A Peruvian Trap

by bicyclemark

You know how it goes when you’re a world citizen blogger. One day you’re talking about Poland, then Frisbee in Amsterdam, and before you know it, it’s time to talk Turkey. Or as we say in Portuguese “Peru” .

Not sure how much you know or the world’s media tells you, about Peruvian history and politics, but myself – I’ve been watching the events unfold for the last 6 years with great frustration. Let me catch you up:

From 1990 to 2000 there was a most terrible president by the name of Alberto Fujimori. A tyrant and dictator who used all kinds of violence and secret tactics to maintain power and oppress oppositional groups. But fortunately in 2000 his ass got chased out of Peru and back to Japan (where he is also a citizen). The country slowly started a process of investigating the crimes of the Fujimori administration, eventually arresting one of the major murderous assholes- Vladimiro Montesinos, who was the head of the secret police during that time, and was also very talented at profiting from drug smuggling. Unfortunately they still haven’t gotten their hands on Fujimori, because Japan refuses to hand him over.

So now there are elections coming up, and Fujimori – even while hiding in Japan – says he will run for president again. And having heard about this, I have a plan for Peru:

Being that it is necessary to deal with the past in order to face the future. And being that Alberto is responsible for a whole lot of human rights violations during his time as el presidente, I say he must be captured – in a clever way. Therefore – I say tell him he is running for president. Tell the whole country to “make pretend” .. and then pretend he wins.. and when he arrives at the airport with that smug “I killed lots of you the first time and youre stupid enough to elect me again” look on his face, ARREST HIM! YAY! Then comes the trial and people can throw tomatos and poof.. national reconciliation mixed with justice and even a bit of fun!

Polish Doublemint Twins Take Election

by bicyclemark

Something should be said about the Polish elections, cause Poland is a big country, a new EU member, with a truely stubborn national spirit (I love stubborn populations!). I figure when you have such a violent and abused history as a nation, the effects will be felt for generations, in many different ways.

TwinsTrouble is, I’m not a Polish politics expert. Though I do keep an eye on Valesa’s son, who did get elected into parliament a few days ago, I had only read an article or two about the twins who are poised to become Prime Minister and President from the “law and justice” party. Can you just picture how the Bush family must be hard at work trying to get the same kind of deal. I mean they got the twins already.

I digress – Polish elections: They say its a shift to the “right” because the “left” is corrupt. They also say the L and J party will tackle unemployment and reforms. Myself I’m skeptical any party in Poland could properly handle problems that are deeply rooted traditions more then they are sudden crises. Or perhaps Im wrong, was the Polish social and economic scene doing well at some point? Communism, capitalism, fascism… my heart goes out to them cause regular Poles always seem to get skrewed.

Here’s one journalist who’s blog I should read more closely and covers the elections quite well. Of course you can also consult the Beeb. And lastly, I haven’t listened to it or checked it thoroughly, but this report looks nice and grassroots.

750th Bday

by bicyclemark

Kaliningrad Celebratin750 is a hell of an anniversary. Thats my thought for today.
I’ve not been to Kaliningrad – yet. But I will, this I promise. I’ll find an affordable ride across Germany, then Poland, and poof, I’ll be in this tiny Russian enclave on the Baltic Sea. And it will be lovely. I’ll take photos for you guys, cause I’d never travel without you.

For now, it’s best to go forth and study how the germans and the prussians were all involved in this wacky place. I wonder if I need a Visa to go there…

Done it Differently

by bicyclemark 2 Comments

Someday I will be crowned Free-Tour of Amsterdam King, and my reign will be brief but legendary. Scores of visitors come and go these days: friends, old-friends… friends of friends, girlfriends of friends.. bring me your tired, huddled masses, yearning to breathe weed. It has left me quite exhausted, probably because I find myself telling the same funny squatter story so many times in one week. Still – don’t get me wrong – I love visitors.

There’s a question going through my head over and over again right now, besides “should I pour myself another hot chocolate,” it concerns the anti-war movement before the invasion of Iraq. Brooke at Bitter Shack of Resentment is working on a book which focuses on the successes and failures of the movement. And what should be done differently if this should ever happen again. (which of course, it will) So as a very active pacifist, I’m asking myself this very question, expecting some fantastical answer.

On the one hand, I know what the movement did right. Mass mobilization…as I wrote about back then, millions world wide on the streets expressing their disapproval of this military invasion.

But what should have been done differently, because in the end it did not stop what happenned.

Maybe nothing could have been done, because those with all the power have the ultimate say in these matters. The only thing I could think of is to really place ourselves in the paths of the machines, like the heavily criticized human shields were supposed to. But maybe that would still be seen as impossible and insane. One thing that should be pointed out is that we have not yet seen the full effect of the mass mobilizations in 2003. I’m referring to the political reprisals, which have been seen in Spain, Poland, and parts of Latin America. Where people have used the vote to express their dissent, even if it is now a bit late. We have yet to see how this will unfold in Britain, United States, Australia etc. But the signs are there, for instance in Japan or the Netherlands, where seemingly the entire population disagrees with their governments participation in this invasion, and they won’t forget that when they next go to the polls.

I guess I still haven’t answered the question, but i still think its too soon.

F/911 has reached the UK. Decent article in the Guardian related to that. Just a little bit further and it will be here at last!

Here’s one of those do-not-miss internet thingies. The Dick Cheney “Go Fuck Yourself” famous quote tshirts! They’re sellin like hotcakes. Maybe I’ll find one in Brussels this weekend.

Today’s Music: Bela Fleck – Communication