From Pre-Election Euphoria to Post-Election Stress Disorder [PESD]?
third national elections that took place on May 15,2005 represents a
landmark in the history of our young and fragile democracy.
Nothing of that sort has ever happened before.
This election will always be remembered, for good or bad, by the
people of Ethiopia for many decades to come.
several months after a period of alternating euphoria and gloom regarding
this much-talked about national elections we are still waiting for the
dust to settle. Many families
still feel aggrieved and resentful, and are in a complete daze and shock,
gripped by fear and grief, and in a confused state, not sure of what the
future holds for them. As
repercussions of the post-election crisis continue to reverberate through
most of the country, I am afraid, it will take us some time before the
case is satisfactorily resolved by the state and the wounds suffered by
the nation effectively healed.
the case, the events that surrounded the third national elections in
Ethiopia have cast a dark shadow in the horizon for many thousands upon
thousands of Ethiopians and foreigners alike, whether our young democracy
will bounce back and revive again, or whether it will set in motion an
ignoble setback that may force us to slid back to dictatorship or
authoritarian rule and thus derail the incipient democratization process
in the country. I think the
manner in which the protagonists in the political arena and all
stakeholders inside the country, especially the incumbent government and
party, handle the issue will decide the future of our young democracy.
Scientists tell us that ideas are very powerful tools to mobilize social
forces as agents that shape history. A
critical role to create awareness for the mobilization of social forces
is, therefore, in the hands of catalyzing individuals, or elites.
And the most important single factor to trigger social change is
awareness, defined as the sight of an alternative to existing reality.
Two widely accepted tenacious myths surround the concept among
social scientists and social reformers.
The first is the tenet that the level of awareness and eagerness to
take corrective action bears a causal relationship with the degree of
pauperization. Second, it is
believed that change in awareness is impossible on short notice, for
changing the mentality of people requires huge efforts during an extended
length of time, sometimes even generations.
By inference, structural social and political change becomes
utopian. The history of
Caribbean slavery, as narrated by Glenn Sankatsing in his seminal article
entitled, "People's Vote Compatible With People's Fate: A Democratic
Alternative to Liberal Democracy",
(Anton de Kom University of Suriname, 2004) however demystifies
this defeatist tenet that only serves the status quo and the vague concept
of mentality, nobody cares to define with precision.
by the Last Supper Jesus offered for His disciples and the attendant
rituals performed by Him, a devout planter in colonial Cuba decided to
line up his slaves and wash their feet during the Easter tide, offering
them a banquet in addition. Few
days after that amazing spectacle, the slaves launched an attack on the
plantation, making havoc of his possessions and killing his daughter in
the uprising. Historiography
recorded this violent incident of slavery as the apex of ingratitude,
rather than a salient example of awareness change.
The slave-owner had just committed the unforgivable mistake to
destroy the discourse of White supremacy that justified and sustained
slavery. In the fear of his
own God, he had admitted that the slaves were his equals by washing their
feet. His humane deed
instantly liberated slave consciousness.
The expression on the face of the slaves was one of "Wait a
minute!" He was nothing
else than a shameless tyrant, an abuser, and a despot, knowingly
mistreating them to steal their labor and to chain their freedom.
a span of minutes, the master accomplished what decades of suffering and
pauperization in cruel slavery was unable to achieve among those docile
slaves. Slave 'mentality',
whatever it may mean, evaporated on the spot by awareness with less than
half an hour of incubation time. Here
history dramatically shows that one can only dominate people by
controlling their minds, their thoughts and their consciousness.
It also provides the valuable lesson that under the weight of harsh
reality avenues exist to trigger awareness on short notice.
Accumulated frustration and hopelessness alone are not enough, but
there comes a point that naked reality can overwhelm the strongest
discourse. Time is then ripe
for the minds and energies of people to be liberated, by watching the
conditions of their own reality, unmitigated by false narration.
