Revolution in Sudan
Apparently they cut off internet out there in Sudan where it’s really popping off. So that coupled with the reluctance by North American mainstream media to thoroughly report world news- we’re just now catching on to statistics, via instagram in my case, of what’s being called a “Massacre in Sudan”. I did some more research so I can share the little bit that I know and to hopefully channel this energy into growth.
More than Massacre: The backstory behind the statistics.
The Sudanese people were actually protesting for months starting in mid-December 2018 when the cost of living became unbearable and they saw a need for a government led by civilians. They successfully overthrew their president at the time Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir who was in power for 30 years. He was, by many standards, a brutal dictator responsible for war crimes and the killing of hundreds of thousands of people. (Talk about being out of the loop and not hearing about things.)
The people held sit ins in which government security and the military (which has a 4 billion dollar budget by the way) was ordered to do the same but some soldiers were moved to resist. Some stayed home, but others helped defend the Sudanese people and in doing so joined forces with the protesters and turned their backs on the president/dictator which led to his downfall. Afterwards, another military official was appointed as president which did not satisfy the needs of the people because they wanted a new reality, not a 4-billion-dollar-funded military-president. So they pressed on in the streets until that leader left and yet another military leader stepped in.
The victory was short-lived before collapsing into chaos and power struggle. The president was taken down, but he didn't take his oppressive regime with him. So the people continued protesting and there have been many attacks on civilians at their nonviolent demonstrations. There have been murders, rapes, injuries, missing people and forced military conversions. Not only that but unsafe institutions such as schools and hospitals, looting (on behalf of soldiers mostly) and hunger. Now it is hard for the people to see how an effective government can emerge but they are still impassioned.
So what do we do? A repost and then what…
Check in with your Sudanese homies who may have family back home to see what sort of support they may ask for.
Additionally, I hear many people saying they are ready for revolution, but I think few see past the collapse and have thought of rebuilding the aftermath. I want to know how many people in the US are ready for re-evolution, a new collective reality, and a new way of life. This is an opportunity to support our global community and to take notes.
The Sudanese people want a government that reflects the background and needs of the people.
It’s a massacre and a revolution and a fight for democracy.
And here we are in a “democratic” society with our Sudanese family fighting and dying for what we supposedly have. Questions like “so what are we doing?” and “What does democracy mean?” are pressing for me.
Mini-Governments. It may sound weird but I really mean us sparking our sort of revolution in our homes and neighborhoods. Reading the book Emergent Strategy has got me thinking about democracy on a personal level and how typically people have a hard time making group decisions, doing group projects and moving as a unit in general.
Democracy… or not. Collaborating to co-create an ideal power structure and collective lifestyle can have a whole different name than democracy. I want to challenge us to be specific about what self-governing practices are appropriate and necessary for our future.
Embrace confrontation and challenge with fierce compassion and accountability Not offering pacifiers to adults, or band-aids for gushing wounds, nor tip-toeing around black holes.
We have the luxury of watching as an East African country is brave enough to overthrow their government and move through crisis. We may have just enough time to be proactive in our practice of revolution with room for trial and error that isn’t of life or death. I have compassion for the folks don’t have this room. And I believe this work is so necessary on all levels.
Tough conversations coupled with small, loving and disruptive actions. Conversations about power, privilege, accountability, and redistributions of resources. I’ve been experimenting with these talks and actions lately in a number of ways like:
Talking to my privileged neighbor about how harmful her fixation on private property is to our sense of community. Following up a week later by giving her an envelope with a Dr. King quote that reads:
“We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”
Emailing a conference about why their multi-million dollar non-profit budget should include compensation for presenters like myself to show they value our work, and because only certain people have the privilege of taking off several days to do free work.
Asking about the white boy with dreads saying the “n-word” in a community peer artists who I love and care for and respect.
Re-membering: Seeing ourselves in each other.
The way the soldiers could see themselves in the Sudanese people and support their first victory was a miracle. They remembered their same-ness. It moved me. Some notes I got from that are: remember yourself as a member of your community and act accordingly. Don’t be blinded by your role or assume a fixed identity. Yield your position towards your people to create a greater sense of home and safety.
If police officers, prison security, and the IRS saw themselves in us, our world would be one way more attractive to live in. How can they be reminded of their us-ness, their human-ness?
The youth have spoken.
Sudan is dominated by young people. According to Now This World, 2 out of 3 people in Sudan are under 25. We are not the future, but the present.
Women have been up to 70% of protesters on the front line according to cnn. Despite being smothered by patriarchal laws about where they can't go, and what they can't do, they have led the spirit of the revolution. Husbands, fathers, and state officials alike have tried beatings, sexual abuse, black main, threats and humiliation to put women back
"in their place" (as second-class citizens). The violence AND the resilience is unreal.
'We are oppressed at home, oppressed on the street, at university, at work, on public transport," she said. "All of these things made the girls go out to demonstrate on the street.' -Naheed Jabrallah
I am so inspired by this last bit, I'll have to save it for a whole other article. Here's to solidarity.