Masar - Le Trio Joubran
The Season of Revolt
Something heavy in the spring air has stirred the world’s citizenry to unrest. They have marched defiantly on their nations’ capitals, in rejection of corruption, disparity, mismanagement, and tyranny. Some hail from undemocratic states; others, from (nominally) democratic ones. Some have risked arrest; others, their very lives. But they all have shared in the fight for liberty, democracy, and the just application of the law — even in places that have known none of these.
This passionate upset — which has descended in such large numbers, on so many cities — should be an admonishing reminder. Protest has effected change; protest still can effect change. The powers that govern the developed world may not (yet) be absolute tyrants. But their deeds demand that they change. We demand that they change. Unrestrained by the plunder and repression of despotism, we possess all the means necessary to make change happen.
As we peer into the abyss — and as nothing substantive is being done to stave off that abyss — we must take it upon ourselves to make our case plain. In the words of one Martin Luther King, Jr., “One has a moral responsibility to disobey” when faced with injustice. Inaction is injustice. So — inspired by and in solidarity with the exemplary citizens-in-revolt detailed below — disobey we will.
What are we waiting for? We have little to lose and much to reclaim. The season of revolt has arrived.
On September 13th, under the luster of the Full Corn Moon, the wolves’ cries will incite the Full Moon Rebellion.
Join our wolf-pack, one billion strong.
Protest, to Hobsbawm, “is by its nature collective, and unlike the sexual climax … it can be prolonged for hours.” But, then again, “like sex it implies some physical action — marching, chanting slogans, singing.” And, also like sex, it expresses itself “through the merger of the individual in the mass, which is the essence of the collective experience.”
Nearly a century later, protesters, shy of one million strong, have marched righteously through the streets of Hong Kong. They have chanted slogans. They have broken spontaneously into the singing of hymns. Their individual selves have merged into a flowing, liquid mass of dissent. Like a river, frothing with discontent, they have cascaded defiantly through the chasmic thoroughfares that lie below the metropolis’ looming skyscrapers. At the hands of riot police, they have faced tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and truncheons. And, true to Hobsbawm’s lusty analogy, they have done so persistently, unflagging, for hours at a time, for weeks on end.
Much or little can happen in fifteen days. For the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, it is just enough time to topple a governor. On July 22, ex-Governor Ricardo Rosselló — known to protesters as “Ricky the pig” — resigned under pressure after hundreds of thousands (and a legislative assembly threatening impeachment) called for his ousting. Years’ worth of mounting frustration with official corruption boiled over into Puerto Rican streets after 900 pages of Rosselló’s derisive, misogynistic, and homophobic communications with colleagues were leaked to the press. But Rosselló’s downfall is a consequence of more than chauvinism alone. A dozen years of recession, a rampant debt crisis, and a bungled response to Hurricane Maria all but ensured widespread unrest. And six, including two top officials, were arrested by the FBI on fraud charges just prior the release of the messages. For disgusted protesters, Rosselló’s fall is just the first of a wider reckoning.
In April, after months of bloodily suppressed protests, the only sitting head of state to have been indicted (for abetting genocide) by the International Criminal Court fell.
The protests began in response to the tripling of the price of bread in a country already marred by poverty and famine. Demonstrators were quickly met with arms and the severing of internet-based communications. But when a military junta ousted President Omar al-Bashir, what some expected would result in restitution soon gravely darkened. On June 3, over one-hundred peaceful protesters were killed and dozens were raped. Roughly forty bodies were dumped in the Nile. In Sudan, despite temporary co-operation among civilian and military leaders, the ousting of a hated tyrant risks curdling and, as in neighbouring Egypt, giving way to a new era of civil war.
Seminal Czech President Václav Havel said that, after the Iron Curtain fell, his compatriots “were united in the joy over having broken free of totalitarianism. Today we all are made somewhat nervous by the burden of freedom.”
In Nicolás Maduro’s Venezuela, the dictatorial tradition of euphemizing typically repressive practices endures: “Operations for the Liberation of the People” have resulted in the unlawful murder of thousands of civilians.
And, whether he succeeds, there is no guarantee that Guaidó, for all his grandstanding, represents anything other than the loudest — and most externally favoured — dissenting voice. Opportunistic coups that usher in puppet regimes have no short history in ransacked Latin America.
Now 13326 people strong!