This was my second time for the vigil, last week was dry and clear this round was wet and raining.
The crowd slowly but surely trickled in with their umbrellas.
Marina gives some updates on RPK to an attentive crowd. Some whom have been to the vigil all four weeks, others were here for the first time. And the rest of us everything in between:-)
Haris Ibrahim who was missing last week made an energetic return.
We even had some innovative cheering . No to ISA! Free RPK! No to ISA Free Hindraf five! No to ISA .. etc.
There was the open mic session where some were invited to say a few words, and others volunteered. It was a time for unscripted sharing. Even some room for disagreement, especially when the idea of using ISA against those who are using it now was suggested. There is surely another way .
For me, it was a long and tiring day . after a full day of church ministry, attending another new church work dedication and then bringing a pretty tired body to the candlelight vigil.
But I suppose our presence counts, each person counts . and it’s not about big names or celebrity politicians. It’s about ordinary people coming together, working together for something good.
There will be elements of protest against what we see as wrong and unjust, but that is merely the path. The goal is to have an environment where true and genuine friendships can be formed. A common shared history and destiny can be crafted together. A place where we can be family too. There were glimpses of that as I observed people staying back to talk with each other. A certain kind of chemistry was present that helped people mingle and relate to each other at a level which normally doesn’t happen. These good unintended consequences
A quote by Cornel West has been repeating itself in me like a song which we can’t get out of our minds.
"Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public."
These vigils are symbols and reminders for ordinary comfortable folk like us to never forget about justice. They keep us connected to those who have fought on our behalf so we can enjoy the benefits of their labour as well as those who are mistreated as human beings denied of their rights and dignity due to their detention without trial.
These vigils are also memos and reminders to those who are in authority, serving and governing with the mandate of the people that if they truly care for the wellbeing of the nation, and love the citizens then visible signs need to be seen in public – at all levels from policies to implementations. Actions need to back up the words so eloquently spoken in speeches and drafted in statements.
last but not least, I think these candle light vigils can become the entry level to more ordinary folk to have a sense that they can step out, and even speak out for common causes of concern in view of a better future after the efforts of solving the problems together. Who knows? To go deeper perhaps a change of mindset in the role they can play in "working toward something good" for all!