“Only the People Can Save the People” *

I can only try to imagine what it feels like to be in Egypt today. I get a glimmer of feeling, but I can’t really know, can I? Still, I find myself on the verge of tears. But there’s very little I can say about this historic turn of events. No, the reason I’m posting is that I’ve been thinking about the larger meaning, the almost unimaginable hopefulness of this essentially peaceful revolution, which has me thinking of another peaceful revolution: Estonia’s “Singing Revolution,” remembered in a film of the same name. The Estonian people suffered invasions and occupations that started with crusades in 1227 and continued on through the longterm Soviet occupation beginning in 1939. Through centuries of occupation and repression the Estonians never let go of a powerful and beloved cultural tradition: singing. And singing became a vital part of the people’s mid-1980s protests, protests that led to liberation. You can read about this history here. And you can see “The Singing Revolution,” which is available on Netflix, iTunes, and, I imagine, elsewhere. If you haven’t seen this movie, please do. I know you’ll be glad you did. See the trailer at the official website.

*credited to many, I first saw it credited to the Guatemalan activist, Calixto Torres Santay.

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