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Where Putin Is 'One Percent' - New Occupy Moscow Comes To Life


MOSCOW - In the aftermath of the "March of the Millions' on May 6th and the arrest of several hundred protesters that night, an improvised camp sprung up overnight in Moscow in the Park of Chistye Prudy, Novaya Gazeta reports.

The camp looks in many ways like the protest camps that have sprung up around the world with the Occupy and Indignados movements. It is divided into four sections: kitchen, creative master classes, legal help, and security. It includes a generator for electricity that allows hot food and drink to be served on benches. But one kind of drink is forbidden: the camp is completely alchohol-free.

Scheduled activities included Esperanto lessons, a lecture on what to do if you are arrested, a meeting with participants from Occupy Wall Street and a history lecture on civil protest.

But while Novaya Gazeta reports that the camps are well-run and organized, Kommersant reports that the damage done to the park has been substantial, estimated at 1 million rubles (around $33,000). But, Kommersant reported, the protesters themselves have already gathered the means to pay for any damage done to the park.

One woman from the neighborhood who was interviewed on television accused the protesters of defecating on the street and insisted that the police remove them immediately. As it turns out, the woman in question is not just a civic-minded grandmother, as viewers were led to believe, Kommersant reported. In fact, she is a member of Vladimir Putin's party, United Russia, and has appeared on television programs on many occasions.

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food / travel

Legalizing Moonshine, A Winning Political Stand In Poland

Moonshine, typically known as “bimber” in Poland, may soon be legalized by the incoming government. There is a mix of tradition, politics and economics that makes homemade booze a popular issue to campaign on.

Photo of an empty vodka bottle on the ground in Poland

Bottle of vodka laying on the ground in Poland

Leszek Kostrzewski

WARSAWIt's a question of freedom — and quality. Poland's incoming coalition government is busy negotiating a platform for the coming years. Though there is much that still divides the Left, the liberal-centrist Civic Koalition, and the centrist Third Way partners, there is one area where Poland’s new ruling coalition is nearly unanimous: moonshine.

The slogan for the legalization of moonshine (known in Poland as "bimber") was initially presented by Michał Kołodziejczak, the leader of Agrounia, a left-wing socialist political movement in Poland that has qualified to be part of the incoming Parliament.

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”Formerly so-called moonshine was an important element of our cultural landscape, associated with mystery, breaking norms, and freedom from the state," Kołodziejczak said. "It was a reason to be proud, just like the liqueurs that Poles were famous for in the past.”

The president of Agrounia considered the right to make moonshine as a symbol of "subjectivity" that farmers could enjoy, and admitted with regret that in recent years it had been taken away from citizens. “It's also about a certain kind of freedom, to do whatever you want on your farm," Kołodziejczak adds. "This is subjectivity for the farmer. Therefore, I am in favor of providing farmers with the freedom to consume this alcohol for their own use.”

A similar viewpoint was aired by another Parliament member. “We will stop pretending that Polish farmers do not produce moonshine for their own use, such as for weddings,” the representative said, pointing out the benefits of controlling the quality. “Just like they produce slivovitz, which Poland is famous for. It's high time they did it legally.”

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