In whose name?

The postdoc watched as faceless police suddenly appeared in a long line of dark vans, and without any warning, started hitting people. Those people were neighbours, old and young; they’d just orderly queued to cast a vote, but now things were not orderly anymore. It was a blur of blood, screams, cries, phones held in the air and ambulances, people fleeing. Then the dark vans left, just as suddenly as they’d appeared.

She strangely feels in and out of history. She was there, she saw it. But she doesn’t know this country yet, she’s not able to ask people if they’re okay, if she can help; she doesn’t know their language, their struggle. She is a foreigner and some would say, she has no right to interfere.

Not that she could interfere ‘at home’. Home is not the country in her passport, her voting rights are limited, and after all, she’s forever away. She is a foreigner there too.

She weirdly votes in the elections of her passport-country. This involves being at the right embassy at the right time, and making big decisions for a nation she rarely sees. There, more than anywhere else, she is a foreigner.

So she doesn’t know in whose name she should say that this was wrong, in whose name to ask for help and for justice, in whose name to say that she’s sorry, that it shouldn’t have happened, that she doesn’t want this.

Perhaps just in her own.