Alberto Fujimori, 79, was serving 25 -year sentence for corrupt practices and authorising death squad killings
Thousands of Peruvians have marched through Lima to vent their outrage over a forgivenes for the jailed former chairperson Alberto Fujimori, in the biggest protest since the decision was announced.
The public opprobrium was directed at Peru’s president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who granted the forgivenes on health grounds on Christmas Eve to lift the 25 -year sentence, Fujimori, 79, had been serving for corrupt practices and authorising death squad killings.
Public indignation threatens to push Kuczynski’s beleaguered government into a political crisis as he reshuffles his cabinet and seeks to forge a new confederation with the majority opposition party led by Fujimori’s daughter Keiko.
” The chairman has lost all legitimacy ,” said Maria Isabel Cedano, a feminist campaigner who supported Kuczynski, known as PPK, in Peru’s 2016 presidential runoff to avoided a victory for Keiko Fujimori.” He has betrayed us. He should resign and convene new elections .”
Amid the face-painted drummers, workers’ unions, students and feminist collectives wearing traditional Andean embellished skirts, Kuczynski’s image was a new addition to the rubber-faced puppet caricatures worn by performers waving bundles of banknotes in the burlesque parade usually reserved for Fujimori and other former leaders tainted with corruption.
Marchers wore headbands reading” The forgivenes is an insult” and carried placards saying ” Justice cannot be negotiated” as they chanted” Out, out PPK .”
At first glance the quiet town of Live Oak seems an unlikely venue for a stand against Big Energy. But in recent weeks its become a centre of opposition
A north Florida river that attracted the states first tourists a century before Walt Disneys famous cartoon mouse is emerging at the centre of a fight against a contentious 515 -mile natural gas pipeline that many are calling Americas next Standing Rock.
One section of the so-called Sabal Trail pipeline is being laid beneath the crystal waters of the Suwannee river, whose pure mineral springs were once fabled to remedy anything from marital discord to gout.
Today, the abandoned stone bathhouse at Suwannee springs is a disintegrating ruining, and the four hotels that once stood here, the last of which burned down in 1925, are long consigned to history.
The Suwannee river itself though is currently a scene of ongoing conflict amid the opposition to a $3.2 bn pipeline designed to carry a billion cubic feet of natural gas daily through Alabama and Georgia to power plants in Florida upon its scheduled completion later this year.
At first glance, the quiet township of Live Oak, with a population of fewer than 7,000, seems an unlikely venue for such a stand against big energy. But in recent weeks a sizeable woodland protest camp has grown on the banks of the Suwannee and a number of non-violent direct any steps had taken place, including one last week that temporarily halted building and resulted in eight arrests.
Opponents say the building of the pipeline is harming not only the natural beauty of places such as the Suwannee, but irreversibly damaging sensitive environmental and culturally important areas in all three nations, and threatening the supplying of clean drinking water for millions.
This is our land and our water , not theirs, says John Quarterman, president of the WWALS Watershed Coalition that advocates for the conservation of five rivers in Georgia and Florida, including the Suwannee. We cant just sit here and let them come through here. We have to do something about it.
In these parts of northern Florida, as in much of the rest of the nation, the karst bedrock being drilled for the pipeline is a fragile and porous limestone.
Campaigners say that drilling has already resulted in sinkholes forming at several sites, and claim to have evidence of inadequate construction practises, including photograph from the air appearing to show the leaking of drilling mud into Georgias Withlacoochee river from a frac-out.
The consortium of companies behind the project, Spectra Energy of Houston, NextEra Energy of Juno Beach( the mother company of Florida Power and Light) and Duke Energy of Charlotte, North Carolina, insist that stringent safety measures are in place and that security threats to the environment is minimal. Drilling the pipeline, they say, makes a much smaller construction footprint than roads, railroads and water mains.
But adversaries claim Spectra including with regard to has had issues around its safety record, pointing to an explosion caused by a rupture of a natural gas pipeline across the Arkansas river in 2015; a pipeline detonation near its Nig creek compressor station in British Colombia in 2012 and documented regulatory fines of more than $650,000 for various environmental violations since 2010. Not least of the campaigners frets is the possible threat to the underground Floridan aquifer system that offer drinking water for about 10 million people, according to the US Geological Survey.
Environmental impact analyzes and an independent hydro-geological report commissioned respectively by the Sierra Club of Florida and a Native American clan leader warning against health risks of catastrophic breakdown of parts of the cave system essential to the free flowing and purity of water through the aquifer.