As Jean-Paul Sartre observed when unmasking false narratives in the
aftermath of slavery in the Americas:
Our victims know us by their scars and their chains, and it is this that
makes their evidence irrefutable." [Jean-Paul Sartre's Foreword to
Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 1973, p.12]
evidence turned into action always triggers the motor of history,
effecting, most often, fundamental political and social changes in a
a similar vein, the events that preceded the third national elections in
Ethiopia created a sudden upsurge and a great awareness among the masses
regarding the need for a genuine and peaceful democratic transition and a
more meaningful and income-generating economic development in the country,
a yearning for better living standards and a modicum of safety and
security, for positive, economic, political and social changes, for the
protection of human rights and for the prevalence of good governance and
the rule of law. The role
played by the media, especially by the state media, in this regard has
been incredible and invaluable, to say the least.
the run-up to the third national and regional parliamentary elections in
Ethiopia witnessed one of the most exciting times in the brief and
turbulent history of our young and fragile democracy.
As the incumbent party and government, either to please its
'development partners' or because of its unfounded overconfidence
of mass-based popularity among the peasants who constitute the
overwhelming majority of the country's population, promised to the whole
nation, to the African Union and its development partners to hold a
"flawless election" this time around, it wittingly or
unwittingly opened up the political space widely and in a big
"bang-bang" manner or at a stroke, so to speak, (contrary to its
past policy of gradual and progressive political and economic
liberalization), first, by amending the electoral law based on the
specific demands of the opposition bloc and, second, by allowing
sufficient access to the state media (broadcasting and print) for all
opposition parties to freely propagate their political, social and
economic programmes and their election manifestos, and to canvass for the
people's votes without any impediments constraining their freedom of
assembly, association, movement and _expression and their campaign
programmes throughout the country. Extensive
civic and voter education programmes in collaboration with various NGOs
were conducted for the electorate by the Government across the country.
A code of conduct for ruling party cadres and supporters was
prepared and enforced meticulously, particularly before the polling day. Similar
codes of conduct were established for the civil servants, the military and
the police forces so that they would all remain aloof and non-partisan in
the election process to happen soon.
forums were also organized by the Inter Africa Group (an NGO based in
Addis Abeba) and other NGOs in the country where lively public debates
between the ruling party and opposition party representatives took place
and these, most often rancorous, hostile and acrimonious debates, were
broadcast live on the Ethiopian television and radio for the general
populace to watch and listen to the political and socio-economic
programmes of the contesting political parties and the would-be
parliamentarians and be able to make informed choices and decisions
regarding the elections to come. Making
effective use of the state media and their freedom of movement,
association assembly and _expression opposition parties viciously attacked
and criticized the ruling party for innumerable weaknesses and failures,
real and imagined, regarding the nation's economy, politics and social
affairs over the past decade or so. They hammered and harped, day in, day
out, on the ruling party's failure to curb massive and growing
unemployment and joblessness, corruption and gross human rights violations
by its security forces, and its dismal performance to improve living
conditions for the vast majority of Ethiopians over the past fourteen
years of its rule. Many observers were surprised at the sudden positive
changes in the political landscape in the country. Some even were heard
saying that the ruling party was unwittingly preparing itself for a
self-inflicted injury and a suicidal adventure, by 'tying up the hands and
feet of its cadres and supporters' in the face of a belligerent,
aggressive and hostile opposition bloc, blurting out scary campaign
gimmicks against the ruling party and its supporters.
we all saw and heard, the general public was indeed mesmerized by these
debates and yearned for more and more of such engagements to take place
among the contending parties and independent aspirants for parliamentary
representation at the national and regional houses of representatives. The
whole country was in a political frenzy and the political temperatures
were warming up day by day. In
the process opposition parties were able to gain substantial popularity
among the electorate, especially in the urban areas of the country.
Public and private print media also carried the full messages of
the protagonists in the political arena, their tit-for-tat arguments
exposing the alleged weaknesses of one another (actually, it was the
ruling party on one side and the opposition bloc on the other side) and
appealing to the electorate to support their cause (s), thereby trying to
woo or win the hearts and minds of the population in order to secure their
votes in the national elections that was to take place on May 15,2005.
These successive events created a great awareness among the masses,
offered them alternatives to the policies of the ruling party, and
empowered them to make informed choices and decisions regarding their
upcoming participation in the national elections.
