26 February 2020, Wednesday, 3:26
The Wait Is Nearly Over

Share Courage with the Next One

Share Courage with the Next One

The process of rebuilding the nation and the state will begin then.

How did we let this happen? People voice this question often now.

I first asked myself about it on 25 March 2017. A large-scale action was planned on Will Day. A gathering was near the Academy of Sciences. My previous experience whispered me not take the subway but took a trolley bus from the Botanical Garden. There were about 20-30 people in the trolleybus, including 5-6 teenagers with balloons. We arrived 30-40 minutes before the start.

As we crossed the road, it became clear that the passage to the Academy of Sciences was blocked. People were coming from all sides. Seeing obstacles in the form of the police, some people left. We turned left and went along a narrow street (P. Brovka Street), along the hospital. Teenagers with balloons changed clothes on the way and turned into anarchists.

About 50 people were walking on different sides of the road.

Unexpectedly, minibuses with the riot police appeared. The anarchist children did not hesitate for a second, did not stop. They were walking forward under drum rolls and slogans. The riot policemen did not just beat the children violently, they were ready to kill them.

At that moment, I was sure they would kill them. People on the right side of the road were thrown into paddy wagons. This was not the end. We were on the opposite side of the road, somebody tried to shoot, somebody shouted. The riot police ran up to us and leapt back. They tried to intimidate. They turned around and left.

Being impressed by what we saw, we moved forward. We could hear screams. There were the police in every 20 meters. We crossed the road several times to get through. Somebody managed to make it to protesters, someone left. I was able to reach the avenue on the side of the 1st Hospital, near the public transport stop. To the left, across the street, there was a paddy wagon and a large group of people. They were suddenly taken out of the crowd and put into the wagon. The road lied between us. A policeman approached and offered to take a bus and leave. When we wondered whether we could reach protesters, he pointed at an underground passage.

It became fateful to me. I had a choice. To go away or to join the protesters. To be honest, I hesitated to go. I might take seconds or minutes to make a decision, I do not know. I had the picture of those anarchist children being beaten. They weren't afraid, they didn't back down. It served as an impetus to me. I decided to follow their mission. They shared their courage with me. I went to share my courage with the next one.

...descending into the crossing, I felt horrible, I went into the unknown. What's waiting for me there? Will I manage to pass it through? A million thoughts were in my head. One of them was how did we let it happen?

...Later, standing in front of the clashing shields and being filled with helplessness, anger, despair, we had to unscramble our lives. How did we let it happen? I was looking for an excuse for my long-standing indifference to what was happening outside the family. How did I let it happen?

...Indifference to the political and economic life of the state was implanted by our ancestors. The Stalinist regime destroyed the majority of open-minded people and created a "red man" with a narrow mind, within the family. We were not only taught to defend our rights but, we were forced to believe that this is bad, nothing can be changed. Born a footman, you will die like that. They raised us to be unwilling, indifferent to the arbitrariness of the authorities. Being scared of repressions, the people in the USSR were silent.

If you're out of politics, you might survive. Work, work and work. They saw nothing but their family or did not want to see. I'm alright Jack. Everything but the war. Be silent. It's easier and safer. Everyone who resisted was isolated or destroyed. The Communists managed not only to create red men but also to reproduce them. One worked for a penny and ran home. You're safe there. Home, work, family. Most people still live this way.

The access to the Internet paved us the way to the new reality. We broadened our mind and saw that we missed the moment when the lawlessness of the authorities began. We hide behind family problems, financial problems. We have no time or desire. They'll do without me. We've forgotten that the state is us. Few people think that the problems in the family, unsettled life directly depend on the legislative and executive authorities. We must control it. Our indifference, silence in response to lawlessness cleared the way for the criminal authorities.

People have to leave the country looking for a decent income. Literate, active people leave. Those who cannot perform under the dictatorship. Being persecuted by decrees, they have to escape and hide in Europe. The story repeats itself: repressions, the destruction of the active, the literate, the indifferent part of the society. If we do not overthrow this dictatorial regime now, some people will be neutralized, some will escape. Who will stay here? Only the "red men" and the direct road back to the USSR will remain. Will we keep hiding in our houses or will we admit our mistakes and crimes? When everyone answers the question "How did I let it happen?", when we start sharing our courage with the next one, then the nation and the state start to revive.

Angelica Zheleznyakova, hramada.org