“Resistance! Why didn’t you resist?” Today those who have continued to live on in comfort scold those who have suffered.
Yes, resistance should have begun right there, at the moment of the arrest itself.
But it did not begin.
And so they are leading you. During a daylight arrest there is always that brief and unique moment when they are leading you, either inconspicuously, on the basis of a cowardly deal you have made, or else quite openly, their pistols unholstered, through a crowd of hundreds of just such doomed innocents as yourself. You aren’t gagged. You really can and you really ought to cry out – to cry out that you are being arrested! That villains in disguise are trapping people! That arrests are being made on the strength of false denunciations! That millions are being subjected to silent reprisals! If many such outeries had been heard all over the city in the course of a day, would not our fellow citizens perhaps have begun to bristle? And would arrests perhaps no longer have been so easy?
In 1927, when submissiveness had not yet softened our brains to such a degree, two Chekists tried to arrest a woman on Serpukhov Square during the day. She grabbed hold of the stanchion of a street lamp and began to scream, refusing to submit. A crowd gathered. (There had to have been that kind of woman; there had to have been that kind of crowd too! Passers-by didn’t all just close their eyes and hurry by!) The quick young men immediately became flustered. They can’t work in the public eye. They got into their car and fled. (Right then and there she should have gone to a railroad station and left! But she went home to spend the night. And during the night they took her off to the Lubyanka.)
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E quando acabo de levanto os olhos do Gulag Archipelago, de Aleksandr Soljenitsin, reparo que já devia ter saído três estações mais atrás.