There was so much euphoria and fanfare that was simply
unprecedented and never seen before in the country's electioneering per
se. This was what we all
observed and watched up to and including the polling day on May 15,2005,
when more than 90% or so of the registered voters (out of approximately 26
million eligible voters registered) turned out to cast their votes for the
parties and candidates of their own preferences, braving very long queues
that often took more than 16 to 17 hours before they were finally able to
vote. This was indeed the
first ever free, fair and peaceful election held in the country's long
history, affirmed and commended as such by all local and international
observers who observed the elections on May 15,2005.
all our optimism, for not only a free and fair but also a credible
election, that is, an election that would be acceptable to all the
political parties that participated in the contest and all our hopes for a
peaceful and smooth transfer of political power to the new government to
be formed after the election were dashed and in tatters due to a sudden
and unexpected declaration of a state of emergency, a one-month-long ban
to be specific, in Addis Abeba by the Prime Minister on the eve of the
polling day, May 15, 2005. This sudden move by the head of the executive
branch of government and the chairman of the ruling party, without the
approval of both the Council of Ministers and the House of People's
Representatives as stipulated in the FDRE constitution, to declare a state
of emergency and to prohibit street demonstrations and public rallies or
gatherings in Addis Abeba for one month created serious doubts amidst the
opposition parties who immediately and openly begun alleging the ruling
party of foul play and of its secret agenda of tampering with the ballot
boxes, vote buying, rigging and manipulating the election results, as it
used to do in past elections. These accusations of vote buying and rigging
forced the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) to delay the
release of the official results. As widely expected, when the official
results of the vote counting were released, after a delay of more than one
month, by the NEBE declaring the ruling party (EPRDF) as the majority
winner in the parliament and thus mandated to form a government, the main
opposition parties, namely the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) and
the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF) categorically rejected the
outcome and condemned the NEBE of colluding with the ruling party.
Specifically, they rejected the poll results of 299 parliamentary seats
and demanded the NEBE to organize and hold a re-run of elections in those
constituencies. Thanks to the willingness of the National Electoral Board,
the ruling party, opposition parties and the intervention of the donor
community, not only a re-run of elections in those constituencies where it
was confirmed by the NEBE that irregularities indeed occurred, many of the
complaints raised by the political parties, including the ruling party,
were investigated by joint commissions formed by these parties in close
collaboration with the NEBE, the election observers and the donor group.
And yet the outcome of these investigations and repeated elections was not
acceptable to the opposition parties, especially the CUD. The latter,
despite its sweeping victory in the capital city, Addis Abeba, snatching
137 seats out of the total 138 of the city council's seats and in addition
securing 109 seats in the federal parliament, publicly announced that it
will not join the government to be formed and subsequently made a call to
its supporters to oppose the election results and to boycott joining the
parliament. The alleged call and subsequent activities by the CUD
opposition party to provoke civil disobedience, illegal demonstrations,
political violence and/ or 'street insurrection,' dubbed 'Orange
Revolution', akin to the "people power" propelled revolution
that allegedly erupted in the Ukraine Republic in the year 2005] to
challenge the ruling party and, if possible, to reverse the electoral
outcome in their favour thereby ousting the ruling party through
unconstitutional means and snatching political power via violence
constitute serious allegations of crimes committed that are now brought
before the country's courts of law, and thus I dare not attempt to cross
the red line as these are legal cases which are unambiguously sub judice,
as the lawyers teach us. Be this as it may, this precarious situation
sealed off all our hopes for a peaceful resolution of the conflict through
the available constitutional mechanisms and legal means or via dialogue
and democratic negotiations, though the latter options were half-heartedly
attempted by the contending parties through the interventions of the do
activities, overt and covert, by the opposition parties, particularly the
CUD culminated in widespread violence and bloody clashes between the CUD
supporters and security forces in many towns and urban areas across the
country, resulting in the death of several dozen civilians and security
personnel. More than three
hundred forty persons, mostly members of the police force, were lightly
and seriously wounded during the skirmishes, and considerable damage was
wrought upon public and private property in many urban centers, especially
in Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Gondar, Jimma, Ambo, and Awassa.
