I was walking around checkin' stuff out today, and I came across what appeared to be a roadside tent colony of protesters with policia surveying them from the outskirts. I entered the tent village reminiscent of many a Phish show..... "habla Englais?" I asked around.... A young, english-speaking, local activist was only too proud to tell me all about what was up:
Old San Juan is loaded with many very old, historic waterfront fortresses, which locals are quite proud of. Apparently, many a historic battle have taken place at and around these forts. Well, these forts, and the waterfront property they reside on, are national parks, and are immune to and proteceted from development..... or so everyone thought. Apparently, the abutting Hilton Caribe Resort has somehow bought their way around this law, and a very historic peice of fort-related waterfront property is now under development. Million-dollar-per-unit luxury townhouse hi-rise condos. Good ol' fashioned American corporate greed and textbook corruption at its best.
Well, the Peurto Rican people are not standing for it. Their tent-city blockade is WORKING! Construction has stopped as the legal / publicity circus comes to town. I love it! In your face, Paris!! Power to the people!!
UNRELATED SIDE NOTE: As I type this, I'm at Sizzler for the third night in a row. It's Puerto Rican White-Trash Hell Night here at Sizzler. The place is jam packed to fire code capacity, there is a line out the door to get in, and half the people are wearing bright red for some reason. Some strange local tardition, I suppose. There is a little kid directly adjacent to me right now who is crying his eyes out cuz his parents won't let him come "play" with my computer. Good thing.... touch my laptop with those melted ice cream covered hands, and I'll GIVE you something to cry about. I ain't no GQ editor by any stretch, but damn, these people make some "interesting" fashion choices. Oh, the humanity....