By Chris Baca
The crowd before him surged with energy and anticipation. Everyone that had shown up for this event knew that it would be a life-altering experience. As he stepped toward the crowd, as he neared the podium from which he would speak to this volatile mass, a silence seemed to fall upon them. His mere presence commanded their attention.
He thought about how this would be one of the most important moments of his life, as he was at this podium delivering his speech, everything would become different. Just through the power of his words, he had the ability to change these people’s lives forever; to shake their sense of justice in this world to the very foundations. He had chosen his words carefully. He was prepared. He was ready. He began to speak.
“I know that, as I stand before you, the majority of you are still being mislead under the fallacy that we live in a democracy. I am here today to challenge this notion. Indeed, we are a people of many freedoms, and many liberties; but for how long? How much longer do we have left to live under these freedoms that are taken for granted daily? For most of us, we cannot understand life without these basic freedoms, which makes us even more susceptible to relinquishing them to our own government out of fear.
And it is fear that they are trying to create. It is fear they are trying to instill in us. It is fear that they are trying to put in you with these false terrorist attacks. It is this same fear that will lead us directly into the arms of fascism, not that we’ve ever had a truly direct democracy anyway.
We must preserve these basic freedoms; we must understand our rights, in order to keep them. We must not be shuffled into mindless obedience by fear. We must shed light on their mysteries; shine the light into the shadows of their lies.
I know that I would never be able to live under a ruling class that I knew to be unjust, and I hope that the same could be said for you. Exercise your right to free speech and assembly! Practice your rights of public forum and freedom of press! Fight against these tyrannical and evil powers that be before you are no longer able to do so! Let the truth be heard!
I implore you, do not sit idly by and let their oppression and fear paralyze you. You must not succumb. Che Guevara once said that ‘I would rather die on my feet, than live a lifetime on my knees.’ Stand up; keep on your feet, and together we can overcome this future of despotism.” A roar of approval came for the crowd.
As he delivered his speech, he was too engaged to notice the regular police force, common at such events, begin to position themselves around the crowd. After the final words were given, the whole scene changed from that of attentive, eager listeners, into an urban chaos. The police rushed in, riot gear ready. Tear gas erupted in the middle of the people. He was lost in the confusion.
All around him, he heard the cries of the wrongly persecuted, and the downtrodden. The last thing he remembered was hearing the sharp crack in the back of his skull.
He was arrested, put on trial and found guilty of treason, sedition, and a number of other acts against America for which he was immediately put to death. Such is the way of life in this era. But, although they killed the messenger, his purpose had already been fulfilled. He had given his speech, and had caused dissent. The police were unable to arrest everyone that had been present for his speech, so there were still those at large with an idea in their heads. An idea that was more powerful than fear. Those that escaped would spread this idea to everyone they met, friend and foe; to those close to them or to complete strangers. Eventually, this idea of his would be the downfall of their tyranny.
They had made a martyr out of him and, in turn, released their nightmares from their cages.