Many thousands of urban youth were rounded up from several towns
and rural villages, and detained in numerous detention centers across the
country, pending police screening and investigations to identify the
culprits who were responsible for the disturbances and the damages caused
in the process. There have been numerous reports of widespread arbitrary
detentions, beatings, tortures, disappearances, and the use of excessive
force by police and soldiers against anyone suspected of supporting the
CUD/UEDF detainees. Today, the entire senior leadership of the CUD is in
jail and charged with a total of 15 separate charges, including
conspiracy, armed insurrection, attempting to subvert the constitution,
treason and genocide. These
are indeed very painful and tough times for the many thousands of
Ethiopians whose family members were either killed, wounded, tortured,
maimed, beaten or incarcerated in the aftermath of the unruly disturbances
and violent showdowns between the urban youth and the police and
paramilitary forces in various places in the country.
These unfortunate incidents have left indelible scars on the nation
and deeply torn the hearts of many thousands of families and, sadly, these
will need a long time to heal.
conditions are today, without the exception of those who supposedly stand
to benefit directly (and immediately) from the current political
arrangement and structure, there are few idealists who have not felt
disillusionment, of extreme degrees, with the fashion in which democracy
functions in the country. The
consequent sourness manifests in many ways; cynicism, stoical resignation
to fate, mute rage, anarchic preponderance, and such negative reactions
are commonly articulated by people right across the social scale,
especially among Ethiopians in the diasporas.
They say, a certain amount of skepticism is a sign of a healthy
democracy, provided it is braced with an underlying faith and optimism.
What we have here however is a barren pessimism which grows darker
by the day. For the last seven
months or so, the functional components of our Government __the
politicians, bureaucrats and the Armed Forces personnel_seemed moving away
on an oblique tangent from the mainstream of public life, the hollow
clatter of their voices fading away into a fog of incredulity.
In fact, without any exaggeration, the Government seemed deeply
incapacitated of properly functioning; most of its institutions were not
working as expected; it was almost dead.
After all, systems, mechanical, financial or political do not
function by themselves; their efficacy is directly dependent upon the
quality, commitment and vigor of Executing Agents, and these, already
scarce commodities in the Government bureaucracy, were all dazed, in
despair, confused and with no green light at the end of the tunnel to be
seen, so to speak, following the mayhem that followed the national
elections. Many universities and high schools are not yet opened. Travel
by tourists and other foreigners to Ethiopia suddenly dwindled to a bare
minimum. Potential investors seem to have postponed their visits to
Ethiopia until the dust settles, and we don't know when? On the other
hand, the masses have been left forlorn to a throttled terror of
uncertainty, arousing the primitive instincts of survival at any cost.
The subsequent retrogression to the lunatic call by the CUD
leadership for ethnic segregation, social ostracism and boycotts of
travels to Ethiopia and by Ethiopian Airlines, as well as boycotting
purchases from ruling party-affiliated companies are but just some visible
indicators of our domestic politics gone awry and becoming a suicidal and
'dirty game' because of our own power-hungry and short-sighted politicians
in the political marketplace.
these the best of times or the worst of times? For many, these are the
worst of times. What happened?
What is happening? What is going to happen? So many people, possibly more
than half the country, are, to varying extents, casualties of the times
and are standing helplessly in the face of an extremely bleak future; a
colder, darker and more dangerous country and subregion in store for our
children-- political instability and uncertainty in the country with more
than 5,000 citizens still incarcerated and awaiting trial, pauperization
and physical insecurity haunting us daily, and war drums echoing from our
immediate neighbor, Eritrea. What
are the psychological implications, the emotional affects, the impact on
our level of functioning and quality of life?
Can we consider Post Election Stress Disorder (PESD) a diagnosis
whose time has come?
so, Post Election Stress Disorder (PESD) is the reaction to the emotional
and psychological disequilibria brought on by the economic, political and
social development, domestically, since the last decade or so, and more so
since the last election was held on May 15,2005.
It's an affliction, a malaise on a mass scale; the magnitude,
severity and duration of its effects impossible to measure.
are people coping with the realization that their country and society is
divided? Political, ethnic, religious and ideological differences are
nothing out of the ordinary, but they were never as dramatic as this last
election made them. Those on
the losing side watch those on the winning side align with the programme,
proceed blindly ahead; whether gullible or oblivious buying into the idea
that they are somehow better off and safer, the country is a better place
and that Ethiopia is applauded for its efforts to bring democracy and
development to its people. In
contrast, the rest of the country especially the majority of Ethiopians in
the diaspora see with demonic hatred and utmost hostility towards the
ruling party and government and its supporters an all-time high, and
climbing. The general public
is still dazed by the extraordinary events of the last seven or so months,
more so since the riots of June 8 and November 1-4, 2005 where a total of
more than eighty individuals were killed in Addis Ababa by the law
enforcing security personnel.
a psychological or mental health perspective, how people cope with stress
and change varies from person to person.
