Odd Thoughts: All walls must eventually come down

It was a cold and blustery day – not too bad for this time of year, but still, it was winter and he didn’t exactly live in the tropics.

He and some friends had finally had enough, and were going to the border to join a protest against their neighbours who had cut themselves off from the rest of the world, effectively imprisoning their own citizens.

And worse, many innocent civilians had been shipped off to work camps in the country’s most remote and inclement regions.

Their “work permits” were “indefinite,” but most knew their chances of ever seeing their families and loved ones again were as remote as the flimsy steel shacks they lived in and the potato and beet fields that provided bare sustenance in the harsh climate.

There was a wall between their countries.

Both governments were based on pronouncements of freedom from tyranny, freedom for all, right down through the working classes to the most menial of labourers.

But that wall emphasized the difference between the two countries.

On the other side of the wall, freedom of religion was restricted to beliefs approved by the government. Restrictions tightened until only citizens who professed to share the government’s beliefs were “free.”

Anyone in disagreement with the government-approved doctrine received a work permit and was summarily awarded gainful employment in the northern territories.

Speaking out against the wall itself earned a ticket to work camps built on permafrost and broken dreams.

Naturally, it didn’t start that way.

There was massive dissatisfaction with the status quo. The citizens were angry, and they stood tall behind a new leader who could bring down the old regime and usher in a new and better way of life.

They were promised a new world, with renewed power in the world – and that power was to be held by the country’s citizens, instead of an established, corroded, and corrupt ruling class.

And there was even an election. The people spoke, and they got what they wanted.

Or so they thought.

That was before the wall.

It was before “unsanctioned” places of worship began closing.

And before some of their neighbours started disappearing.

It was before they realized that they had to carefully consider every word they said, in fear of the wrong ears hearing expressions of the wrong thoughts.

It was before the election rules changed – an expedience to ensure there was time to rework the system to ensure restoration of prosperity.

It was before their leader won his third re-election with 98.7 per cent of ballots cast.

At first, their neighbours stood stunned, cut off from friends and family by a wall and a warped ideology.

But no more. The rest of world was fed up with the political posturing, the human rights violations, and the obstinate economic and military bullying.

By the time he got to the wall, the protest had already started.

The “safe zone” had been breached, but he was both amazed and, admittedly, relieved.

Remarkably, instead of firing on the protestors, as had occurred so many times before in accordance with standing orders, the soldiers were abandoning their gun turrets, climbing down into the mass of protestors, and joining the chant: “Mr. Trump, tear down that wall!”

 

Just Posted

Suspected spill kills hundreds of crayfish, coho in Langley river

A fish kill in the Nicomekl has a biologist concerned for the health of the local ecosystem.

Rams harvest sweet victory in win over Huskers

The Chilliwack team found itself pushed back again and again.

WATCH: Cops for Cancer bring message of hope to Langley school

Young cancer survivors are traveling with the fundraising bike ride.

Boxing coach takes shot at Langley City council run

Dave Allison has lived downtown for years and wants to represent his neighbours.

Langley venue of glass provides bright stage for charity art show

West Fine Arts Show runs Friday to Sunday at South Langley’s Glass House Estate Winery.

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

Aldergrove soccer forward enjoys scoring spree

UFV Cascades’ Jhaj named Canada West second star of the week

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

New ‘meowyoral’ race featuring felines announced by B.C. animal shelter

Organizers hope the cat election will generate attention for shelter and local municipal election

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Lower Mainland city calls for slower trains near popular beach

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said ‘it’s the least we can do’

Most Read