The spontaneous protest in front of the police headquarters this evening shows that in the midst of indifference and misguided loyalty to a corrupt regime, something real is stirring.

This is the way big political changes start. With the example of the few. With focused and presently conscious steps. With the articulation of anger and fear and hope that many feel but cannot express.

That a group of people decided to improvise on the organised event, break the program and do their own thing is an admirable act of public action.

Democracy is not simply the choice of dictators over a period of time. Politicians want us to think that because it serves their interests. Every single citizen is a public person endowed with rights, in this case the right to say ‘no’.

We entrust institutions to work for us. But they work on our behalf, not the other way round. When they fail we are perfectly entitled to complain. If that doesn’t work, to protest. If that doesn’t work to persist, to insist, to act until the moral force of popular resistance defeats a government beset by incompetence, corruption and the unjustified but over-riding drive to perpetuate its incumbency.

A group of young people armed with tomatoes and an unflattering picture of the poor excuse for a police commissioner we’re stuck with went ahead and said ‘no’. They waited for nobody’s instructions to do this. No party summoned them. No government advertised the event.

It was people, citizens who exercised their democratic right to demand the good governance of their country. To demand justice where there is none.

There indeed are crooks everywhere. But there are some upstanding citizens around too. And they’re coming out to say their own as well.

The photo with this post is by Rene Rossignaud.