What I Did On My Covid-19 Vacation: Chapter 1
From Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
The Rivonia Trial and Companion piece The Beast Is at the Door
The Rivonia Trial, often referred to as “the trial that changed South Africa,” was conducted in October 1963. Ten leading opponents of Apartheid went on trial for their lives on charges of sabotage.
In what was arguably the most profound moment in the trial, Nelson Mandela made a speech in the dock in which he condemned the very court in which he was appearing as ‘illegitimate’. He then proceeded to argue that the laws in place were equally draconian and that defiance of these laws was justified.
PRISON NOT ONLY robs you of your freedom, it attempts to take away your identity. Everyone wears the same uniform, eats the same food, follows the same schedule. It is by definition a purely authoritarian state that tolerates no independence or individuality. As a freedom fighter and as a man, one must fight against the prison’s attempt to rob one of these qualities.
The Beast Is at the Door
The beast is at the door and we must fly or hunker down each in our separate lairs our enclaves of evolution our tomes of voluntary entrapment Help may not be on its way The end is not in sight
And what of hope we ask What might be left of this life when the beast decides to leave Do we thrive on lessons learned or forge a brave new world
But mostly what of you and me Will they ever or do we even want things between us to remain the same
Was our separation as voluntary as we made it out to be Or was it rooted in a certain discontent beneath the surface of out togetherness A wanting to be free in ways we never dreamed of The beast is at the door and we must fly or hunker down
The Bard of Appanoose