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Notes from the scene: protestors claim victory in port shutdown

The West Oakland BART station parking lot was packed with protesters of all ages at the shockingly early-morning hour of 5:30 am.

Chants of “We are the 99%” and “Whose Port? Our Port!” became the rally cry as Occupy Oakland moved into the streets and headed for the Port of Oakland in what became an officially “successful” morning-shift port-shutdown.

The crowd of more than 1,500 people moved quickly down the wide street to the port, with police cars leading the charge. As we arrived to the port, organizers began calling for 45-50 people to take over each terminal. Accordingly, a group would break off to seal an entrance as the rest surged onward.
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Voting, carpe diem style

Putin Fishing; (cc) photo by Flickr user PIX-JOCKEY (Roberto Rizzato)

“Some of the most suspicious results came in the north Caucus, where tallies showed that 99.5 per cent of Chechens and 91 per cent of Dagestanis voted for United Russia. More than 90 per cent of patients in mental hospitals did the same.”   December 6, Financial Times: “Moscow protesters accuse Putin’s party of securing power by fraud”

Today’s Moscow protests remind me of an essay written by Elena Gorokhova on Putin walking out of the Black Sea with two nearly intact ancient amphorae in his hands. Her vranyo, Russian for lying, alarm went off, she says. As did mine when I saw this Putin fishing photo set and Sunday’s election results. It seems like more  people are on to the vranyo than Elena expected.

From Russia With Lies” by Elena Gorokhova, October 21, 2011:
“But then it occurred to me that a great number of Putin’s constituents were born during or after Perestroika. They were never forced to march in an October Revolution Day parade. They didn’t grow up with only two major newspapers, The Truth and The News, or know the standard joke that there is no news in The Truth and no truth in The News. They never had an Aunt Polya to teach them about vranyo. While I envy this uncommunist generation, I do see one deficiency: They have lost the ability to detect a lie…. Did those young Russians who never learned about vranyo believe in the Putin who waded out of the sea, clutching history? Did they see him as a hero? The picture had everything to make our hearts flutter with patriotic pride: a strongman defying time and human limitations. My own heart warmed not to Putin but to the photograph’s Black Sea backdrop. It made me pine for my youth, for the Crimea and for blue-eyed Boris.”