Can you stop a revolution?


April 7.

It’s a rainy day today, just like four years ago. But four years ago, it wasn’t just water than rained from the sky – it was bullets.

Eighty-four people died less than a mile from my home in one night. Most of their lives were taken by the corrupt president’s snipers, shooting from the rooftops.

I could hear automatic weapon fire in the distance, the echoes of gunfire eerily identical to the sounds I’d grown familiar with from years of games and action movies. But this was not a game. This was real.


I could smell the smoke. I could feel the anger, the fury in the air.

Crowds poured into the city from all directions, marching to the center, signs and slogans raised high, crying out for justice.

The fuse was lit long ago. On the seventh of April, just after lunch, five years of tension exploded like a firecracker.

The revolution took hardly more than an afternoon, but our world wouldn’t be the same.

The president fled.
The economy faltered.


Violence continued.

Mass lootings took place all throughout the capitol – most of the culprits were the poor people from the villages, who had suffered the most as taxes and fees rose to record heights. Electricity costs had become unbearably high. What do you do when you have to choose between giving your family light, heat or food in the freezing cold of winter?

Violence erupted in the southern regions of the nation. Ethnic tensions that stretched back centuries roared to life and couldn’t be quelled for months. Our history of hatred and killing in Los Angeles county is just a moment compared to the intense tension that exists there. As many as died in the capital, hundreds more died in the south. Nobody seems to know the exact number of deaths.


Four years later

Today, I write these words in the same apartment that I took shelter in four years ago.

I’m sitting on the same couch where my roommate and I sat and prayed fervently for the country and the people. I’m drinking a cup of coffee. I’m at ease, for now.

The city has grown. Countless new buildings rise out of the ground, towering higher each day.

Monuments were built for the dead. The names of the eighty-four were carved into black stone tablets, and they rest on the fence, just a few feet from where most of them breathed their last breaths.

An election was held. For the first time in the relatively short history of the republic, an old president left office and a new president was sworn in, peacefully.

But what’s next?


Can 2015 be different than 2010?

The old joke here goes that a revolution comes every five years. The first revolution was in 2005. The second was in 2010. If all goes according to schedule, we’re due for another one next spring.

But do we need one? Do we want one?

Most of us hope there won’t be one… but hope isn’t a good plan.

Then again, what is a good plan?

I have few answers. I understand that it’s difficult for us ordinary citizens to affect and to move those who lead. But what can we do?


Anthropologist Margaret Mead famously said,
“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

I agree.

But how can that work for us?

No answers from me today. Just questions.

Can you prevent a revolution?
Let me know what you think in the comments. Here’s to a better future for us all.


4 thoughts on “Can you stop a revolution?

  1. I remember it like it was yesterday! There was a really tense atmosphere right after the aprils’ events.and Such situatian was continuing till a referendum.(when Otumbaeva became a president,but we voted for stabilizing the situation rather than we cared of who the next prisedent would be!!!)Time showed us that violance is not a way to a right solution.Violance leads to the darkness,any revolution throws a country back for 20 years or so.I am against any revolution or coups d’etat.I am for world peace.Unfortunately we are just the pawns in the Big political games of The powers,which try to show their harshness.but we dont have to forget that At the end of the game, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

    • Thanks Ilya! Love the quote at the end. Yea, after it was all over, I still didn’t go out very much at all. It was so tense. Despite the setbacks, though, the city and the nation keeps on growing. Hoping for better!

  2. To prevent further unrest the whole society has to transform. As long as there is a vast majority of impoverished and a small circle of elites the potential for insurgence will always exist. The gap between rich and poor is the direct outcome of the blatant corruption in the government and business. The system of values of each citizen from the top government official to the farmer has to change in order to tackle the problem of decreasing the gap and potential for unrest. How can we address this problem effectively is a different story and surely the hardest one to tell.

    • Hey Sanjar! Thanks for your reply – yea, we’re always not too far from the edge of things here.

      We definitely need a big culture change across all levels. Guess those of us who really care need to learn how to change small pockets of people – and make it contagious.

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