Thursday, November 10, 2011

Basta Ya!

Basta Ya! means  something along the lines of "Enough Already" in Spanish. It was one of the slogans used by protesters in Ecuador when they ousted the President in 2005.
 I was studying abroad there at the time and given that the President had essentially replaced the entire Supreme Court with his cronies then proceeded to start to change the constitution among other things, I thought my participation in the protests and eventual coup d'etat was warranted.
 While the University I attended was closed for several days and my parents were a bit nervous, everything turned out fine and the only casualty occurred when someone fell out of the back of a truck.
 I later used this experience as the basis for my personal essay for graduate school, drawing parallels between group action needed to throw out an unjust leader and the collective action needed to improve health in communities and the population at large.
 Not exactly a radical concept but it made the essay more exciting.

So as some of you may (or may not) know, presidential elections have just occurred in Liberia and there has been some protests and violence. Feel free to click on the links to the right to get more information (or go to if you received this as an email). The election was a run-off between the current president and her opponent and the protests have already turned violent. Supporters of the incumbent's opponent have called the election fraudulent, with many refusing to participate and protesting instead. To be honest I have no information about the basis or legitimacy of these claims. But I did want everyone to know that while I'm still going ahead with my trip, I will be extremely careful. I also already promised my dad I wouldn't join in the protesting and rioting. Aw man! Ruining all the fun :) I'll keep you updated as things progress and it'll be very interesting. One of my favorite things to do is compare the news and situation on the ground to what is presented by major media outlets. We shall see. I'll have a cell phone there and anyone who is interested can ask me for the number if you'd like to be able to check in.

Off to catch my flight to Monrovia via Atlanta and Accra!

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