Sabal Trail Transmission LLC, the entity set up by the three energy companies to run the project, says campaigners anxieties are unfounded. Sabal Trail will not significantly impact karst terrain, springtimes or the Floridan aquifer with its construction or operations, Andrea Grover, the companys director of stakeholder outreach, wrote in written statements to the Guardian.
The pipeline, she said, was needed to upgrade Floridas fully or near-fully subscribed natural gas transmitting infrastructure and its road and building techniques were determined, after a lengthy consultation period, to avoid, minimize or mitigate impacts.
Three months in, the future is totally unpredictable. But a dramatic fightback is currently underway. Four activists tell us how they are adapting to the new normal
Naomi Wolf, author, political journalist and cofounder of DailyClout: Trump didnt do this. You did this. Your own inactivity brought us precisely here
The first 100 days of President Donald Trump: how has my life changed? First of all, there was the mourning period. Not for me, but for my fellow citizens. I was just mad. And I wasnt even maddest at the Trump voters. I understood that the critical battle line now are not left versus right, but the 1% neoliberal globalisers making off with all of the loot and disembowelling the middle class. So when I find the campaign, I knew that in the US, just as in the UK, a candidate who said anything at all about people forgotten in the neoliberal race would have a solid chance.
No I was mad at my own leftwing tribe. All of January, people on the left would tackle me with dazed, grief-stricken expressions, as if they had just emerged from a multi-car pileup on a foggy road. How could this have happened? What will we do ? I couldnt even bear to participate in those conversations. Ultimately I started explaining my rage to my closest friends.
I had been calling about the possibility of this very moment for eight years, since I published a piece in the Guardian titled Fascist America in ten Easy Steps and wrote a book based on it, called The Aim of America ( 2007 ). Under George Bush Jr, the left had been very receptive to the books message about how democracies are undermined by the classic tactics of would-be authoritarians.
But once Obama was elected one of ours I had to expend the next eight years screaming like a haunted Cassandra, to a room the left had abandoned. I had yelled myself hoarse for eight years under Obama about what it would mean for us to sit still while Obama sent drones in to take out US citizens in extrajudicial killings; what it would mean for us to sit still while he passed the 2012 National Defence Authorisation Act that let any chairman hold citizens for ever without charge or trial; what it would mean for us to sit still while he let NSA surveillance, let Guantnamo to stay open, and allowed hyped terrorism stories to hijack the constitution and turn the US into what finally even Robert F Kennedy Jr was calling a national security surveillance state.
Three months in, the future is totally unpredictable. But a dramatic fightback is under way. Four activists tell us how they are adapting to the new normal
Naomi Wolf, writer, political journalist and cofounder of DailyClout: Trump didnt do this. You did this. Your own inactivity brought us precisely here
The first 100 days of President Donald Trump: how has my life changed? First of all, there was the mourning period. Not for me, but for my fellow citizens. I was just mad. And I wasnt even maddest at the Trump voters. I understood that the critical battle lines now are not left versus right, but the 1% neoliberal globalisers stimulating off with all of the pillage and disembowelling the middle class. So when I saw the campaign, I knew that in the US, just as in the UK, a candidate who said anything at all about people forgotten in the neoliberal race would have a solid chance.
No I was mad at my own leftwing tribe. All of January, people on the left would tackle me with dazed, grief-stricken express, as if they had just originating from a multi-car pileup on a foggy road. How could this have happened? What will we do ? I couldnt even bear to participate in those conversations. Eventually I started explaining my fury to my closest friends.
I had been screaming about the possibility of setting up this very moment for eight years, since I publish a piece in the Guardian titled Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps and wrote a book based on it, called The Aim of America ( 2007 ). Under George Bush Jr, the left had been very receptive to the books message about how republics are undermined by the classic tactics of would-be authoritarians.
But once Obama was elected one of ours I had to expend the next eight years screaming like a haunted Cassandra, to a room the left had abandoned. I had screamed myself hoarse for eight years under Obama about what it would mean for us to sit still while Obama sent dronings in to take out US citizens in extrajudicial killings; what it would mean for us to sit still while he passed the 2012 National Defence Authorisation Act that let any president hold citizens for ever without charge or trial; what it would mean for us to sit still while he allowed NSA surveillance, let Guantnamo to stay open, and allowed hyped terrorism narratives to hijack the constitution and turn the US into what ultimately even Robert F Kennedy Jr was calling a national security surveillance country.
Summer’s here and the time is right for playing dead in the streets. We’re old enough to remember a hour when Independence Day weekend meant something other than lying down on the sidewalk holding a cardboard tombstone. If anyone’s going to sink the Senate’s version of the health care reform bill, it will be the holdouts on the GOP side who don’t think the bill is a true repeal of Obamacare but rather a small patch-job on the ACA. Still, adversaries are motivated to do whatever they can to preserve Obamacare, whether that entails dressing up in” Handmaid’s Tale” cosplay, holding a gay dance party for health care in front of Mitch McConnell’s house, or just playing dead.