There is a spectrum from those who generally function well in life
to those not so well, those whose functioning is hampered by depression,
addiction, emptiness or numbness, and further along are those barely able
to get through the day. There
is a range from those more (emotionally) insulated to less insulated;
those who are more emotionally impacted, more in touch and expressive and
those less so. How much one
normally allows oneself to think and feel about what is happening around
them is their " baseline," and everyone's is different.
when a crisis or a traumatic event occurs, one's normal level of
functioning usually dips below his/her baseline.
In order to cope with a stressful situation, the depressed person
tends to become more depressed; the addict more addicted; as pain or
frustration increases, so does the need for relief.
Someone who is generally emotionally removed or cut off tends to
become even more insulated and alienated, for that is their characteristic
way of coping. The question
being raised here is whether recent political, economic and social
developments can be considered a trauma.
Are there psychological affects and, if so, how severe are they?
the trauma of a far more subjective nature than the traditional Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). We're
not talking about the disabling effects of being on the front lines in the
battlefield. Given the
socio-political ramifications of the goings-on in the world, it may be
argued that a clinical diagnosis would not be appropriate at all, when
"trauma" might come down to which side of the fence one is on,
whether pro-EPRDF or pro-CUD/ UEDF; pro-Meles or against.
How do we measure the impact of what has been happening on an
is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
This is a psychiatric illness afflicting individuals [trauma
victims] who have "endured human-engineered, natural, and
technological catastrophes." [Erwin Randolph Parson, "
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Its
Biopsychobehavioural Aspects and Management", in Anxiety and Related
Disorders edited by Benjamin B. Wolman and George Stricker, NY, John Wiley
and Sons, 1994, p. 226].
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM-IV] defines
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as follows:
" The essential feature of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is
the development of characteristic symptoms following exposure to an
extreme traumatic stress or involving direct personal experience of an
event that involves actual or threatened death, injury, or a threat to the
physical integrity of another person; or learning about unexpected or
violent death, serious harm, or threat of injury experienced by a family
member or other close associate---Traumatic events that are experienced
directly include, but are not limited to, military combat, violent
personal assault (sexual assault, physical attack, robbery, mugging),
being kidnapped, being taken hostage, terrorist attack, torture,
incarceration as a prisoner of war or in a concentration camp, natural or
manmade disasters, severe automobile accidents, or being diagnosed with a
life-threatening illness. For
children, sexually traumatic events may include developmentally
inappropriate sexual experiences without threatened or actual violence or
injury. Witnessed events
include, but are not limited to, observing the serious injury or unnatural
death of another person due to violent injury or unnatural death of
another person due to violent assault, accident, war, or disaster or
unexpectedly witnessing a dead body or body parts.
Events experienced by others that are learned about include, but
are not limited to, violent personal assault, serious accident, or serious
injury experienced by a family member or close friend; learning about the
sudden, unexpected death of a family member or a close friend; or learning
that one's child has a life-threatening disease.
The disorder may be especially severe or long lasting when the
stressor is of human design [e.g. torture, rape).
[Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV),
American Psychiatric Association, Washington D.C., 1994, p. 424].
DSMIV, the standard diagnostic tool, states that PTSD occurs when " a
person was exposed to a traumatic event, the person's response involves
fear, helplessness or horror; characterized by persistent avoidance of
stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness
(not present before the trauma); as indicated by efforts to avoid
thoughts, feelings or conversations associated with the trauma; efforts to
avoid activities, places or people that arouse recollections of the
trauma; depression--marked or diminished interest or participation in
significant activities, apathy; feeling of detachment or estrangement from
others, restricted affect (i.e. unable to have loving feelings), and a
sense of a foreshortened future (no expectation or plan of a career,
marriage, children)." The
DSM-TV also states as follows: " Stimuli associated with the trauma
are persistently avoided. The
person commonly makes deliberate efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or
conversations about the traumatic event ---and avoid activities,
situations, or people who arouse recollections of it--This avoidance of
reminders may include amnesia for an important aspect of the traumatic
event---Diminished responsiveness to the external world, referred to as
'psychic numbing' or 'emotional anesthesia', usually begins soon after the
traumatic event. The
individual may complain of having markedly diminished interest or
participation in previously enjoyed activities,---of feeling detached or
estranged from other people---or of having markedly reduced ability to
feel emotions (especially those associated with intimacy, tenderness, and
sexuality)---"[Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
(DSM-IV), pp.424-425]. Victims
of the Red Terror/ White Terror and the Hawzien bombings and those who
have witnessed the past and recent killings of their loved ones by the
security forces and who have somehow survived these traumatic events can
be mentioned as suffering from the PTSD, for sure.
