Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts.
~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, 1860
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Change coming in 2009!
HAPPY NEW YEAR, BLOGGERS!
To be heard – Cash a Check!
Amazing how little snippets of our lives can rekindle memories or give sparks to ideas.
An episode of The Cosby Show did just that for me yesterday.
In this certain episode, Theo Huxtable (Bill Cosby's son in the show) was writing an essay on "The March." His first attempt earned him a C. But lucky for him, on that evening while sharing his second attempt, his own family, grandparents and parents, who were there on that day, became living, primary sources of first-hand information he needed. If you're not sure what I am talking about here, Theo is referring to the famous March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. This was also the venue where Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech to some 250, 000 people, about a quarter of them white. But before he even embarked on his "I Have a Dream" speech, he gave these remarks, which always seem to be an after-thought to his "I Have a Dream" sentiments, but I do believe have such a wonderful meaning/significance regarding our struggle to regain our freedom.
He said he was there to "cash a check" for "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," while warning fellow protesters not to "allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence."
2009 is upon us. It has been two years since we have been under military rule. We are vowing to make 2009 the last year Voreqe Bainimarama and his regime will drag us further down to the abyss of national destruction. To this end, the idea of smart sanctions has been mooted.
We have blogged, talked, exchanged heated words, wrote…fellow citizens have been tortured and some murdered in the hands of Voreqe's security forces…jobs have been lost…our children struggle to have an education/food and some raped…certain expats have been deported for bogus reasons given by the regime…Vilisi demonstrated on his lonesome…but what has changed? SADLY NOTHING MUCH!
So, what are we going to actively do NON-VIOLENTLY in 2009 to bring this regime to its knees!?
Going back to The March, there were opposition to it, from President Kennedy, to the Ku Klux Klan to Malcolm X. But President Kennedy had to give in because the organisers were not going to back out. Much of the fear and opposition surfaced because people thought that the march would turn violent. But this became a non-issue and heavy police presence was unnecessary as the march was noted for its civility and peacefulness.
They came in droves from the four corners of America, holding hands, singing, sharing and the part I liked the most…wearing badges to show which part of America they're from. In this Cosby episode, the humour of it was played on Bill Cosby when his wife mocked him for collecting and wearing as many badges as he can. They say, Kiss Me I'm Irish! Kiss Me I'm Jewish! Kiss me I'm Japanese!....(hahahaha)...yes, we do need some humour in our lives to break the cycle of doom and gloom! Pity he didn't have one that said… Kiss Me I'm Fijian!
But now, back to our cause – to regain our freedom! Our liberty! Our lives! Our Happiness!
Eight organisations including NGOs, political parties and trade unions have recently amalgamated to form the Movement for Democracy in Fiji. They have their plans, I bet. But I would suggest they take a leaf out of the organisers of The March. They need to get together, state demands: regime to stop the charade and uphold the Constitution; restoration of an elected government by free and fair elections ASAP; return to barracks of usurpers of democracy; protection for demonstrators/citizens against police/military brutality; halt the implementation of the charter; etc. etc. AND organise a PEACEFUL/NONVIOLENT MARCH! And when we get to our meeting point, sit, eat and listen to INSPIRING/MOTIVATIONAL/ NOTEWORTHY SPEECHES and good MUSIC OF FIJI!
WE NEED TO SHOW THE WORLD THAT WE CAN PROTEST RESPECTFULLY AND AT THE SAME TIME CELEBRATE COMMUNALLY!
We have held on silently for too long. We have been PATIENT. We have been making PEACE.
But it's time we ROAR!!!!!
As in the words of the two most noteworthy speeches on the grounds of the Lincoln Memorial that August day, John Lewis (representing the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee) said,
The revolution is at hand, and we must free ourselves of the chains of political and economic slavery. The non-violent revolution is saying, "We will not wait for the courts to act, for we have been waiting hundreds of years. We will not wait for the President, nor the Justice Department, nor Congress, but we will take matters into our own hands, and create a great source of power, outside of any national structure that could and would assure us victory." For those who have said, "Be patient and wait!" we must say, "Patience is a dirty and nasty word." We cannot be patient, we do not want to be free gradually, we want our freedom, and we want it now.
And last but not the least Dr. King concluded with,
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."
The bottom-line is: Our freedom will not be delivered to us on a silver platter. We have to stand-up and work for it! If citizens can RESPECTFULLY DISAGREE with their elected governments in Washington, in South Africa, and in India, what's stopping us from RESPECTFULLY DISAGREEING with cowards who use guns to steal power and our freedom, our rights, our liberties, our lives and our happiness from us!
So, in 2009 to be heard, let's "cash a check" for "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness!"
EnufDictatorship For the love of God, country and freedom!