I have talked NONSTOP today. Too many words just to keep the incessant churn of emotions at bay.
I have talked nonstop today, when I wasn’t crying because today was emotions from the get go. I woke up amto messages that sec 144 had been imposed and that the protest I planned to go to would proceed with full preparedness to be arrested or detained.
I wasn’t sure what this meant or if I still should go. Clearly this time around we’ve scared them enough to take “pre-emptive”, unconstitutional action.
I wept as I watched the news online and saw things as they were unfolding on twitter.
This seemed like exactly what they want. Confusion and chaos. Mixed up locations. Misinformation. Detention of hoardes of people as a possible warning of things to come. Anything to keep people from showing up.
But guess what?
It didn’t work.
People continued to show up. Long after warnings were issues. Long after the stations assigned as detention centres got full. All through the day. Until they were granted permission to protest peacefully.
So I dropped everything and reached Town Hall.
And I wept some more.
For someone who spoke all day I have a lack of words to describe what I’m actually feeling. A full body surge of pride. I’ve been to protests before. But this felt different. This felt like it was backed by the spontaneous outpouring of unity not directed at any one religion or party or politician. This was people saying enough! People saying fuck you and your fascism.
We stood up and collectively flipped a massive middle finger at the powers that be today. I don’t know where or how far this will go but I have a hunch that this is just the start. Of a long and arduous but important fight. The revolution everyone says we need but didn’t see coming. I don’t know if we’ll win or we’ll lose but it makes me damn proud to know that I can look back on this week and think of not just Bangalore but the scores of places and the thousands of people and know that when it mattered, we showed the fuck up. FINALLY.
Today felt like a massive cumulative jack pot of fury and unity, pride and belonging, resistance and assertion all at once.
They tried every trick in the book to stop us today. And we didn’t relent. Of course I got there and wept some more. Not just at the people and the protestors but the placcards and slogans too and most of all at the incredible togetherness and connectedness of People going around passing on satchets of water, bananas, snacks, reminding each other to sit down and catch a breath, people offering each other banners and standing by each other shoulder to shoulder.
They tried every trick in the book to silence this. These fascists, they’re powerful. But they’ve got nothing in this massive outpouring of love I witnessed today.
In the end politics of hate can only be met and challenged by love. And today reaffirmed that for me. This love, it’s going to kill them one day.