. Bahrain | London Progressive Journal
A non-partisan journal of the left.

Bahrain

Sat 3rd Nov 2012

History replays itself over and over again. An endless loop. And we watch. Mesmerised. As if it were the first time. And we never learn.

Do you remember the Hungarian Uprising? A fleeting moment of freedom crushed by Soviet tanks. And the Prague Spring? We danced for joy till the tanks arrived in Wenceslas Square.

Today is Bahrain's early Spring Revolution. The riot police opened fire at crowds entering the square this afternoon after the army withdrew. Suddenly the riot police also withdrew.

The crowds are dancing in the square as I write. When will the tanks arrive?

Dance. Dance. Your freedom lives but for a few minutes.

They say that three refrigerated lorries with Saudi Arabian number plates full of dead demonstrators were last seen driving over the highway to Saudi Arabia. They say that an American filmed them loading the bodies. They say that he has now disappeared.

I wish that I could wrench my Arab soul out of my body and replace if with something less painful. More loving.


I would replace it with my Palestinian soul but that has been arrested by the Israeli security forces for being peaceful. "Non violent terrorism" was the charge.

Let us sit in a circle and tell stories of times gone by and times to come. Of Arab glory and Western shame. Of promises crushed and of kings' lies and revolutions gone by.

Till the tanks arrive. And by tonight, those dancing now will lie still. Some dead. Others pretending to be. And most? Well, they died a long time ago. When they were born Arabs.

History replays itself over and over again. An endless loop. And we watch. Mesmerised. As if it were the first time. And we never learn.
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