Letters of Youth


/ 30 December 2020

I walk on the sidewalk alone, clutching my tattered bag tightly like it could be snatched from me at any given moment even though I only had a few pesos to spare. I see people rally in front of the Peace Arch as I walk, vehemently cursing the corrupt.

The lead activist seemed to make a battle cry as he shouted, with his fist up the air. He shouts with as much anger and hatred as he can muster.

They rattle the gates being surrounded by the police, without acknowledging the open door at the side of the pavement. Other people passing by laugh at this exaggerated show of opposition.

Why not use the open door anyway? They must wonder.

But amongst the amused crowd, my eyes widened by a revelation. Or a symbolic realization. Because I saw it as a symbol of society.

People can instigate change. It may be as narrow as that opening of the gate in the Peace Arch, yet it is there. It exists. But despite this, those with guns and rank will still prevail.

The people passing by continue to either chuckle or ignore, but I see it as anything but a comedy. I see it as a tragedy. The protestors are putting a show of bravery because, in truth, they are scared of the sights beyond the gate, the gate that promised peace for the people in its name.

I keep walking.