Uruguayan President Jose Mujica is no stranger to revolution. As a leader of the Tupamaros guerrilla group in the 1960s and 1970s, he orchestrated an armed uprising against financial institutions and the Uruguayan government — attacks that included political kidnappings and assassinations. He was captured in 1972, escaped twice and eventually spent 14 years in prison, including more than a decade in solitary confinement. Now, he finds himself heading a new rebellion, leading Uruguay on the path to become the world’s first country to legalize marijuana.
Late Tuesday, Uruguay’s Senate took an historic step and voted to approve a measure championed by Mujica that regulates the production, distribution and sale of marijuana for adults. In doing so, the tiny nation of 3.3 million adds momentum to the movement building in Latin America — and in U.S., where Colorado and Washington state have already done so — to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
Photo: Miguel Rojo/AFP/Getty Images
Behind the Burger - production on a farm in Chile which supplies McDonald’s hamburgers.
Photo: Marisol de la Reguera. EligeVeganismo research team.
Americans have been increasingly socialized to equate inattention, anger, anxiety, and immobilizing despair with a medical condition, and to seek medical treatment rather than political remedies. What better way to maintain the status quo than to view inattention, anger, anxiety, and depression as biochemical problems of those who are mentally ill rather than normal reactions to an increasingly authoritarian society.
The reality is that depression is highly associated with societal and financial pains…
In an earlier dark age, authoritarian monarchies partnered with authoritarian religious institutions. When the world exited from this dark age and entered the Enlightenment, there was a burst of energy. Much of this revitalization had to do with risking skepticism about authoritarian and corrupt institutions and regaining confidence in one’s own mind. We are now in another dark age, only the institutions have changed. Americans desperately need anti-authoritarians to question, challenge, and resist new illegitimate authorities and regain confidence in their own common sense.
In every generation there will be authoritarians and anti-authoritarians. While it is unusual in American history for anti-authoritarians to take the kind of effective action that inspires others to successfully revolt, every once in a while a Tom Paine, Crazy Horse, or Malcolm X come along. So authoritarians financially marginalize those who buck the system, they criminalize anti-authoritarianism, they psychopathologize anti-authoritarians, and they market drugs for their “cure.”
Protests against Chevron’s activity in Silistea – Pungesti, northeastern Romanian, area escalated on Saturday, December 6, triggering the American oil and gas company to suspend its activity on site.
Protesters destroyed the fence Chevron had built around the 20,000 – sqm land plot at the village outskirts. One day later, however, Chevron re-started their activity on site.
Protests were staged downtown in capital city Bucharest as well, with a peak registered on Sunday evening (December 7), when three protesters were taken into custody by the gendarmes.
Silistea – Pungesti has now been declared a special area for public security, with authorities implementing special measures against violence including placing gendarmes all around the village, according to Romanian media, which has been following the topic all throughout last weekend.
The gendarmes have been checking the documents of everyone visiting the village while villagers have complained of the intrusion, saying gendarmes were in front of every house asking people of their whereabouts.
The group of protesters in Pungesti, some 400 people, were a mix of locals and ecology activists from Iaşi, Bucureşti, Braşov and Sibiu. They initially protested peacefully, but the protest became violent as some of them began throwing stones into Chevron’s vehicles, and tearing down the fence surrounding the exploration site. Footage from the Pungesti protests, here.
Meanwhile, Chevron has again stated that all exploration activities will use conventional technologies based on the permits it received in the beginning of October. “We respect people’s right to express their opinion, but we believe this should be done within the limits of the law,” Chevron wrote in an official statement. The company had started its activity on site in Silistea – Pungesti on December 2, after a first delay earlier in October, also because of local protests.
The protests against exploration for shale case was triggered by concerns that exploration would be harmful to the environment, and coincided with protests against gold mining in Central Romania, at Rosia Montana, where the planned used of cyanide also caused concern.