The express train of Burkinabe anger crushed the iniquity of the security forces and dreams of Compaore under their wheels.
Not only did the brave Burkinabe force the government to be dissolved, but they drove Blaise Compaore out of office. The state of emergency didn’t help him. It didn’t stop the protesters breaking his iron grip on power and prising his fingers from throttling Burkina Faso‘s throat.
As the Burkinabe express bore down on the presidential palace, Compaore fled from the obscene opulence he was accustomed to luxuriating in. Occasionally, that sewer rat tweeted from the hole he took refuge in.
27 years ago, on the 15th of October 1987, Compaore was 36 when he seized power in the coup in which Thomas Sankara, his friend and one of Africa’s most revered leader and revolutionary, was ousted and assassinated.
27 years later, in the same month Compaore ousted Sankara, he has been ousted in October too. Talk about the law of reciprocal action. We have waited for this moment for a long time and feel that justice has been partially done.
Now, we want to know the truth about Sankara’s assassination. Compaore owes the Burkinabe and Africa an explanation for snuffing out one of its shining lights and leaving it in an incomprehensible darkness. He traded freedom for servitude. He traded self reliance for dependence. He sold his soul for a few pieces of silver.
Compaore knew his day was coming and he did everything he could to keep that day at bay. He made the wrong move: he planned a parliamentary vote to change the constitution and allow him to extend his rule and insulate himself from justice.
But the signs were always there. His close friend Muammar Gaddafi was dragged from the sewer by an angry mob who gave him a dose of mob justice. His other cohort ex-Liberian president, Charles Taylor fell from grace too. He was later tried and found guilty of aiding and abetting crimes against humanity.
Maybe they can share a cell together and catch up about old times when they were once in power, looting their countries wealth, ventriloquist dolls for their puppet masters and aiding the looting of Africa.
I do not subscribe to the African Spring moniker some are using to describe the triumph of the new Burkinabe Revolution. They are meaningless phrases.
Let’s not forget what happened to the Arab Spring. It didn’t change anything. If anything, it has left countries like Libya riddled by sectarian violence. It has left stooges in power. Their economy is in tatters and foreign powers shared reconstruction deals to rebuild the country they bombed back into the Stone Age.
The “revolution” in Egypt was reversed by counter revolutionary forces. Any revolution that doesn’t cleanse its structures of the vermin left by the former regime is not a revolution. It is a sitting duck. It is a reactionary movement.
Blaise Compaore is a staunch ally of the French and U.S. They have interests in the region. It is not in their DNA to support regimes that are “hostile” to them. In other words, governments that put their countries and citizens interests above the interests of these imperial powers.
The demonstrators have the upper hand right now. They have to consolidate their power and leave no loopholes for counter revolutionary forces, such as Compaore and other ticks like him, to manoeuvre and suck the blood of the Burkinabe.
Like Sankara, Lumumba refused to remain dependent on the former colonial powers as he stated in his presidential speech. Like Sankara, that decision cost him his life.
Burkina Faso is an ally of the US in West Africa. They are being used to thwart fighters linked to Al Qaida, a group created by US intelligence agencies, operating in the Sahel region.
This will test and challenge the new government. They are doomed if they refuse to join this war because they might be added to the axis of evil or accused of supporting and abetting terrorists. We already know the script and what will happen next.
We heard the obscene noises made by the French. They deplored the violence that resulted in the burning of government buildings and they were calling for restraint.
Restraint is a luxury. It is a comfort that a man or women who has never lived under a dictatorship and oppression their entire life preaches. They lack the urgency of the oppressed. Restraint doesn’t bring about revolutions. It restores the status quo allowing oppression and exploitation to continue as it has for the last twenty seven years in Burkina Faso.
I don’t condone violence. However, retaliation to violence is not the same as initiating it. It is self defence.
The French Revolution was not brought about by practising restraint. It was violent. It was gory. It was savage. It was all out war. The American Revolution was bloody too. Patrick Henry declared in the Virginia Convention in 1775, “give me death or give me liberty”.
You don’t talk about revolution if you are not prepared to die.
One of the greatest theoreticians of the oppressed and revolutions, Frantz Fanon, wrote in the Wretched of the Earth, “National liberation, national reawakening, restoration of the nation to the people or Commonwealth, whatever the name used, whatever the latest expression, decolonization is always a violent event”.
Getting rid of a violent dictator is no different. Violence is the only language they understand. Fanon went on further to say,
“At the individual level, violence is a cleansing force. It rids the colonized of their inferiority complex, of their passive and despairing attitude. It emboldens them, and restores their self-confidence.”
The day those men who once cowed at the sight of the security forces, once they discover that through violence they yield power will affirm its effectiveness. They will wield it like a machete and chop anyone’s head if they get in their way.
They know that they are a member of a powerful life changing force which allows them to believe that they are in charge of their destiny.
They know that the masses united are more powerful than an army that is no better than a band of well armed mercenaries. They know that they are powerful enough to improve the fate of their comrades and fellow countrymen through combining their power and dedicating their lives to the cause.
The Burkinabe has seized the cause of his oppression and exploitation and ripped out the jugular vein of that beast ravaging society. He is redeemed, and rejuvenated with the exhilaration of action and revolution.
But revolution is not like an apocalypse. It is a dedicated process carried out through mass political education, destruction of the structural pillars of the old regime to build a new foundation from rock bottom.
Revolution is abandoning the old and embracing the new. It is process you cannot go through without tears, blood and pain along the way. It is the rebirth of the new man and woman, in mind and spirit, resulting in the emergence of the envisioned self.
The Burkinabe Revolution is an infant still learning how to crawl. It will take a while before it can walk and run but Thomas Sankara left them a template to follow. They have Sankara’s spirit to learn from. Sankara’s spirit is a beacon to guide them through the dark hours that will come.
The battle is far from won. The counter revolutionary forces are stunned but not fully defeated. They are gathering and regrouping in the background. Their general, General Honore Traore, is currently heading the transition government.
He is very close to Blaise Compaore. And as long as he is in power, the revolution is incomplete. The pathogens of the former regime need to be removed from power to neutralise their power and influence. The Burkinabe need to pick a man who embodies their dreams and aspirations.
That man for them is the former general, Gen Kouame Lougue. It is time for them to decide their destiny. In the words of Thomas Sankara. “We must dare to invent the future”. They have taken the first step and there is still a long way to go.
As long as the comprador’s of the imperialists are in the corridors of power, the struggle continues. ALUTA Continua! As long as the people struggle against exploitation, oppression and French domination, Thomas Sankara is alive.
Viva Revolution! Revolution is the only solution! Sankara lives again!