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Dignity and Fear

By Gabriela Osorio

Have you ever jumped awake in the middle of the night startled by your own outcry? Ever felt relief when, shaken by your mate, you finally escape the monsters pursuing you in your dream?

Waking up, eyes open, breathing hard, one says out loud, “It was just a dream, just a dream!” Afraid of returning to one’s own darkness and of despair, one breathes deeply, thinking, “Everything’s fine, there’s nothing to fear.” Then one falls asleep and resumes normal life the next morning.

But what happens when reality and dreams change places? When nightmares and reality get mixed up? When the monsters take off their snake disguises and are wearing suits and leather shoes? When vampires who suck blood in bad dreams, suck life, rivers, and forests in reality and defecate misery and pain? When those sworn to “protect and serve” become dogs who spit bullets and eat people? When like children, we selfishly close our eyes, ears and hearts to escape the reality of our brothers’ and sisters’ pain in front of us? When terror is spread to make us obey? When we seem to forget reality is real and the futility of waiting passively like sheep at the slaughter for this nightmare to end by itself?

Then a light comes on and automatically, instinctively, as if a button were pushed, a howl emerges from our guts, going through our stomach, lungs, heart, and clenched teeth to explode like vomit with the cry: “Enough!”

It starts as a cry of incomprehension, like the one that startled us awake from the nightmare. Our confusion is that we do not recognize this outcry; we look around for the voice that emitted it. Then we yell out again and again, each time stronger, because we know that to be able to wake up at all, we must first cry out.

To cry out that our land is not for sale,
That alive they took them and alive we want them back,
That our dignity is not for sale.
That this body is mine and I decide on its disposition.
To cry out that water is neither mine nor yours, but everyone’s.
That they want to close our mouths with bullets so our screams do not awake the sheep or bother the boss.
To cry out so we know that we are not alone, to find each other and make of each other our brothers and sisters.
To cry out as an act of good sense amid nonsense.
To cry out because silence before injustice amounts to killing ourselves twice over with our indifference.
Because by raising our voices we can recover the only thing they cannot take from us, our dignity.

On September 26 we will remember the forced disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural School of Ayotzinapa, which took place two years ago. It has been two years of shameless lies and of tireless searching for the students. Sadly, this is not the first, and certainly not the last, case of repression and violence at the hands of the state. Each day, over the length and breadth of our country, the use of force became the standard for control.

Every day more and more people are abandoning silence. Today, thanks to the Internet and social media, we see that we are not just some nonconformists, but we are millions. We have realized that dormant power resides with the people.  The time to unite has come. Change is not only possible, it is necessary. We have in our hands the tools to build the social bonds on which to base social transformation.


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