With a group of acquaintances we were talking about the repudiation rallies. We had everyone: radicals, moderates, and the “naïve”; I was, needless to say, in the first group. A girl was telling about how when she went to the marches she was sitting on the first grass she found like it was a picnic, and that she’d never shouted nor held up a slogan. Another related how his Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) said that on May Day they would march with their work colleagues, while the latter would say just the opposite. A boy told how he left his ex-girlfriend; she had called him to say she couldn’t see him that afternoon because she’d been called to go to a repudiation rally against the Ladies in White, which she couldn’t miss. They talked about it and the relationship ended before the phone call did. Another one, more subtle, an amateur creator of digital photo montages, showed his union “perfect” proof of his presence at the march.
At that moment one of those present confessed to having participated in a strange repudiation rally against the Czech embassy. She enumerated some of the slogans chanted, “Down with the lackeys” among others, and concluded, “If they only knew how little we care about the reasons for the rally; we’re there because we have no other choice and we amuse ourselves with the conga and the rhythm.”
I almost fainted at such barbarity. How can a person be so oblivious? Is that how, now, a victim of the rally should see it? The person against whom they are screaming insults, obscenities, and in the best case, political slogans? Should they “imagine” that the screams are not what they seem, but simply a popular festival of students with grey matter floating in a vacuum?
Her comments stopped us in our tracks and for a few seconds everyone looked stunned, until someone managed to ask, “Who cares that you have fun at the expense of another’s shame?” But the girl didn’t understand. “I don’t know, do you think the people at the embassy were upset?”
We all find an excuse to leave. I didn’t say anything to her, perhaps she may start to analyze things the day her shout sticks in her throat at the moment she is screaming in my face.
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