Isn’t Spring essential to survival?
I have fallen in love with the idea of rebirth, and I believe the world has too. I was ten years old when Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire, the ultimate sacrifice, in the name of change, and the flames that engulfed him helped ignite the sparks of revolution that we came to know as the Arab Spring.
Consequently, I cannot pretend that I knew anything about justice at the time. I can only say that as I aged, I understood (at the most of my abilities) the helplessness and tremendous courage the people of these countries felt. I understood the blaze that burned in hearts that longed for liberation, and that burns today not only in their chests but inside countless regions of the world that have taken up the fight in the year 2019.
From Chile to Lebanon, Iraq to India, Haiti to Algeria, people are rising against the chains that keep them tied. This has always been the case, to be frank. Indeed, anywhere and anytime there is oppression, there is resistance. However, the year 2019 has seen a definite spike in people taking over the streets against a while myriad of issues.
In Hong Kong, we fight for the soul of the city and the right to democracy. Haiti never gives up the fight against corruption. In Chile, a seemingly perfect nation compared to other countries in Latin America (which I say as a Latin American), inequality has ransacked the average Chilean and the streets of Santiago are now burning. All over the world, the streets have been dominated by people demanding climate action.
I’m not trying to romanticize the tragedies that these protests and the repression of the aforementioned are causing. People are dying, and each soul we lose is a stain on the world. I’m also not going to pretend that all these protests will birth significant change in the near future, for plausible change often takes time.
I am trying to put a spotlight on economic systems that destroy the soul of entire countries, on the corruption that steals the dreams of the children of the world, and specially on the resilience of the human being, and its daring to dream for a better world. I am inspired every day by the tears and fears the protesters share, their strength to rise out of the ashes that the powerful have drowned them in and bloom. I have fallen in love with rebirth, and the power of people to fight, and die, and cry and love and live.
In the words of Pablo Neruda, an awe-inspiring poet and arguably my favorite Chilean (to drive home the point): “Podrán cortar todas las flores, pero no podrán detener la primavera.” They can cut all the flowers, but they will not keep spring from coming.
Because of these protest, I have hope spring will come.
Written by Natalia Ibanez