What do you get when you get a group of people together passionate about a cause? You get an outpouring of that passion so powerful that it stirs action, it awakens tongues once silent and inspired conversation, that spark movements, that affect real and lasting change.
That is what this past week’s Orange flash rally was all about, and indeed it did just that. Amidst the brightly colored posters, the informative speeches, the poetry and the atmosphere, the people of Antigua took to the street, in fact blocking off a street to preach the message of 16 days of activism. To educate and inspire change in the mindset of the people about gender based violence, violence against women and girls.
We even had an act of honest to god heroism, as a gentleman from the crowd literally lept to the aid of Zahra, not knowing that the convincingly aggressive man coming after her, was only the lovable Kadeem playing a part in a dramatic presentation. Hats off to our actors and to the hero who made it all the more touching.
Making known the fact that there is a faction, in fact there is a thriving community of people who believe that these matters can once and for all be put to rest through the actions of our people. Yes it was a good day to be Antiguan, it was a good day to be an activist, it was a good day to come and hear and be heard on matter close to our hearts. Did I mention that there was poetry?
The expressions family came out in force. Presenting some soul stirring pieces on the topics of Domestic violence, Rape, Human trafficking, and Sexual harassment. It was palpable in the face of the audience, in the volume of the applause, that when we spoke we left something there that they were taking home with them. Well done Fayola, MJ, Nelson, Kadeem, Joanne, Zahra, Linisa, the Ladies of Intersect and the Ministry of Gender affairs.
Being so inclined, to look at these matter with an inclination towards hope, I myself felt very much a part of something good.
As the 16 days continues, with many activities yet to come, I can only hope to see this same spirit continue, maybe even outliving the campaign, making our little paradise and place even more far reaching than this, a true paradise.
Photo credit: ArtCultureAntigua.com