“In Korea, almost nobody sits directly on the grass—it’s considered dirty. We put down a towel or a newspaper first, or we just squat. Here, people sit everywhere—on the grass, in the hallways, on the ground—and they put their backpacks on the floor in the classroom! I never see that in my country: our parents and teachers tell us from an early age that such things are dirty. In Korea, no one ever enters the house with their shoes on. The first time I sat on the grass here, it felt weird. Now, I don’t care. But after three years in this country, I still hug my backpack if there’s no empty seat next to me to put it on.”
On September 11th 1973, US-backed General Pinochet overthrew the democratically elected leader of Chile, Salvadore Allende. Pinochet ordered an air strike on the Presidential Palace, labor activists and famous folk guitarists were rounded up for torture, disappeared, and killed.
Pinochet converted the national football stadium into a detention facility like Guantanamo Bay. Chile’s economy was turned into a plantation for the 1%, as inequality and poverty skyrocketed under the imposed Milton Friedman-style economic model.
Over 40,000 Chileans became victims of Pinochet’s terror. In response, the Nixon administration committed more money, more training, more torture equipment.
The world didn’t begin on September 11th, 2001. Rather, for the first time in modern history, Americans were visited by the same violence the US has imposed since its creation.
In Chile, the US murdered tens of thousands and impoverished millions. This wasn’t America’s first foray in international terrorism, nor would it be the last.
The United States security state is a terrorist and a plague on the people of the world.
#WILDERNESS50 - #YOURWILDERNESS IS A MONUMENTAL BLESSING
For me, wilderness is a tonic, a retreat from the frenzy of modern life, a refuge to recharge and reconnect. As we celebrate the Wilderness Act’s 50th anniversary, we pause to look back and thank the wilderness champions who came before us. We’ve inherited a monumental blessing. And we’re grateful to all those individuals, organizations, and agencies who continue the important work of strengthening this wilderness legacy and ensuring that these beloved areas are protected and preserved for future generations. — Jerry Perez, BLM Oregon/Washington State Director
BLM Oregon employees, local residents and visitors enjoy diverse and rugged wilderness areas managed by the BLM, like the Steens Mountain Wilderness pictured here. Photos by Tom Wilcox and Bob Wick, BLM