If Los Salvadoreños Can Do It, So Can I…

On Sunday, yet another long-standing Latin American social movement had a victory on its long electoral (and previously military) path to power. The FMLN won the presidency of El Salvador, and ended 20 years of rule by the arch-conservative ARENA party. From what I read, there has been a lot of dancing and crying in the streets of El Salvador, and the interviews and speeches I’ve seen from Funes, the new president, suggest a strong tone of reconciliation. Same from the Salvadoran establishment Right.

Okay, we’ll see how long that tone lasts.

But for now, this is what I want to say: with all that the Salvadoran people have been through, and with all the stages of struggle that the Salvadoran freedom movement has passed through, I can’t even imagine what this must feel like. 70,000 people killed during the civil war (official numbers, who knows the real numbers, right?). Millions displaced. And now there are red flags waving all around. My congratulations to them all. And my heartfelt wishes to them as their struggle enters a new stage of working to build people’s power through the apparatus of the state, against the resistance of strong and virulent opposition forces.

On a personal level, I also want to say that I’ve been reflecting a lot on my own life and where things are at. And I’m going to keep reflecting. But the Salvadoran story just goes to show the importance of perseverance and presence in the face of difficulties. We live in history, right? Not just in singular moments. Bad days flow into good days, disastrous moments unfold into serendipitous opportunities. I asked for a little bit of support in one of my recent posts and I received it (thanks, by the way). I will be better with time, and with some personal work. And I’ll be sharing that here when the time is right. We live in history, and history changes with us and our choices.

Thanks to El Salvador for inspiring me this weekend, and giving me an extra boost with my own stuff.

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-Dispersing Power by Raul Zibechi