On the 18th of October, Puerto Ricans and supporters marched from the US Capitol to FEMA, demanding the Federal government provide aid for a community where power is still out, food and clean water are hard to get, and the impacts of Hurricane Maria are still largely unabated. One marcher from Silver Spring was quoted by the Washington Post as being especially incensed by Donald Trump’s tossing of paper towels during his visit to the island, as though the ravages of the hurricane could be simply wiped up.
There is widespread suspicion that differences in Federal aid to Texas and Puerto Rico after severe damage to both from this year’s brutal hurricane season is driven by racial consideration. Donald Trump for his part never misses an opportunity to trash talk almost anyone in Puerto Rico’s government who is involved in relief and rebuilding efforts.
As for relief efforts not involving the government, already a SWAT team has raided and harassed an anarchist-run relief program modelled after similar efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. After Katrina too police sought to interfere with “holdouts” and non governmentally organized relief efforts, especially in the first few weeks before National Guard troops threatened to mutiny if ordered to remove holdout residents from their homes by force.