Election Stress Disorder (PESD) however has to do with enduring an
irreconcilable reality and the internationalization of abject
powerlessness associated with seeing and knowing that hatred, violence and
fear are rising in intensity and proximity, the desperation to alter their
course and the realization that it is impossible to do so.
There is an ever present threat of terrorist attacks and use of
weapons of mass destruction in all countries of the world.
Many people are dealing with a pervading sense pf responsibility
for this war, for lives lost, for what they consider to be an absurd and
unachievable cause; for being a party to everything antithetical to what
they stand for and unable to extricate themselves from the mess.
Many people feel betrayed, mistrusting, of no longer belonging or
wanting to belong. It
certainly seems that loss of control, loss of representation, inescapable
degradation from seeing one's life and the world being overrun by the
forces of capitalism and imperialism, greed, corruption and war mongering
may well constitute trauma.
the DSM-IV's description of symptoms associated with PTSD apply to PESD?
Is it a valid comparison? Let's
begin with the symptom of (exogenous) depression; that is, depression
caused by external events. Depression
manifests by lack of motivation, interest and energy, apathy, difficulty
concentrating and/or making decisions, being in an emotional void, numb
and disconnected a general lack of feeling and _expression limiting one's
ability to maintain relationships and leads to social isolation.
Depression can encompass a wide range of other related feelings and
states. These include
discontentment, disillusionment, demoralization, alienation, displacement
and loss of identity and purpose. Depression
can define one's state of existence --when one has shut down emotionally
it's like being numb all of the time and not knowing you're numb.
something happens that causes a person to become depressed, or more
depressed than they were before the event, there is usually an
accompanying awareness that they are feeling worse.
While there hasn't been any specific research study showing the
number of people feeling worse than they were, all one would have to do is
simply ask those around, whether they noticed any change in how they
generally feel. Most people I
know say that they were profoundly affected.
I've heard people say that it is too painful to talk or think about
what has happened or the future, that they stopped reading the newspapers
or listen to the news.
there is an increase in depression, one is immediately more susceptible to
addiction. When the heightened
depression is the result of an external event or situation, pain or
distress is heightened, which would in turn heighten the need for relief
with more people depressed than ever before, it shouldn't be surprising to
discover that addiction to substances and activities that provide pleasure
and excitement (i.e. gambling, pornography, sex) are on the rise as well.
Escape any way possible is not a fad!
good news is that PESD can be treated more easily and effectively than
PTSD or depression or addiction because of the resiliency of our spirit,
spirit that cannot be squelched by intolerable conditions.
In contrast, the emotional impact associated with PTSD rarely, if
ever, completely heals, and is, in most cases, far more disabling.
Brief therapy may be all that is necessary to reverse the affects
and restore oneself back to their baseline.
It begins with recognizing the effects of the disequilibrium and
reclaiming what one stands for, one's integrity and purpose in life,
speaking up, and connecting with others who are also on the rebound.
PESD is nothing more than one big, mass bad mood that will eventually fade
away as things continue to change and improve as they inevitably will.
People eventually will adjust and forget.
Life goes on and things return to the way they were before, more or
it isn't PESD at all but rather a harbinger of more fundamental changes to
come, and more tough times to face, or the early signs of a revolution.
Déjà vu? History
repeating itself? With nothing
left to lose and tapping last gasp reserves come an outraged generation harmonistically
mended people, intellectuals, revolutionary youth, artists and writers
armed with passion and vision, while the familiar chant, " The people
united will never be defeated" echoes in the distance.
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