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

Everett pulls ahead in Western Conference standings over Vancouver Giants

Langley-based hockey G-Men, who lost 6-5 to Everett Saturday, now prepares to take on Victoria.

Langley Thunder lacrosse teams pocket gold and silver in Richmond

Top finishes for U15 and U13-1 teams at Richmond Romp over the Remembrance Day weekend

Langley Rams downed by Saskatoon Hilltops at Canadian Bowl

Four-time Canadian Junior Football League champions built up an insurmountable lead

VIDEO: Crash on 88 Avenue in Langley

At least one car suffered extensive damage

Extreme weather alert issued by Langley shelter

Gateway of Hope offers homeless warm place to sleep

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides

Trudeau says he won’t negotiate in public on future of LGBTQ rights in USMCA

Legislators urged Trump not to sign the agreement unless the language was removed.

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

Most Read