Do you hear the people sing? from Les Miserables strangely came to my mind as we watched from the balcony as below the people gathered. It seemed the whole country was flocking to the capital, their voices a mass of shouting words which made it hard to pick out what they were saying.
Drums and other instruments echoed along said the peoples’ voices, blocking out my chance to hear what was being said. There was a marching beat going on with the drums, though a few sounded out of the beat and perhaps a trumpet? or something else forcing it’s notes through.
Handmade banners and signs waved in the wind, the writing upon them moving as if the letters were alive. I picked out the words ‘rights’ and ‘for’ and ‘stand’ and ‘truth’. The normal things that protesters wrote about.
‘What are they doing, daddy?’ my five year old daughter, Betty asked.
‘They are unhappy about something and want people to know about it,’ I said.
I picked her up and held her tightly in my arms, so she could get a better view of events below.
The police were starting to gather now. Their uniforms and see-through shields marking them out from everyone else. For the moment they seemed not to be doing much other then preparing. If fighting broke out, I’d take my daughter inside and put a movie on really loudly.
‘But why, daddy?’ Betty asked.
‘Same reason when you get unhappy and want mummy and I to know about it, ‘ I replied simply.
I glanced across at my wife and our three month old son. My wife had a worried look on her face and was clutching the baby, who was wrapped in a blanket, to her shoulder. She hadn’t said anything since we had come out to look at what was going on. I knew scenes like this reminded her of the unrest in her home country.
‘Let’s go inside,’ I said gently.
‘But I want to see!’ Betty cried.
‘Maybe, another day,’ I answered and hustled my family safely inside.
(Inspired by; https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2020/06/05/first-line-friday-june-5th-2020/ with thanks).