took his spot in a rocking chair on the balcony of an Algiers Point house, a shotgun, bottle of bug spray and a can of Pringles at his feet.

    It was night No. 9 of his vigil, the balcony turned into a makeshift watch tower, with five borrowed shotguns, a pistol, a flare gun, an old AK-47 and loads of ammunition strategically placed next to the blankets and pillows where Stubbs, Vinnie Pervel and Gregg Harris have slept every night since Hurricane Katrina slammed into Southeast Louisiana.

    In the bedroom off the balcony, its lace curtains blowing through the open windows, Pervel's 74-year-old mother pulled her rosary from her pocket, a shotgun resting near the antique cherry wood bed and the .38-caliber pistol her son gave her nearby. "Oh dear, what would Father John think," Jennie Pervel laughed as she fingered the beads.

    Vinnie Pervel and Harris, who own the 1871 Victorian house on Pelican Street, rigged a car battery to two floodlights and aimed them into the deserted road below. With the floodlights off, the home's gas lanterns formed golden hallows on the porch, the only illumination other than the periodic sweep of searchlights from the military helicopters buzzing overhead.

    It's been a terrifying nine days for the four, scrambling for food, water and gasoline for their generator and an arsenal of weapons they feared they would need if complete lawlessness broke out in the historic neighborhood of renovated 19th century homes. The neighborhood having survived the storm without flood damage, Pervel and Harris, both former presidents of the Algiers Point Association, worried that looters and others seeking high ground would invade the community.

    Yet they have not had to fire a shot.

    And that's a good thing for them. They were not sure if any of the borrowed weapons even worked.

    But their fears were based on actual experiences. The day after the hurricane, Pervel was carjacked as he tried to check on his other properties in the neighborhood. Two guys clubbed him on the head with a sledgehammer, grabbed his keys and stole his van, which he had filled with hurricane supplies, a full tank of fuel and his credit cards.

    The next afternoon, as Pervel and his mother, Harris and Stubbs stood on their porch, a gunfight between armed neighbors and "looters" erupted on the corner of Pelican and Valette streets, half a block away. The neighbors, whom Pervel would not identify, shot two of the men. "We screamed to Mrs. P., 'Hit the deck,' and she did," Harris said.

    "We just couldn't comprehend it, a gun battle in front of your house," said Stubbs, a native of Wales, who lives across the street from Pervel and Harris but has stayed since the storm with them at their "Fort Pelican." "You would walk outside, and your knees were wobbly and your lips would go dry."

    After the violence, the men decided they needed protection. Other residents who had stayed during the storm were armed and taking turns checking on neighbors, some of them elderly, who remained in their houses. It was decided that everyone would keep an eye on his block, sharing essential supplies. Pervel, Harris and Stubbs joined them, keeping watch on Pelican and nearby streets.

    "There's about 20 or 30 guys in addition to us. We know all of them and where they are," Harris said. "People armed themselves so quickly, rallying together. I think it's why the neighborhood survived."

    But Pervel, Harris and Stubbs had a problem. They were without weapons other than a 40-year-old shotgun with no shells. Pervel, who had stayed in contact with many evacuated neighbors through the Web site and by his still-working telephone, got permission from residents to retrieve their guns and supplies from nearby houses.

    "I never thought I'd be going into my neighbor's house and taking their guns. We wrote down what gun came from what house so we can return them when they get back," he said.

    One neighbor used his dog, T-Bone, as a lookout, chaining him at night to a fire hydrant on a corner. The dog barked if anyone approached, Stubbs said.

    The first few nights after the hurricane, Stubbs said they heard gunfire popping all around and saw people walking with flashlights through the streets. A tree had fallen at their corner, spilling a recycling bin full of cans. At the sound of a can rustling, the balcony watch group would flip the switch to the car battery, flooding the street in light, blinding whoever was below.

    "We angled the lights so they wouldn't see us on the balcony," said Stubbs, rocking in the chair, smoking a cigarette.
    With the area dry and mostly evacuated, they saw only one New Orleans police officer in the first four days after the storm.

    "We kept hearing on the radio, 'The military is coming, the military is coming, troops on the ground,' and we kept thinking, 'Where are they?'" Stubbs said. "We really felt alone."

    During the day, Pervel's phone rang constantly, with residents calling from Texas, Mississippi, Florida, asking him to check on their homes, feed their pets. The men also made daily visits to deliver food and water to elderly neighbors. "I asked this one 84-year-old lady if she'd eaten, and she told me all she had was a can of Vienna sausages," Harris said. "I wanted to cry when I heard that."

    By Tuesday, they'd checked on human beings as well scores of cats and dogs, a parrot, pet rats, two mice and a guinea pig.

    "There are several guys in the neighborhood. They had this little task force. They knew everyone who stayed and where we were," said a resident who would only give her first name, Betty. "If it hadn't been to all those guys, making a statement to the looters, I don't know what would have happened.

    "Our great fear was fire. If one started, it would have spread so quickly throughout the neighborhood," she said. On Tuesday, she made rounds through the neighborhood, feeding cats and dogs left stranded on the streets.

    By Sunday night, tension in the neighborhood had started to release, Harris and Stubbs said, as more and more military vehicles were spotted patrolling the streets. "We really all breathed for the first time when we saw an armored personnel carrier come through," Harris said.

    On Tuesday night, two Humvees crept down the road, flashing their lights at the balcony as Pervel lay down on his blanket, removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes. With the military on patrol, maybe the balcony watch group could finally get some sleep.
    Last edited by QKShooter; September 8th, 2005 at 08:47 PM. Reason: Add The Full Text To Forum

  2. #2
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    Array rstickle's Avatar
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    That was a good story. Hopefully others will see that and learn from ot.

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

  3. #3
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Very resourceful older folks and good for them.

    I just hope they are not forced out because it seems they well could survive where they are. Way different from the flood zone.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!." - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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  5. #4
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    Good entry thanks. Reading the link brought to mind neighbors will stay together and help each other. Feeding the dogs was pretty good, I know people are hurting badly but it was nice to hear how the one lady took care of the pets.
    As you slide down the banister of life,
    May the splinters never point the wrong way.
    NRA Life Member

  6. #5
    Senior Member Array older gunner's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Florida Panhandle
    What a great story. Thanks for the post. This is how it works folks. Individuals, joining together, armed and ready to protect themselves and their neighbors.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    Pocatello, Idaho
    Unfortunately, they're now doing mandatory disarmament of folks down there - even those in their own homes.

    So much for the right to keep and bear arms as far as the NO civil authorities are concerned.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

  8. #7
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    All that and no martial law so far - genuine martial law that is.

    So in theory the 2A still carries weight - or does it - seemingly not. Hell - I'd not be surprised if some folks actually decided to go out fighting (for their rights) as their fellow Americans come to disarm them. Disgusting.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!." - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  9. #8
    Array QKShooter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up I added the full story here.

    Just in case the link goes dead & bye~bye on the web it will be part of the permanent forum record here.
    Thanks for sharing the story. :unitedsta

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