Tear gas, healing salts and the joy of marching

9 July 2011.

Whether or not you believed in its cause, there is no doubt that Bersih 2.0 sparked more questions among folks that have been sitting on the fence or those that haven’t even begin to wonder what our world would be like if there was a group of people who actually believed they go stand up against the oppression of our system.

Leading up to the day itself, I have grown weary reading the myriads of comments and innuendos that taint a campaign that aims to bring about what many would deem as idealistic reforms. But out of the cracks of my doubts and fatigue, a renewed hope rose with a first hand experience of my people standing side by side, singing joyfully and shouting in defiance at the tyranny that came in form of gas canisters and water cannons. We were pushed back repeatedly but we would not be denied of the idea of a world that we imagine could be.

We shared salts and enjoyed the purifying effects of water splashed on our weary faces, while believing with the solidarity of our hearts that the message for change literally could be heard across the country when two or three are gathered in one accord. Indeed, the voices of ten thousand people reverberating at the heart of the city have an electrifying unifying effect unlike anything in this world.

There were our Muslims friend setting mats and going down on their knees in prayer, a man allowing others to step on his back as a springboard to safety, generous acts of kindness in form of distributed bottles of water and salts. I could go on with these stories. Thank you my rakyat. For restoring my faith that we actually give a damn about our country. That we actually care to oppose a system that allows dictators do whatever they want according to their whims and fancies. Marching through bouts of tear gas, rain and endless police barricades isn’t so bad after all.

Not when you’re fighting with fellow comrades for a world we could believe in together. That world, if it ever becomes reality, would justify the actions we took on this day.



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