Monday, May 9, 2011

Mexico's Calderón popular, despite massive protests about his drug strategy

By Sara Miller Llana
The Christian Science Monitor


Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s approval rating has risen slightly to 54 percent, despite setbacks in the drug war.

More than half of Mexico approves of Felipe Calderón's presidency, according to a new public opinion poll, despite the appearance otherwise from nationwide protests over the weekend calling for him to end his military-led strategy to the drug war.

Today, a day after tens of thousands protesters marched into the capital demanding peace and a new strategy against crime, the polling firm Buendia & Laredo released a survey showing President Calderón’s approval rating at 54 percent – a bit less than in 2010 but not by much.

Critics of Calderón’s military-led strategy against drug trafficking, which has taken some 36,000 lives since he was inaugurated in December 2006, say their complaints have increasingly fallen on deaf ears.

But when specifically asked if Calderón’s work toward combating drug trafficking has been good or very good, 50 percent of respondents said it was, up from 46 percent in November of 2010. Commissioned by the Mexican daily El Universal, the poll reveals that the public continues to back Calderón’s emphasis on security even if they disapprove of the way it is being implemented, says firm director Jorge Buendia.

“[One] must differentiate between the ends and the means,” Mr. Buendia says. “For the means, the strategy, people are not very happy or are unhappy with it. It has translated into more violence, but the objective they are very supportive of.”

And that, he says, gives Calderón the room to continue forward amid condemnation of his fight, one most analysts say he is unlikely to back down from as long as he is in office. Indeed, a day before the massive peace march set out from Cuernavaca on Thursday – culminating in Mexico City on Sunday – Calderón went on the airwaves reiterating the need not to change strategy but to redouble efforts. “There is no option to pull out of this fight,” the president said.

At the same time, Buendia adds, the poll does not mean that Calderón can dismiss the weekend peace protests, the growing archive of critical opinion articles and editorials, or the condemnation from academics, politicians, and activists.

Javier Sicilia: Mexico can 'rise from ruin'

The latest display of anger came Sunday at the conclusion of the peace march led by Javier Sicilia, a poet whose son was killed allegedly at the hands of drug traffickers in March.

“If we have walked and arrived here in silence it's because our pain is so great and so profound, and the horror that causes it so immense, that there are no words to describe it," he said in a speech. "We still believe that it is possible for the country to be reborn and rise from ruin and show the agents of death that the sons and daughters of this country are standing up."

Authorities have said the younger Sicilia was not involved in trafficking. While the government has long maintained that the far majority of the tens of thousands of drug-related homicides are drug traffickers themselves, many innocent victims have been killed, kidnapped, and tortured.

Mr. Sicilia also demanded the ouster of Mexican Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna, considered the architect of Calderón's strategy of deploying tens of thousands of federal police and military across the country since December 2006. While the government claims many successes, including the arrests or killings of at least 20 drug trafficking leaders since 2009, many say the splintering of groups has in turn led to more violence.

When Calderón took office, beheadings made front page news. In today’s atmosphere of violence, beheadings barely shock any more. Instead, more macabre news has dominated headlines, including bodies being pulled from graves in northern Mexico, many apparently innocent migrants en route to the US.

Protests spark calls for debate

Public security has become the top concern of Mexicans, ahead of the economy – a trend that has been growing since November of last year, according to the new Buendia & Laredo poll.

Even if no one expects Calderón to change his strategy – especially with public support from the US, where he is visiting this week – many hope the march Sunday will provoke more debate.

“The options that Calderón has given have been simplistic: Either you support the strategy, or you are asking for the surrender of the state,” analyst Jose Antonio Crespo wrote in El Universal, which culled opinions about what lies ahead after the peace march. “It is more complicated. I hope that after the march debates, forums, ideas, and more marches continue.”

26 comments:

  1. The only good [Zeta]is a dead [Zeta]! Sorry to rain on your parade.

    P.S. You can plug in any drug cartel name or member of [Army] who sides with them that you like. You cannot negotiate with killers.

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  2. Mexican Media is controlled by Narco interests. All this media coverage of ANTI Govt. "PROTESTS" are highly suspect,and NOT in the best interest of Mexican citizens(and gringos who live in Coahuila).NARCOS and common criminal gangs have succeded in intimidating the public,this is revealed in the misdirected argument that the increase in law enforcment should be abandoned and all will be well. One would think that the murder of relatives would INSPIRE people to support reform of the system responsible for the chaos that caused the deaths. THE MARCH SHOULD BE IN SUPPORT OF LAGETAMIZING GOVT. in Mexico,CALDERON is trying like hell to get the job done, Narcos are trying like hell to neutralize these efforts. Support Reform Mexico needs ETHICS.

