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your voices will be heard.

Updated: May 7

dear friends,

they say that home is where the heart is,

a place where we’re a part of what starts.

but home may not be listening,

and that truly hurts all hearts.

trust me, i’ve been watching,

people have been watching.

but we know it’s not enough.

home is hearing,

but home has to listen,

and the world has to do its part to make it happen.

for when crowds of thousands hold up three fingers,

they do so not to volunteer as tribute, but to volunteer for their freedoms.

when crowds of thousands yell “democracy! democracy!”,

they do so not because they’re guaranteed to be free to do the same at next dawn.

when fingers shaped as letter Ls don’t stand for “loser” but rather for “fight”,

they do so because those in power have not showered them in their rightful light.

whether it’s an umbrella, a hand sign, a word, or a song,

i assure you, my friends, the world will eventually listen along.

the fights have been strained and struggles have been wearying,

but the real outrageous part of it all: the ability to hear a pin drop (or any other thing).

the world is so charged, so vast, with nothing to par,

it may feel that you’re suffocated and unable to make your voice large —

so i tell you, everyone, that this year may be rough.

this year may be terrible, terrific, tremendous, or tough.

i cannot tell you more; my guess is as good as yours.

but what i can do is amplify your messages and that’ll never be a chore.

and so, my brothers, my sisters, and every human on there and here,

i announce my sentiment, let it hit your ear:

“there’s suffering everywhere in our species.

from East to West, Borealis to Australis, we cannot seem to find amnesty.

but some of us have to be responsible, to use our voices,

because some of our world has our kind of choices.

along with other lands, Southeast Asia has used their hands,

their heads, and their sacrifices to be able to live in a home where their opinions aren’t treated as dead.

for decades, instability has created an unlikely breeding ground for fighting spirits and cultures that are loud and proud.

my sisters and brothers and fathers and mothers and all of the others are 

fighting day in and day out, sun up and sun down,

to create a country where their children can live under governors and senators who will LISTEN.

it’s our turn, as those with a choice,

to listen and demand that value will be brought to their voice.

they ask, ‘do you hear the people sing?’

well, i’ll tell you one final thing.

our people should do more than sing back,

our people should take action to counteract the attacks.

these attacks against the informed experiences of those being taxed.

these attacks by those trusted to govern and defend,

for may the people of earth be heard,

from end to end.”

to Asia, from Gaza

to KL, Manila, and Jakarta,

from Ulaanbaatar to Bangkok

and Pyongyang to Yangon,

from Tehran to Phnom Penh

and Beijing to Astana;

from Beirut to Malé and Hanoi to Vientiane,

the streets of Colombo to the alleys of Delhi,

and the bustle of Bishkek to the halls of Islamabad,

though I focused on the Southeast, none of you are the least

of a great list of communities that deserve representation.

so let EVERY nation speak out for you,

and i know that one day, we will see democracy through.”

your voices will be heard.

(Author Vien Santiago would like to thank you for reading and encourages you to look into any country or movement referenced in this piece. The fight is not over and will not be until everyone has free and fair access to the choice to influence the affairs of their governments based on accurate and untampered information. Do your part, in whichever way you can, to help our fellow global citizens amplify their voices and achieve the freedom they deserve.)

Editors: Blenda Y., Alisha B.

Image source: Unsplash


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