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I will not applaud

A short text from France about applauding in times of the coronavirus: “I will not applaud.”

Originally published by Paris-Luttes. Translated by Enough 14.

I will not applaud disaster.

The spectacle is over and has never started.

I will not applaud with those who destroyed everything we are, everything we care about most.

I will leave the applauding to the dictatorships, hatred and soldiers.

These are men and women, not warriors, these are people doing their job.

We owe them a lot. Much more than applause.

We owe them life, we owe them hope. We owe them a different future..

It is no longer about parades behind balloons and self-proclaimed leaders.

It is about life, the bitter struggle to save it, to tear it away from the murderers who rule us.

The war is for the powerful, the struggle is for the oppressed.

I will not applaud barbarism in action, but I will not separate myself from those who applaud.

Our neighbours, our friends, our companions, all across the globe.

It is not a question of dividing, it is a question of not being confused with their words, their orders and their heroes.

I cannot say bravo to a woman or a man who announces death and saves a life at the same time.

All I can do is keep quiet and keep my anger at bay. To share it more effectively.

I understand helplessness, I understand uncertainty, fear.

I understand the applause in its most fragile form.

I won’t understand cowardice.

I won’t understand the afterwards, there won’t be any, there mustn’t be any. We don’t need an after, we need forever.

Always remember, always dream, always listen, always bring them to their knees.

All of them.

One by one and say: “(…) no one will ever be free as long as there are plagues” [1].

F., April, 15, 2020


[1] Albert Camus in The Plague

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