With some of the members of our democratically elected government in prison and others in exile, with our fundamental rights to freedom of expression shamelessly trampled on, with control of our country seized and with a state of emergency put into place, the elections on December 21st will be anything but normal. Faced by the disproportionate, shameless offensive of a state that can only respond with repression, some would like to legitimize this repression and our loss of rights as something we were asking for, something we deserve. As though October 1st was a challenge to democracy. And that, very simply, is a lie. October 1st was a challenge to fascism and to laws that don’t respect the citizens’ voice.
We need to convert these illegitimate elections into a popular referendum. We can’t retreat. We took October 1st much farther than the parties were expecting, and nobody can take that away from us. On October 1st, we decided that we were in charge. All of us. At my polling station, in my neighbourhood, in my town, in the next town over and in the whole damn country, the people (sometimes this concept seems so intangible) organized themselves to vote and make a stand. That’s a big deal. Too big of a deal for us to give up.
We know we can do it, and we will.