To speak up is presumption, I know. I sit here on my lofty foreign perch and dare to think about what is happening in that country. I know my opinion might not be so relevant.
I know I, as a person, might not be either, because I am foreign, and I am godless.
Since the protests started, I’ve been following developments. I’ve tried to determine my point of view. It’s not been easy. I have had to rely on hearsay, because I am foreign. I have not had access to absolute truths, because I am godless. I’ve not tried to be unbiased, because I do have beliefs, and the monochrome of every situation has been coloured by them. I am no one; not special, not important.
But I have eyes, and I have seen people sprayed with tear gas, I have seen corrosive smoke used, coloured with dye, to have people targeted easily identifiable. I have seen peaceful protesters brutalised; with baton, with gas, with water.
I have seen a supposed leader of the people falter. I have seen him blame the left, the right, malicious outsiders, internal malfeasants. I have seen him blame everyone but himself. I have seen him declare war on the foundations of his people. I have seen lawyers who dared speak up being dragged through the street. I have seen pro AK protesters walking along with police, goading peaceful protesters.
I’m neither an expert on leadership, nor on democracy. But I do know some things.
I know that a leader is chosen by the people, the people are not chosen by the leader. If you are willing to stand up to lead, you must be willing to lead all, not just the ones who share your ideology. In order to lead the people, you must serve the people. All of them.
I know that the mandate of a state ends where the will of the people opposes it.