Sergio Bitar's Story - Democracy doesn't happen by chance
PUBLISHED: Tue, 11/14/2017

Sergio Bitar's Story Transcript (Chile)

I am convinced that the heart is the impulse for political action, it is not the head.

It is not the ideas, it is what you feel it’s what your emotions are, so when you fight against something that is unjust you become much more active more involved and more conscious.

There are moments in life that you don’t realize you react from the inside of yourself, without reasoning and change your life

That happened for me when I was taken to a concentration camp and at the moment we were taken to a small tank.,

We were put on a hood on our heads, we didn’t see anything and the military surrounded us and they put us together and then that start moving and…

I felt shots within this little tank and my my… the guy who was beside me he received a bullet in his hand and so I felt the blood, and I thought, that was the second I thought we are going to be shot and in one second your see your life, and your see what you didn’t do and what you should have done and there I felt that I had to dedicate my life to the recuperation of democracy and freedom and fight the dictatorship

Life in Dawson Island was awful in various senses few days before, the head of a government and then prisoners of war.

The sense of void, the sense of being nothing, the military they had this logic, they had to destroy our dignity,

one way was to say you don’t have a name, you have a number.

The loss of the dignity as a person, that was one of the hardest things. You realize with the military coup and when you lose your own freedom to act, to think, to talk and all social organizations are destroyed and banned, that there is nothing more important for achieving social justice and equality than freedom.

One of the most important enemies for democracy is fear. I’ve lived that you paralyze yourself and all the citizens are paralyzed, that is why fear of what may happen is a very important instrument for totalitarianism and for populism.

Democracy is not granted, democracy is something you have to take care about every day,

to listen, to improve the conditions of life to give more participation to empowerment to the citizen and that is something that happens daily

if you don’t care about that you can lose it, life is so short that you have to give meaning to your life,

and giving meaning to your life is being interested in the others not in yourself, you will be much more successful, you will be more happy if you devote your energies and your thinking to a community to a society to a country not just to yourself.

Democracy is not like the Andes that is there forever, it is like a garden that you have to water every day.


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