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  3. Who writes this crap "Calderons war has cost the lives of 35,000 people" This is MEXICOS Struggle Long overdue. The cultural mutation needed in Mexico MUST take place or Mexico will remain a dispicable infected 3rd world disgrace.The Media consistantly protrays this conflict as tho Calderon declared war on the Mexican public,I am sure the large criminal element agrees with these journalist. Move forward Mexico!

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  4. Good on Mexico. So Calderon is still popular. Despite all the media attention to those who feel the military should just walk away. And he is still popular. That shows that Mexico just may be willing to sit this out, and to let the country enter the next phase. Bin Laden is dead. Guzman is now the animal in the cross hairs. Up the ante. Clean up the borders, flush out this cancer with troops on the ground. Scare the Narcos. Call them terrorists. Bring in special units from a unified force. Mercenaries. Skilled army men experienced in taking down the problem. It doesn't need to be from any particular nation, just a response to the problem.

    This article gives me faith that most Mexicans want to continue the fight. The media is very much influenced by narco money. Like everything else. There is nothing it doesn't affect. Despite that, most Mexicans still seem that they want to rid themselves of this cancer now that they have started this process. Calderon HAS to be their only option. This is not Calderon's war. This is part of the process of how Mexico moves from a "developing" nation to modern civilized society. Especially in the rural, more easily influenced areas. It will be a while. But the gangsters need to be killed first, to then be able to flush out the corruption. This would then lead to an overhaul of the legal system, and then entry onto the world stage as a part of NAFTA, standing shoulder to shoulder with their neighbors. If you believe that this is inevitably going to happen, then this war is just a part of that happening. If you believe, that is.

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  5. Nothing is going to change.
    You could eliminate every single drug dealer and Mexico would still be a mess. The rich would prey on the poor even more.
    Mexico needs to overhaul its feudalistic economy where the elite make money off the suffering of the poor. It is all about class equality, which has been the one thing the Mexican elites have been trying to stop since the state was born.

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  6. This is definitely great news. They Cartels have been trying like hell to get the country against Calderon but apparently they are failing.

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  7. The polling firm, Buendia & Laredo, is truly a PAID whore here. If you just go to their site, you can get a truer picture of exactly how they spin info, in this case for Calderon's US Made 'drug war'.

    In February they spoke of his declining popularity with concern when per their spun 'polling', it was 52%. Their latest says that his popularity is increasing ...WHoopppeee!!!..., and is 54%. Same basic result with new spin. 2% difference is actually NADA and inside any theoretical margin of error in polling results..

    ON another topic, the Right Wing USAers that write the same stale racist crap on BB sure get tiresome to read. It's always this sort of racial hate idiocy/supposed Anglo cultural superiority from them...

    'Mexican Media is controlled by Narco interests. All this media coverage of ANTI Govt. "PROTESTS" are highly suspect'.. and blah blah blah from Anony

    Not a shread of evidence from Anony here nor any data to back up the specious claim that drug cartels actually do control the media there in Mexico, since he has none. It's just his opinion of one, a racistly minded one. Basically it amounts to Rightist Anglo views that Latinos = narcotics in their minds.

    and from another Anony comes...

    'the cultural mutation needed in Mexico MUST take place or Mexico will remain a dispicable infected 3rd world disgrace.'

    One doubts that this person speaks any Spanish or has the least knowledge of anything Latino anywhere, let alone knowing anything just about what's going on in Mexico.

    What is despicable (spelled right this time) are these racist attitudes coming from Anglo heads in the US. It is not a disgrace to be a Third World country. It is not to be 'infected' or 'dispicable'. Being poorer is not a criminal or moral defect. Plus, Mexico is a medium income country and not bottom economic tier as this Anony thinks it is.

    Even when yet another Right Wing Anony US citizen comes in claiming to have faith in Mexicans, he still writes like this...

    'But the gangsters need to be killed first, to then be able to flush out the corruption. This would then lead to an overhaul of the legal system, and then entry onto the world stage as a part of NAFTA, standing shoulder to shoulder with their neighbors.'

    His idea that Mexico is not now standing shoulder to shoulder with Canadians and the Anglo run USA unless somehow Mexico is following US orders and waging this US made 'drug war' as destructive as it is,; is just the worst sort of Right Wing racially superior attitude. Plus, his idea that forming a functioning legal system begins with assassination by policing authorities is ass backward.

    In fact, to have a functioning legal system rights must be built in and respected, and not just promoting pistoleros running round in circles killing people ad lib. This seems to be a hard concept for US Right Wingers to grasp though???? That's why they are always cheering for get 'tough' and shoot em down policies.

