The Long Night . . . Print
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Written by Arturo P. Garcia   
Monday, 21 September 2009 20:16

The Long Night . . .


T hat was the longest night,

when all the radio stations stopped all broadcasts,

when the only thing you heard were songs,

and an announcement that there will be an important

broadcast for the nation to hear.

even the tv stations went blank,

and the newspapers were not out on the streets,

and then the deafening silence,

and the constant patrols of army jeeps,

and patrols cars,

visiting homes of activists.

We were used to "forced invitations"

meaning jails in army camps

or intelligence offices

but no invitations came

but arresting teams all over the place . . .

there were hush conversations on the phone..

coded words were exchanged

that this person and that person

was arrested,

this office was raided,

and even the congress was closed,

comrade this and that vanished into the countryside.

there were no words of farewell,

but only forced separations,

no goodbyes nor last kiss or hugs

to our loved ones . . .

all were rumors and hush words,

it's up for you to believe

or doubt the words.

and then the familiar figure appeared,

so confident and arrogant:

"placing the whole country under martial law"

that was it!

we were arguing about it and it came.

all were surprised although we are expecting it..

the time to clean our guns,

count our bullets,

hide our photographs,

burn our documents

pick our places,

our hideaways,

people we can trust

and go deep among the masses.

the time of reckoning has come.

and the fight for freedom was on . . .

the longest night in my life,

September 23, 1972.

the night of the declaration of martial law!


Arturo P. Garcia

Sept. 21, 2009


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