teaching. lanugage. travel
Browsing ktravula – a travelogue! blog archives for January, 2011.
Last week, I rode a bicycle to school again for the first time in weeks. It was cold, as it is meant to be for this time of the year.
But it was after getting to school that I discovered the real reason why I should have been doing this a lot more than I have in the past weeks and months: there are so many cars on campus and I spend too many agonizing moments trying to find a spot to park in the morning, and a few more in the evening trying to locate my car, and then even much more at home trying to find a spot closest to my apartment. I believe that more than 80% of students/workers in this University have cars, and we all compete trying to find the right places to put them.
We’re expecting about fifteen inches of snow and up to an inch of solid ice on the roads in the next couple of days, along with snowstorms. I have a feeling that the bicycle is not going to be of much use now either.
Tyrants stamp brash feet on winding paths on of wide open lands
and laugh on fart cushions in cabinet meetings of fellow fawning hands.
They mouth verbs at protest noises from the warm comforts of palace bedrooms
on one hand a full plate, and on the other soft triggers of their imported dooms.
Tyrants dance around dials of outside help, counting losses like currency notes,
swapping allies like the last statuettes of their long tortuous days and rotes.
They sing lullabies of aftermaths, of threats and tears, against a glory so long lost
and o, they fear. They dream of dreary wings across the windowpanes of frost.
Tyrants languish on the frail chairs of their vain vacuousness. They stink.
They drawl in the slime of impotence, a dour fire of an eighty year old wrink.
I look through the fog of emptiness, and see dead multiples of power tenths
and all that remains of a gentle tug into bright new days of different strengths.
Tryants live so that they may leave, gracelessly, in a baggage of seasoned trash.
No other way remains but will, bold and strong, and despots’ dicks ash to ash.
(c) Kola Tubosun
PS: Feel free to share with friends and acquaintances who share a distaste and spite for despots.
Yesterday, in a temperature of about ten below zero, Egyptian students and friends gathered at the Free Speech Quadrangle on campus to lend a voice to the protests in Egypt calling on President Mubarak to acquiesce to the demands of his citizens, turn mobile phone connections and internet back on, and stop visiting violence on peaceful protesters, and resign his position as president if he is unable to do so.
A reporter from the campus paper The Alestle came around at some point to interview the protesters. It was during this time in protest that we heard that President Mubarak had dissolved his government – an insufficient concession that doesn’t address any of the demands nor take the blame for thirty years of misrule. Among other hopes of the protesters on campus is that the United States which is Egypt’s biggest ally takes a stand with the people rather than with a dictator that has misruled a country for so long. History has shown that ambivalence in situations like this always benefits the oppressors and not the victims.
More protests are planned for St. Louis at the weekend, and at Egyptian embassies around the world.
In a blatant crackdown on the right of people to protest, assemble, and demand for democracy and a better standard of living, the government of Egypt led by the 83 year old dictator Hosni Mubarak has turned off internet and mobile phone access in the country. Since yesterday night, citizens of the country have been unable to access the internet or use their phones to communicate with anyone outside the country. This is one of the most draconian measures taken so far in an effort to stifle protest rather than budge and give the people what they want. What will come next is predictable, the government will find it easy to shoot, kidnap, and round people up without word of it getting out to the outside world. This is unacceptable.
The protests springing up in the middle east and other parts of the world today represent citizens being fed up of the way things are run. First it was Tunisia where citizens rose up and sent a dictator fleeing. Now the heat is on Egypt, and this heated protests are led by young people. We’ve also heard of similar uprisings in Yemen. It is a fundamental right of citizens to be heard and for their grievances to be listened to. To have them shot at, arrested and punished for doing so not only makes the uprising justified, it makes it even more imperative. The United States, unfortunately, has not been unequivocally supportive of the people’s right to remove a non-democratic government that has been in power since almost thirty years. Come on, what ever happened to choice, to democracy and a representative government!?
My colleague here from Egypt has become worried since yesterday when all contact with her family in Egypt was cut off by government crackdown on the tools of global communication. Who knows what the government is doing to them now? I call on all people who hate dictatorship and government brutality and who love freedom and self aspiration to support the call on President Mubarak to support the aspiration of the people for better government and more freedom or resign his position and flee the country like his fellow dictator in Tunisia. Not only has he planned to remain in government for the rest of his life, he has even begun to prepare his son as a replacement when he eventually passes. Well, from what we see of people’s responses on the streets of Egypt, it looks like that is not going to happen after all. Or is it?
There is a planned protest of Egyptian students and friends here on campus today, and I plan to attend. Take that USA!