Alone on Empty Roads
In March on Brussels on 4 September 2011 at 09:24
Day 40 of the March on Brussels. From Lizant, 32 km.
I’m sitting against the bare wooden doors of a small church, where there’s some shelter against the rain. From here, I can see almost every house in the village. In one of the windows I notice someone peaking from behind the curtains. A door opens, an old man steps outside. From under his white eyebrows he glances grimly in my direction as he walks towards the church with a cane. Slowly, he reaches for his inside pocket, he tears out a big iron key. I step aside. The old man inserts the key and tries to give it a few turns. After that, he grunts, he turns around, and without looking at me he shuffles away. It was the local priest who wanted to make sure that the gate to the house of god was properly locked.
Yesterday the light of day had brought reason to our little village, and nightfall had brought music. There was a good vibe going on. You could feel it when people started to join in on the jam session, battering on pans, jars, empty cans and drums.
The clouds had lifted as well, and there was no light on the camping field. When you lay down on the grass and you look up, you can see an amazing scenery in 11 dimensions. And you don’t need glasses for it. The stars. They are so bright out here in the countryside. And you can’t only see the stars, you can also see the thin and sparkling fog of the galaxy, spanning the firmament from one end to the other.
We left Lizant with a good feeling today. Things have been sorted out in marathon assemblies on our day off, and sealed with embraces. Again we march as a group. Everyone but me. I walk alone.
My only reason was the route. The official route as published on the breakfast table every morning was over twenty-five kilometres straight over the main road. I took a photo of the map, and I decided to follow the small white byways through the country.
Walking alone is an excellent occasion to think. So, I try to catch an image of our movement and the future possibilities, and I realise that what I’m doing is also a part of this revolution. I, as a private citizen, have the opportunity to make you – my faithful readers spread over the globe – a part of this adventure, day to day, in word an image, without depending on anybody else. This would not have been possible twenty years ago.
Thanks to the internet, our movement has an enormous potential on a communications level. And at the moment we are making only very limited use of it. The march started off without any proper organisation at all. The Audiovisuals Commission of Madrid sent one comrade along, but he didn’t even have a camera with him. At the moment, we have people filming, especially the French, but we have hardly any difusion in real time.
With minimum technical means and a few dedicated and capable people we could make television. We could bring a ten minute resume of the day every night at a fixed hour, with some quick cutting and editing. You could bring assemblies or actions live. You could emit thematical programs during the day, and loop the news during the night.
I say this because the marches on Brussels will not be the last of the popular marches. Already people are whispering about a possible march on Athens.
In only a few months, our movement has been maturing one initiative after another. There has hardly been an occasion to reflect on what has been achieved and what has to be done. I hope that after the demonstrations in Brussels, we will take some time to get organised. It would be an appropriate way to honour the slogan of the march. “We are going slow, because we’re going far.”