Training the Citizen Muscle

November 25, 2014 1:51 AM

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A few days ago I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and saw multiple ads on the streets inviting citizens to gather in their neighborhood square on Nov, 13, at 8 p.m., with pots and pans, to protest against perceived government's corruption. Some close friends who know my passion for activism invited me to join them in that event. "But you know," one reflected, "I'm not sure it makes much sense. We have been going to several gatherings, but each time there are fewer people, the media doesn't really report on it, and nothing changes," she said. I could hear the disappointment in her voice, but more than that, I could feel a tired disempowerment.

A conversation ensued exploring what the purpose of those public gatherings was, and the expectations she had about what would happen. Is it to change something? Or is it perhaps to give a sign that we are watching and unhappy? Or to help others become aware that speaking up is an option? A reminder...

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