    YES, these Right Wing Anglo folk always are so damn thuggish in their POVs expressed. They say they are against killing, but actually it's just that instead of narco cartel thugs they support US government backed uniformed thugs doing the killing.

    Mexicans are right to be leery of the game plan that USA outsiders are trying to hand them. The blood of innocents will be splattered in all the crossfires they seem to get their kicks off in watching from afar.

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  8. "Most people prefer to believe their leaders are just and fair even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which they live is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of a corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one’s self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all." ~ Michael Rivero

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  9. lol @ the pissed off liberal communist a.k.a. Ardent.

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  10. @Layla2
    Ok what the hell are you trying to say? Why don't you come out and be blunt about it instead of quoting someone else.

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  11. lol @ right wing, mouth breather, birther aka el regio

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  12. In hotspot as Nvo Laredo, where I live, people are very afraid that the government will give in to these narco promoted protest. It would be the end of most of the frontera.
    We have seen them before mothers with children standing in front of the soldiers because they want "peace", and because they were very generously paid by the narcos. Yes we all want peace, we all want our lives back, but not by giving the narco free reign. That got us were we are now in the first place.

    And for the spelling nazis: indeed English is not my first language, so have a go at me. And yes I post as anonymous, of course I could have said Obama, or Hillary or the Queen of England, all equally valid as anonymous.

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  13. lol @ porno! This news has the liberal nut jobs going wild! lol

    Anon 12:23 pm you are correct. Actually in Monterrey a year or so ago they had the same "protests" and it turns out they were being funded by Los Zetas. Of course they wanted the military out and things back to normal, I would too if I was a criminal. The next President will have to continue the war, otherwise Mexico will be a failed Narco State and another country (U.S.) will have to do the job for them.

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  14. Nobody is being paid by narcos to go out and urge an end to a further militarization of a drug war that is increasingly done lawlessly by the Mexican government itself.

    'We have seen them before mothers with children standing in front of the soldiers because they want "peace", and because they were very generously paid by the narcos.' ... Anonymous 12:23

    This is just pure bs. Being against Caldron and his war is not the same though as saying that people are for the law enforcement agencies just turning over whole towns and regions to drug gangs directly, which of course is exactly what the Mexican authorities have done time after time, even as they chortle on about supposedly getting tough on crime.

    Unlike the BB, USA Today for More War crowd, many Mexicans have direct experience with the criminality of the government authorities in their country, and know that they are the biggest thugs out there. While US Right Wingers cheer for having more uniformed death squads running around in circles killing at total liberty, Mexicans have seen that already, and the country has a long history with just that sort of thing.

    It's precisely the official lawlessness of sanctioned death squads that then leads to official covert backing of one faction or other of the money making cartels. Peace protesters want an end to both cartel gangsterism and government gangsterism. Nobody is paying them to say that, and in fact, they speak out at great risk to themselves. Too bad that US Right Wingers are too confused to understand what the issues really are.

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  15. Hey ardent, you know so much about everything, what's the deal on these protest marches? Are the cartels paying people to protest?

    Like 12:23 says, mothers with kids going out to stand in the soldiers way or to get more people out so the newspapers can report bigger numbers against calderon? What are you hearing or seeing?

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  16. Ardent, by calling the paid protests bs you give yourself away as a not insider: it is the truth and anyone who lives in one of these cities in war will know that.
    Maybe yesterday's march also had not paid participants, but the cartels have bussed in many many people.

    The first time in a while that busses were not molested.

    Read the article here about cartels organizing children's parties. They give computers to schools, build churches, sportcomplexes, anything to appease the people, and yes peace protests by mothers with children standing in front of soldiers is one of their regular activities. You clearly don't live here and have no idea what is really going on.

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  17. Ardent is a professional peace-nic bought and paid for with the hope of legalized drugs in both Mexico and U.S. Same old crap from the 70s.
    Like John Wayne said "You can stay and fight or You can run, but if you run, you are just gonna die tired" Get Real everybody hates Americans, No big deal, But how many of them, have the balls to meet face to face. Don't kid yourself Ardent you know better, if you were not hiding behind a computer you would have already had your butt kicked. Viva Mexico, because if Mexico wins this thing then America wins don't you see that, D...A..

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  18. All you Right Wing twits telling folk that folk fed up with war without end in Mexico are paid by the drug traffickers are the same imbeciles we in the US Peace Movement have dealt with for eons. We're always been accused of being paid by North Korea, Osama, Ghaddafi, or the 'gooks', etc. ad infinitum, too.

