By Jérôme E. Roos On July 13, 2011
Amid all the grand schemes of crisis and revolution, it’s sometimes all too easy to forget about the beauty of the moment. Here is one of those moments.
Syntagma Square, Wednesday July 13th
This will be a short post. I’m not really in the mood to report or to theorize. Not because I don’t like reporting or theorizing, but because today, I feel, is a day of experiencing. Shutting up my own potty mouth for a day and actually taking a break to soak up the spectacle on display here in Syntagma.
But there is one thing I want to mention and briefly put in a larger context. It’s something incredibly small — but, as I’m finding out day after day, it’s the little things and the little people who make this revolution go round.
Of course there’s plenty of attention for the larger schemes, from the failure of liberal democracy and global capitalism to the necessity of establishing transnational linkages with activists across Europe and the Arab world — something Pedro and I are working on with our comrades at the multimedia center here.
But the real beauty of Syntagma lies not in its defiance of the powers that be or the contestation of the neoliberal world order, but rather in the small gestures of solidarity and the incredible interactions at the human level. In today’s mechanical, rational, modern world, it’s all too easy to forget what inspiring acts human beings are actually capable of — if only you empower them to unite and work on creative solutions together.
So, something beautifully small just happened. As I was sitting here at the table in the multimedia center speaking to Maria and Katerina, an African man stopped by and asked for the ‘responsible’ person (poor man probably wasn’t aware that this movement largely shuns the idea of people being ‘in charge’). In his hands, he was carrying at least four heavy plastic bags full of tin cans.
Since there are a lot of street vendors around here, the suspicious capitalist residue in my corrupted mind immediately assumed that he was trying to sell us something. But no, as so often, I was wrong. Here was a group of African refugees who came bearing beer and coffee for the people.
They came to share, in a sign of solidarity, the little they had, in order to be a part of a larger whole. In order to thank the people of Syntagma for engaging in a struggle that they experience so vividly every single day.
All of it took only 2-3 minutes max. But as I’m sitting here sipping the Alfa beer, getting ready to start moving around and socializing with people, I realized this simply had to be recorded for the history books. Amid all the grand schemes of crisis and revolution it’s sometimes all too easy to forget about the beauty of the moment.
This certainly was one of those moments.