Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pothead Students Protest

So 3 kids were caught smoking weed on campus at USP (University of Sao Paulo). The cop on duty arrested them.

Apparently a group of their friends staged a sit-in until they were released. From what I hear the sit-in group was kicked out yesterday.

Seriously? Seriously?! If a couple of my friends were caught smoking weed on campus I would swing by the prison, take a picture, and post it on Facebook making fun of them for being stupid.

Oh Brazilian students, if you want to be taken seriously don't protest the arrest of dumbass friends who decide to use illegal substances on the campus of a public university (or any university for that matter), especially when there are officers patrolling.

Go to school and learn and then get baked at home like all the semi-intelligent stoners!

For more info check out this article:


  1. Hilarious! I think I'd take pics and make fun, too. And why are we (as in humanity) still worrying about weed? Lordy, lordy. Legalize it, don't criticize it!

  2. You didn't go to UC Santa Cruz I guess! The April 20th smoke-out on the meadow -- check it out: -- Rachel F.

  3. Count said it better myself... but you know what, it seems that there is a growing movement of students to propest the Police handlying of this... USP (best University of Brazil) students and now the Professors are tretning to strike, yes strike (if you were wondering if this was bad english)...

    Police and Universities historically have a very uneasy relationship, up do this day the police aren't allow in many University compus, it's a legacy of the years of military dictatorship

  4. =D hahaha Rachel great tip!


    But I think the problem is not only this, people feel uncomfortable in the presence of the police, not only at the USP, but I think those all over the country .. Police can sometimes get nasty ... =/

  5. Rachel- I didn't! But I did go to the Bob Marley festival in SD... not that I remember any of it ;)

  6. Ok, I think I can speak from experience on this subject considering I am currently a college student.

    I do not smoke Marajuana, but I am an extreme minority in today's world. I open the windows to my on campus housing for fresh air, but what do I get? An apartment that smells like weed. All of my freinds smoke weed at least 4 times a week. It is REALLY, REALLY common.

    I am very happy that I have the power to say no, because it seems like everyone else does not. I can't say I will NEVER some week, but I don;t have any urge whatsoever.

    And yes, these USP kids are stupid (and rich.)


  7. I don't think the issue here is that these students come form households that have larger incomes that the national average. I think they simply lack financial education. There is a burden in keeping them in a public university, to both their parents and everyone else whose earnings are taxed to sustain these institutions, which they don't seem to really understand.
    Is it their fault though? They are ignorant regarding this topic because nobody ever taught them otherwise. Think back to your schooling, there was an actual educational purpose to working part time during High School, to helping out during a bake sale or organizing a raffle so to finance an objective, like paying for a class trip. This allows a person to experience the whole process that goes into acquiring something. Had they received this input it would be clear that they study at a public university which is sustained by effort (work), which is then taxed. Some of these taxes such as ICMS and IPI are payed by all, including that person that takes 2 buses, spending oftentimes an hour in each of them, just to get to work.
    The problem isn't that these kids are from upper middle class families (thank God their parents were able to prosper and create prosperity for others), the thing is they never educated their children on the inner workings of how this plays out, in a pratical way.
    Below is a great book, in Portuguese, which is really useful in teaching financial education.It contains simple and effective exercises, some of which the reader can even do with their kids. This way in the future they don't end up being so disrespectful towards other people's money. Not thru malice but mostly due to ignorance, in my opinion.

  8. that's not the issue at all... not that I think they're right, but the issue is politics, most of the students protesting are affiliated with left small parties… besides police presence in university is a touchy subject in Brazil since the dictatorship years… So it's not their "friends" smoking weed… it's decades of tension and unresolved issues.

  9. I don't think that police being on campus really is instrumental here, they are just a backdrop for the same pattern of behavior witnessed over and over again when any other demand isn't met. This happens when institutional evaluation exams are introduced into public universities to see if they are performing well all the way to students getting together and basically forcing a teacher to postpone an exam or give extra credit so to not fail most of the class at the end of the semester.

    Check out the observations below made by exchange students at Brazilian universities

    Look Under

    -Foreigner's Perspective: Studying in Brazil

    Notice how it is actually the children of working class Brazilians, many on scholarships and who have had previous experiences in the work market (worked part time during High School and so forth) that take academic life seriously, much more than the run of the mill student/activist:I'm going on a strike from university if my demands are not met. The whole students going on strike so common in Brazilian universities revealing in and of itself since if you think about it how can you go on strike from something you aren't paying for or a place where you aren't employed? It seems to indicate that these students are unable of connecting how public institutions of higher learning are financed in Brazil, to the reality of most of those who finance them.
    I know that people will say they are basically spoiled and I agree with this, but they are not necessarily spoiled because they are evil. I think it's because they are ignorant. Hence someone has to teach them financial education, preferably starting from late Elementary school all the way til High School gradutation.

  10. Excellent points, Gritty. I have noticed a very prevalent, and elitist, attitude among the youth in Brasil who come from upper income families. Not a good attitude. They appear to have no concept of how honest wealth is obtained. Spend a midweek evening at Baronetti, it is enough to make one fear for the future of Brasil. Just don't insult them, the will have their bodyguards respond.

    Rio police appear to be trying to change, if not in reality at least in appearance. The arrest of several police who were escorting drug gang members out of Rocinha yesterday is a good sign.

