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Social Protest Lit.: Three Quotes On Revolt

Posted on the 29 August 2015 by Paul Phillips @sparkingtheleft

indexToday I have three short quotes for a social protest literature post.

They all are an excerpt is from Book V called “Revolt.” This chapter pertains to “The struggle to abolish injustice; the battle cries of the new army which is gathering for the deliverance of humanity.”

First, Jean Genet, a French playwright and novelist (1910-1986) from “Prisoner of Love”:

The main object of a revolution is the liberation of man…not the interpretation and application of some transcendental ideology.

Second, “The Oath”, an oath taken by thousands of Chinese students occupying Tiananmen Square in June 1989 shortly before the tanks rolled in:

I swear, for the democratic movement and the prosperity of the country, for our motherland not to be overturned by a few conspirators, for our one billion people not to be killed in the white terror, that I am willing to defend Tiananmen Square, defend the republic, with my young life. Our heads can be broken, our blood can be shed, but we will not lose the People’s square. We will fight to the end with the last person.

And lastly, “Moral Persuasion”, by Steven Biko. Biko (1946-1977) was a Black South African political leader who died in police custody:

The power of the movement lies in the fact that it can indeed change the habits of people. This change is not the result of force but of dedication, of moral persuasion.


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