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Last Updated: Monday, 19 September 2005, 11:35 GMT 12:35 UK
Stars slate Bush at relief event
Robin Williams
Robin Williams was one of many celebrities at the New York event
Robin Williams and other celebrities have criticised the US government for its response to Hurricane Katrina at a New York benefit for its victims.

Pretending to be a hurricane, Williams said he was heading for Kennebunkport - home of President Bush's family estate - to "see if they respond any quicker".

"The people who got into office forgot about the people," added Bill Cosby.

Elsewhere in the US, performers at the Farm Aid benefit on Sunday pledged to assist Katrina's rural victims.

Saturday's Higher Ground concert, held at New York's Lincoln Center, saw Meryl Streep, Laurence Fishburne, Robert De Niro and others implore viewers to give money to relief charities.

When the hurricane struck, it did not turn the region into a Third World country - it revealed one
Actor Danny Glover

But emotionally-charged performances from Bette Midler, Paul Simon and Diana Krall went hand-in-hand with angry speeches that assigned blame for the tragedy.

"When the hurricane struck, it did not turn the region into a Third World country - it revealed one," said actor Danny Glover.

"Katrina was not unforeseeable," added Harry Belafonte. "It was the result of a political structure that abdicates its responsibility."

The evening ended with event organiser Wynton Marsalis leading members of the jazz orchestra through a Duke Ellington tune that played out like a traditional New Orleans jazz funeral.

Family farms

Meanwhile more than 28,000 people attended Farm Aid's 20th annual concert on Sunday, held at Tinley Park, near Chicago.

Organisation founder Willie Nelson took the stage alongside John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews.

"We are here to promote food for family farms," said executive director Caroline Mugar.

However, organisers ensured some funds from the concert were earmarked for rural areas in the Gulf Coast devastated in last month's tragedy.


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