  11. the USP issue is a bit larger than what you report here. First, there was an occupation of the Human Sciences building, in protest of the police handling of the pot smokers. After these students left peaceably, the president's office (reitoria - main administration building) was occupied. The presence of the police at USP was in response to a student being murdered in a campus parking lot during a carjacking. The students wanted this agreement terminated and the police off campus, arguing that the police are corrupt and authoritarian in their handling of students on campus. They also wanted the disciplinary cases against them extinguished. The president of USP requested that the occupation be declared illegal by the courts, which it was and even after this the student refused to leave. They were forcibily removed by the police on Tuesday morning. There is a legitimate discussion of the procedures and actions of the police on campus, and also of the lack of student representation at USP (at public universities, profs, staff and student vote for the deans and president). However, the student spearheading this occupation are, IMHO, manipulated by small far-left wing political parties. Not to mention that they were breaking the law, they totally trashed the administrative building and scuffled (and injured) the journalists covering the incident. As a prof here at UFMG we ware seeing much of the same thing (although still on a smaller scale). The student orgs throw parties (with booze and pot) during class hours, making it hard to teach. They complain about lack of representation, although our president has made many efforts to hear them. Most of my students (like the students at USP) disagree with this vocal minority and consider it radical. However, this silent majority will end up having these radical student define "students" for them if they do not speak up. Sorry for the long response, but this has been "assunto #1" here for the past 2 weeks.

  12. @Girtty Post.

    I think you are being a bit unfair. Have you ever studied at a Brazilian public university? Have you ever been there through a strike? Stuck there through the summer months?

    The university's exist for research - any profit from the research goes to the government. Many undergraduates spend 4-5 hours a DAY in the lab working towards their diploma and maybe half the minimum wage in a bolsa. To accuse them of not understanding the value of their education because a few spoiled kids (50 out of tens of thousands) tried to help their friends out by protesting is pretty harsh.

    Even though classes stop with strikes, lab work and demands on students DO NOT. Furthermore, they are forced to make up classes, often during the hot summer months in smoldering cement classrooms with no fans let alone aircondition. They are generally in the lab for a good part of the summer anyway, contrary to their American counterparts who get vacation which they may use to work or to travel (many come to Rio to do volunteer work 5hours a week and sit on the beach the rest of the time).

    If you think most student protests shutting down the schools are just for fun, I recommend you spend a day inside one of these classrooms during a Feb class session.

    I also encourage you to think about the Americans who flip cars over to celebrate sports victories and the trouble makers there. To go from 1% of the students, who are being criticized by the majority on campus, to generalizing about Brazilian education is pretty unfair.

  13. I have been following this story for a while. Corrine is right about this. Unicamp has banned alcohol after a young women died a couple years back. But the aroma at Unicamp is would be pot stardust, if I could name it. It goes at a lot of colleges here.

    The police are corrupt. I live in a rich city that pays the police well and we have terrible police that, if we call them their useless. They only want to do something to show their power or fix their own work problems. So I can see why the students want to do something. However, if students want to trash and occupy a building there are about millions of better causes in Brazil than the police handling of students being arrested for pot. Rachel is right about how it should have been treated. But I guess it's something that just broke the camel's back.

    And if USP students don't want Police there then they better figure what they can do to improve their communities. Rather than moving into gated communities and forgetting about them. We can only run away from the crime here for so long. I mean lets face it crime in Brazil controls us and our freedom. And the crime in this country is about historical corruption and socioeconomic problems.

  14. Thanks for schooling me Corrine. I obviously read ridiculous blurbs on the subject. I see the complex issue here. Of course I thought that it was a bit simple for Brazil. Oh well, at least you all know what I would do if my friends got arrested ;)

  15. Rachel,

    Let me be clear, I am against what the students did and think that the police SHOULD be on campus. We have the police here at UFMG and I want them to be even more present. I do not think that the police should turn a blind eye to the use of pot on campus either. Until the law says otherwise it is illegal. However, there are some real issues regarding the administration of USP's president that influenced the use of a radical move (occupation) rather than dialogue. Unfortunately I am seeing this same radicalness here at UFMG where we do not have the same issues regarding corruption or abuse. Our police are mounted police and are really friendly. However, if I were ever in real trouble here, I would be screwed. There are only 3 of them for the whole campus and the private security is spotty too. I would be raped, mugged and killed in the hour or so it takes for them to respond. However our students are protesting against using turnstyles to manage the 10,000 people who use our building everyday, arguing that it would exclude the "povo" from the university, as if the campus were used regularly as a public park. It could be, and I have no problem with anyone and everyone coming onto campus, but people don't as it is. It is not a turnstyle that is going to stop them. Sorry, like I said, this is something I am dealing with on a regular basis. Our dean was told to "tomar no c*, fdp" when he asked students to turn down the music of a party during class hours and our president was booed (vaiado) during a public forum. This is what I am talking about when I say there is a loud and radical minority.

  16. @ Anom,
    You wrote

    "The university's exist for research - any profit from the research goes to the government. Many undergraduates spend 4-5 hours a DAY in the lab working towards their diploma and maybe half the minimum wage in a bolsa"

    Isn't this Bolsa really more of a research grant than an actual scholarship? So basically these students get their tuition, 100% of it, picked up by the taxpayer and they can STILL receive research grants during this period? You gotta be kidding.

    I would prefer a system where a price is AT LEAST stipulated for each undergraduate course so we could know exactly what each student is costing the taxpayer. This puts things in perspective. The total cost would equal your tuitions during your stay at university which you could pay back in say 25-30 years. Then the services rendered, like those occuring in research projects, could have their values deducted from that total tuition cost hence decreasing the amount you have to pay back.

    This seems MUCH MORE HUMANE than the current system. You are getting a free education PLUS payment for research geared towards your diploma. Meanwhile public university students that can't afford to dedicate themselves exclusively to studying must drop out if they are unable to obtain financial aid. Many choose to go to private university where they must get a LOAN from the government, which they have to PAY BACK.

    I can't believe that after all of this you still manage to complain about lack of air con. Unbelievable.