Die-ins are nothing new, but we don’t remember having seen them on public transit before.
The true impact of activism may not be felt for a generation. That alone is reason to fight, rather than surrender to despair
Last month, Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden had a public dialogue about republic, transparency, whistleblowing and more. In the course of it, Snowden who was of course Skyping in from Moscow said that without Ellsbergs example he would not have done what he did to exposure the extent to which the NSA was spying on millions of ordinary people. It was an extraordinary declaration. It meant that the results of Ellsbergs release of the top-secret Pentagon Papers in 1971 were not limited to the impact on a presidency and a war in the 1970 s. The consequences were not limited to people alive at that moment. His act was to have an impact on people decades later Snowden was born 12 years after Ellsberg risked his future for the sake of his principles. Actions often ripple far beyond their immediate objective, and remembering this is reason to live by principle and act in hope that what you do matters, even when results are unlikely to be immediate or obvious.
The most important consequences are often the most indirect. I sometimes wonder when Im at a mass procession like the Womens March a month ago whether the reason it matters is because some unknown young person is going to find her purpose in life that will only be evident to the rest of us when she changes the world in 20 years, when she becomes a great liberator.
I began talking about hope in 2003, in the bleak days after the war in Iraq was launched. Fourteen years later, I use the term hope because it navigates a way forward between the false certainties of optimism and of despair, and the complacency or passivity that goes with both. Optimism assumes that all will go well without our effort; despair presumes its all irredeemable; both let us stay home and do nothing. Hope for me has meant a sense that the future is unpredictable, and that we dont actually know what will happen, but know we may be able write it ourselves.
Hope is a belief that what we do might matter, an understanding that the future is not yet written. Its informed, astute open-mindedness about what can happen and what role we may play in it. Hope looks forward, but it draws its energies from the past, from knowing histories, including our victories, and their complexities and imperfections. It means not being the perfect that is the adversary of the good , not snatching defeat from the jaws of victory , not presuming you know what will happen when the future is unwritten, and part of what happens is up to us.
We are complex beasts. Hope and anguish can coexist within us and in our movements and analysis. Theres a scene in the new movie about James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro, in which Robert Kennedy predicts, in 1968, that in 40 years there will be a black chairwoman. Its an astonishing prophecy since four decades later Barack Obama wins the presidential election, but Baldwin jeerings at it because the style Kennedy has presented it does not acknowledge that even the most magnificent pie in the sky might comfort white people who dont like racism but doesnt wash away the ache and indignation of black people suffering that racism in the here and now. Patrisse Cullors, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter, early on described the movements mission as rooted in grief and fury but pointed towards vision and dreams. The vision of a better future doesnt have to deny the crimes and sufferings of the present; it matters because of that horror.
I have been moved and thrilled and astounded by the strength, breadth, depth and generosity of the resistance to the Trump administration and its agenda. I did not anticipate anything so bold, so permeating, something that would include state governments, many government employees from governors and mayors to workers in many federal departments, little town in red states, new organisations like the 6,000 chapters of Indivisible reportedly formed since the election, new and fortified immigrant-rights groups, religious groups, one of the biggest demonstrations in American history with the Womens March on 21 January, and so much more.
Ive also been worried about whether it will endure. Newcomers often think that results are either immediate or theyre nonexistent. That if you dont succeed straight away, you failed. Such a framework constructs many give up and should be going when the momentum is build and victories are within reach. This is a dangerous blunder Ive insured over and over. What follows is the defense of a complex calculus of change, instead of the simple arithmetic of short-term cause and consequence.
Theres a bookstore I love in Manhattan, the Housing Works bookshop, which Ive gone to for years for a bite to eat and a superb selection of used volumes. Last October my friend Gavin Browning, who works at Columbia University but volunteers with Housing Works, reminded me what the name entails. Housing Works is a spinoff of Act up, the Aids Coalition to Unleash Power, founded at the height of the Aids crisis, to push for access to experimental medications, bringing awareness to the direness of the epidemic, and not run gentle into that bad night of premature death.
What did Act up do? The group of furious, fierce activists, many of them dangerously ill and succumbing, changed how we think about Assists. They pushed to speed up medication trials, deal with the many symptoms and complications of Aids together, pushed on policy, education, outreach, money. They taught people with Aids and their allies in other countries how to fight the narcotic companies for affordable access to what they needed. And win.