    'Don't kid yourself Ardent you know better, if you were not hiding behind a computer you would have already had your butt kicked.'

    I have protested your idiotic wars ON THE STREET with you neo fasicst thugs throwing trash at us Antiwar Leftists since I was a wee young teenager. If I had a dime for all the Middle Fingers you brain dead zombies have shot me over the years I would be richer than Carlos Slim. himself.

    And more than a few times I have had you screaming assaultive morons in my face because I do demand Peace for my kids, if even it's too late to see it in my own life. You KKKer types are whooshies though in person, and can only get your courage up in mobbish crowds.

    It is you Rightist thugs who are the real cowards out there. Most of you have backbones of jello when it comes to having any real personal moral convictions you ever stand up for. You're the type of people that thinks that putting on a uniform is great since you think that the Pentagon can always guarantee that you're doing the killing instead of getting your own damn asses fucked up. You mess up on that calculation from time to time and then get all weepy about it. I don't.

    If there ever is any risk at all to your own lives in your Right Winger calculations, your phony 'patriotism' would be seen hanging between your tails as you take run for cover. You're fair weather 'soldiers' most all of you. Occasionally a few of you eventually figure out what suckers you have been, but it's only a very few ever at that. One day you'll get your asses kicked but good.

    Yes- Most of you twerps are too scared to ever stand up for anything right and merely join up with the government because they pay you so good to be their thugs for the rich that make policies in the US. You put on a uniform and want us all to kiss your dirty asses for you think you are all heroes and look so pretty in blue and urban camouflage GI khaki green uniforms with your government given weaponry at your sides. You are the greatest risk that the world has to its future security.

    The Mexican military may be paid external mercenaries of the US government, but the Right Wing recruits inside the US are the paid mercenaries out of our own US working class. You have lost all solidarity with other people in the world that don't share your racist war mongering mentality. You're like a ghoulish group of Brit soccer fans dead drunk on your own nationalism.

    'Ardent is a professional peace-nic bought and paid for with the hope of legalized drugs in both Mexico and U.S. Same old crap from the 70s.'

    I haven;t smoked grass in the last 50 years, but I know damn well that you have, AnonyMoe.

    'Get Real everybody hates Americans, No big deal, But how many of them, have the balls to meet face to face.'

    A buffoon machista who thinks that the world should be run like a Lucha Libre circus... You're a wimp though, Macho Man. Your fake doesn't work. In fact, Fecal Caldreon is picture card perfect for the type of wimps you Right Wingers most usually are in person. Who really thinks that this guy is popular, no matter how many fake polls the media presents us with?

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  19. for Ardent:
    To take some parts from your post:
    quote "Right Wing twits telling folk that folk fed up with war without end in Mexico are paid by the drug traffickers are the same imbeciles"
    your idiotic wars
    you neo fascist thugs
    you screaming assaultive morons
    You KKKer types
    unquote

    You cannot seem to hold a conversation without resorting to abuse, what a way to achieve peace.

    You are wrong in this case: I talked to the women, even gave some a ride home. They were paid and scared to death to talk about that. Talking has never been appreciated by the cartels and they have some funny ways of showing that.

    The military and the Marines are at this moment the only reliable forces against the violence of the cartels. A violence so outrageous that it Al Qaeda look like a kindergarten, as one remarks. Wanting peace is OK, but don't sacrifice the millions that live in the frontera, or whatever is left of them.

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  20. Ardent 3:10 PM

    Please see this!!!

    http://www.terra.com.mx/noticias/articulo/784252/Confirman+apoyo+del+narco+en+protestas+de+Monterrey.htm

    roflmao... no que no?

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  21. Anon. 10:53 pm

    lol you are correct.

    If there is one thing I have learned from these crazy nut job hippie liberals wackos over the years is that they are peaceful, well that's until you happen do disagree with their point of view, then they unleash all of their anger on you.
    Just look at their protest, they seem to be the only ones that cause anarchy, destroy property, burn things in the street, cover their faces, and attack the authorities.

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  22. 'Regio', you who is not actually a person living in Monterrey in your case...lmao about that...

    I read your article you sent me and BB others to read.... It starts off with this tidbit of goofy Mexican military disinfo that apparently you believe in word for word???? Why? God only knows why....?????

    'Monterrey.- El Ejército mexicano detuvo a un miembro de Los Zetas, un grupo criminal al servicio del cártel del Golfo, quien confesó haber reclutado con dinero y regalos a ciudadanos para que realizaran protestas en contra del Ejército en la ciudad de Monterrey, afirmaron hoy autoridades locales.'

