Updated: Jun 11, 2021
I have often wondered what Civil War would look like when you're living it. I don't think you would immediately realise what's happening. I think it would take a while for the people who are not directly involved to notice when the war has begun. On the moment you would be too focused on sending a message or even plainly surviving.
The face of War has changed so much over the years and decades and centuries. The French Revolution had guillotin. The American Civil War had rifles, swords maybe. But what do we have today? There are so many ways to fight a war, and not all of them require direct killing.
It's easy to starve your people when they disagree with you, all you need to do is keep minimum wage way too low to allow them to feed themselves and pay the rent. It's easy to isolate your people as well, just cut access to the internet, to social media, to information. War is not only killing, it is also weakening the resolution of your people. It is keeping them too busy to protest. It is making them sick and denying them care. It is ensuring that they will never own the place they live in, their car, or even their own lives.
Slavery has been abolished a long time ago but it still exists. It is in our prisons; it is in a $7 an hour minimum wage that requires three jobs just to be housed and fed; it is in unaffordable higher education and in unpayable student loans. It is true that nobody officially owns anyone but where is The Freedom in a life you don't control? Where is The Freedom when students have to steal to eat, and sleep in their car? Where is The Freedom when people fear to leave their home, not knowing if they will return simply because of the colour of their skin?
And when these people revolt and ask for basic human dignity, and when they are denied, and when they are murdered for wanting to live like those who deny them, is that a protest or is it the start of civil war?
All around the world as I write these words, there are people in the streets, begging to be heard. There are people being killed for asking for Justice. There are governments putting their own interests before the lives that they were elected to protect. There are entire countries living in poverty and famine, while their rulers own gigantic mansions and fancy cars they do not even drive. There are Presidents who give the vaccine against Covid19 to their family yet deny oxygen to the elderly who have caught the virus. And when the grandchildren go out in the street to ask why, to demand freedom and dignity, these same presidents hire mercenaries to kill them. Is that the start of a civil war?
Because if it is, then a good quarter of the World is on the brink of civil war or already fighting one.
In Every Continent except perhaps Australia there are people protesting and demanding that their rights be respected and upheld. That their freedom and their health be not restricted or even overlooked. That their disabled and their elders be not killed for the sake of an economy that only benefits those already too wealthy.
Why are civil wars fought? How do they start? Is it with the first blood? The first outcry? The first gunshot? In that case my friends, a lot of countries already are at war. Blood has been spilling for more than a year. Cries have been heard for more than a year. Gunshots have been fired for more than a year. Not only in the USA but in South America, Europe, Asia, Africa. Dictatorships are arising in peaceful countries. Democracy is endangered all over the globe. Governments are meddling in each other's affairs without any regard for the population's well-being. People in the shadows are playing chess and we are expandable pawns. But they have forgotten one of the basic rules: it is the pawn that moves first. We are moving. And they should start trembling, because the pawns are the most numerous, and it only takes one to win the game.
I believe the third World War has begun, but this time it is a war between the people and the governments. We are all united. We are closer together than ever before. And though they have the guns, we have the numbers and the wits. This is a war that we can win, but first we have to recognise that it is indeed a war, and that it is Global.
Each and every one of us has a role to play, a skill to offer, a voice to raise. No matter your age, your gender, your ability or disability, your religion, the colour of your skin, you are precious and you can make a difference. They will tire before we do. And they have much, much more to lose. They will be afraid and they will cower. They will try to divide us, but we are smarter. We know better.
Where are the ones who make their food. The ones who clean their houses. The ones who empty their trash. The ones who bring them water. Who make their clothes. We are the ones who make them rich, and that terrifies them. Because they know that the moment we realise it is the moment we can use it to bring them down. And that is exactly what is happening right now.
Those of you fighting know all of that already, but those who just found out will join the fight soon. We can win this war. We just have to keep going. To keep bleeding. To keep singing. To keep marching. To keep holding each other close and holding each other accountable. To uplift the voices of the unheard and quiet the voices of the enemy. To remember the lives that we lost with respect and compassion, and to give respect and compassion to those who are risking their lives. We are all in this together, and that means we are not alone. That is our greatest strength: we can count on each other.
Everywhere the population is starving we can send food. Everywhere social networks are shut down we can relay the informations given by the few who have a VPN. Everywhere people are killed we can flood the International Court and the big organisations who fight for justice with emails. We can say their names to keep their memory and their fight alive. Everywhere the youth is kept in ignorance we can provide and translate free education material.
Fighting this war can be as simple as a retweet, a donation, an email, a blog post. It can be buying a book from an independent author of a marginalised community. It can be boycotting a particular brand. It can be as simple as a conversation.
No matter what you choose to do, please help. Don’t turn a blind eye, don’t think it doesn’t concern you. It concerns all of us, and it is urgent that we react. Every day we wait, lives are lost. In Haïti, in Nigeria, in Myanmar, in Belarus, in Senegal, in France, in the USA. This list is not at all exhaustive. Every single day people are dying in this war that so many people don’t even know has begun. Tomorrow it could be you.