From the October 2007 Idaho Observer:


"And how we burned in the camps later..."

Most of us have seen clips of police brutality where bystanders do nothing even though the excessive use of force is obvious. We know how we feel when we see those clips; we feel not unlike the bystanders who do nothing—we feel angry and puny at the same time because being just one coming to the aid of a person being beaten by cops would only cause yourself to be beaten, too. But, if a bunch of people would come to a beaten person's aid, we would join them, wouldn't we?

I have thought a lot about this. All it takes is a spark and people lose their fear in crowds. All that is missing from these incidents is that one person brave enough to throw a chair or something.

So, if I am ever in this position, here is what I WILL do: I will whisper to the person next to me, "I'm gonna rush 'em. When I jump, you jump too—pass it on." When about 10 people have gotten the word, I will do some obnoxious thing that everyone will see and hear (like throw a chair and scream) and then grab whatever near me resembles a baseball bat and come to the aid of my fellow human (hoping for the best).

I just feel that it is time that we overcome our fear and stand up to what is happening because history tells us what is coming next.

It is times like these that we can recall the words of Alexandr Solzhenitzyn. On June 8, 1978, Solzhenitzyn, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature in 1970 for his book "The Gulag Archepalego," was addressing an audience at Harvard University:

"And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? . . ."

What happens next in America is inevitable—if we lay down for it. (DWH)