    So the Mexican military arrests a guy who then ever so conveniently tells the press lap dogs that the street demonstrators against the Mexican military/ Mexican PAN government's Made in US drug war are paid for all with money and gifts such as Caught Guy got and... blah blah blah....

    All those folks all bussed in by Zeta drug gangsters.... HeeHeehee... I know its so, because the Mexican military told us so! Can it get any more comical and dopier than this? So you believe this paid and made by the Mexican military stuff, Regio? You believe their public relations piddle?'Regio', you have to be the most credulous clown out there!

    Uh... perhaps there is just one more of you US Right Wingers as credulous as you are though, Meester 'Regio'.

    That would be Ruight Winger AnonyMoe 10:53 pm who tells us all that he...

    'You are wrong in this case (about the demonstrators not being paid to protest against Calderon';s militarization of their country): I talked to the women, even gave some a ride home. They were paid and scared to death to talk about that. Talking has never been appreciated by the cartels and they have some funny ways of showing that.'

    Sure, you just happened to see these protesters going by (whom you happen to actually despise so), and gave these women a ride home afterwards out of the kind goodness of your heart??? And they got to talking with you, their Buddy Boy now... and they say...????

    lmao once again, with this nit witted Right Winger relato....

    They got paid!

    Oh YES how nice of you, Sir Goody Two Shoes Boy, to give out free transport home to people dumped off by the cartels in their paid for Zeta protest against Superman Calderon. And you heard first hand and so your silly ass story goes?????

    Now don';t you begin to see just how stupid this fictional lie of your creation actually appears, AnonyMoe? You're the type of Right Wing AnonyMoe who always used to come up with the stories about how supposedly soldiers got spit on as you uniform lovers got off the airplane from 'Nam by a horrid hippy protester (always a hippy chick doped up on self righteous indignation), and so on.

    You're the type of Right Wing dittohead guy would also tell lies about having spent time in the military and gotten oh so very many medals just to try to hook up with some Blond Bimbo into going to bed with you, though you never saw single a day in the military at all. That type of story teller....

    Right Wing liars are a dime a dozen... Your stories always never quite add up in believable form. AnonyMoe 10:53 pm, you were nowhere near any protester last week end. So stop telling us these bullshitty stories.

    'The military and the Marines are at this moment the only reliable forces against the violence of the cartels. A violence so outrageous that it Al Qaeda look like a kindergarten...'

    You were back in your armchair in the USA watching Rush Limbug reruns at the time these demonstrations in Mexico took place, that supposedly you talked to women there about.

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  23. lol I won't even bother reading or replying to your comment Ardent, I see the obvious b.s.

    It is what it is, believe it or not.

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  24. It is clear that you post from a safe and far from this world place. Probably your mother's basement up in Vermont or so. You have no idea what really is going on.

    You said I despised these people to quote the least of your abusive rant, the only one who seem to suffer from all this uncontrollable emotions is you. You have no idea of my political prefences are and you only spout unprovoked and undeserved crap.

    If you had read and understand any of my posts, but I know that is much to ask from you, than you would see I live in one of those hotspots and live through it daily, and daily as well , although that it is almost impossible, I try to improve the situation here and that way I come in contact with many women, some of them in very desperate situations.

    So don't give me your basement philosophies and next time only talk of situations you have some knowledge about.
    I too will give up commenting to you after this.

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  25. Wrong...

    'It is clear that you post from a safe and far from this world place. Probably your mother's basement up in Vermont or so. You have no idea what really is going on.'

    In fact I'm extremly worried because my wife and kid are headed to Guadalupe in about 3 weeks from now when school lets out for them. They won't go into the rural areas of Tamaulipas where more of the family resides at least. So I cross my fingers and hope that all goes well...

    'If you had read and understand any of my posts, (Ardent) but I know that is much to ask from you, than you would see I live in one of those hotspots and live through it daily, and daily as well....' and so on.

    So what hotspot do you supposedly live in, ANONYMOUS, where you supposedly talked to women demonstrating against Calderon's war who supposedly told you they were paid by Zetas to do so?

    And how the hell is anybody, let alone me, supposed to know what other posts you have previously written, since your chosen name for yourself on BB is ANONYMOUS? You are just another ANONYMOUS amongst the ever so many of you posting that way. Try to figure it out, Dude, and give yourself a better name. And stop feeding us bullshit lies about your supposed conversations with supposed Zeta paid for protesters.

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  26. The hotspot is in the same post as the yes they are being paid, but you seem to loose it after one sentence.

    Please stay naive and believe that those protesters are not paid. The people who live here and go through it day after day know better.

    Maybe after your family got a freshup course they can enlighten you.

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