in the motorcycle diaries, che guevara comes to realize that sometimes, the only way to affect change, to revolutionize, is through violence. (there’s a truly amazing quote on that from the book, but i’ve spent the last hour searching for it and i can’t find it. gack.)
tomorrow (or today, since it’s probably already friday in egypt) is a “day of rage”. the first thing that came to mind was throngs of people filling the streets while giant speakers blasted out “guerrilla radio”. protests have erupted in the streets of yemen. who’s next? algeria? iran?
when i read the news about the mounting protests in yemen, i wanted to execute a little happy dance. hell, i wanted to do a BIG happy dance. i was giddy. i still am. this is one of the most exciting things to watch in who knows how long, and part of me wishes i could be over there, shouting with them. the other, more sane part of me is still cheering them on, but is glad she’s on the other side of the world where she can’t get her head bashed in.
revolution doesn’t always need to be violent (sorry, che). but violence is a language that unfortunately everyone understands, and sometimes, you have to use it to get your point across. which is exactly what the tunisians did, and finally, their government listened. and they listened again today when they protested the inclusion of members of the old ruling party (they’re now going to purge them. yay!)
the other thing that i can take away from this is just how a nation has banded together to affect this change. it’s nothing short of awe-inspiring to see that these people, through the marvels of social media, are standing up and shouting at the top of their lungs, and finally, their governments are showing signs of hearing them. whether they listen is something else altogether. but let’s just enjoy this moment for what it is.
the one thing that bothers me about this whole thing is our government’s reaction. despite our desire to see democracy in action, we’d rather keep the old regimes in power because it keeps the region “stable”. for fuck’s sake, just let them riot. they’ll like us more if we let them do what the need to do, and they’re far more likely to cooperate with us in the future if we say, yay, go democracy! and then just shut up. but given a choice between being supportive of the protests and keeping a friend or two to help us out while we try to ingratiate ourselves with the rest of the muslim world, well, of COURSE we’d rather kiss a few asses than tell those leaders to suck it, monkeyface.
so i’ll be supporting that day of rage. maybe you should to.
and because i have a love affair with wikipedia, you can educate yourself on the tunisian revolution here. yes, it’s already on wikipedia!