Monday, December 13, 2010
(In this Nov. 21, 1989 file photo about 200,000 people gather in Wenceslas Square, Prague, Czechoslovakia during the so-called Velvet Revolution that bought to an end the decades of repressive communist rule.)
COMMENT: This is what you do not see in a single Arab country. In a country such as Egypt, with over 80 million people most of whom live in grinding poverty, ruled by a totally corrupt Pharaoh who has sold out the country to stay in power, you are lucky to get a few hundred to demonstrate.
Until a majority of the people rebel, they will continue to live as slaves.
By Chris Hedges
"I stood with hundreds of thousands of rebellious Czechoslovakians in 1989 on a cold winter night in Prague’s Wenceslas Square as the singer Marta Kubišová approached the balcony of the Melantrich building. Kubišová had been banished from the airwaves in 1968 after the Soviet invasion for her anthem of defiance, “Prayer for Marta.” Her entire catalog, including more than 200 singles, had been confiscated and destroyed by the state. She had disappeared from public view. Her voice that night suddenly flooded the square. Pressing around me were throngs of students, most of whom had not been born when she vanished. They began to sing the words of the anthem. There were tears running down their faces. It was then that I understood the power of rebellion. It was then that I knew that no act of rebellion, however futile it appears in the moment, is wasted. It was then that I knew that the Communist regime was finished.
“The people will once again decide their own fate,” the crowd sang in unison with Kubišová........
There is in our sorrow—for who cannot be profoundly sorrowful?—finally a balm that leads to wisdom and, if not joy, then a strange, transcendent happiness. To stand in a park on a cold December morning, to defy that which we must defy, to do this with others, brings us solace, and perhaps even peace. We will not find this if we allow ourselves to be disabled. We will not find this alone. As long as a few of us rebel it will always remain possible to defeat a system of centralized, corporate power that is as criminal and heartless as those I watched tumble into the ash bin of history in Eastern Europe. "