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Field notes from a Trouble Maker

July 29, 2015

July 29, 2015

(The names of characters have been changed to protect the guilty, frustrate the powerful, and amuse my children.)

2015 has not been an easy year but then, in retrospect, I am not sure I would recognize an easy year if it bit me on my nose. In the past week I have been unable to sleep much, always thinking about what else I can to do to help protect lives. There are many good people, friends I will call them, that are literally putting their bodies on the lines. They are not staging a revolution; that would have made a good movie. But they are risking life and limb–who said that first?

There is a party in power in Angola today. For many of the demonstrators–not all, but many–it was their party, the party of freedom and independence. Today it governs the country, and all should be well but it is not. They have great mineral wealth, they have a constitution, they have a history of formidable power, leadership, and wondrous beginnings, but I digress. All is not well.

Somewhere along the way the old man at the head of the party forgot. What did he forget? I am not sure. I have not spoken with him, but I do not buy into the American press that likes to use him as another example of African corruption. Let’s get back to our friends.

This year, this week, they put their bodies on the line because they want their country back. They want the right to speak out, for or against current policy, without being judged a traitor. They want to be measured equal to those who exercise power and control over police forces in the country. They are after all the source of power. They are Angola.

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