The challenge Liberty University students will have is to keep the protest alive and press forward. This blog would like to make a recommendation. One of the most successful revolutions in history took place in Estonia and the Baltics. Known as the Singing Revolution it brought about dramatic change and a country found itself in the process. Perhaps the Singing Revolution can be an inspiration and a map forward for those students wanting an independent investigation into Liberty’s fiances after some troubling newspaper articles.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Psalm 100:1-2 NIV
For the latest about the scandal about Liberty I will direct you to a post I wrote recently in, “An Explosive Politico Article Raises Questions About Financial and Other Misconduct at Liberty University. In Response Jerry Falwell Jr Attacks and Claims There is a Coup Against Him.” As students of Liberty University move forward the question to be asked is how does one protest? How can one implement peaceful and healthy regime change? Or bring about transparency to a university leadership? The history books are full of revolutions, some failed and bloody. But there is one that changed a trajectory of a nation and throw off the yoke of oppression.
What Was the Singing Revolution?
Estonia and the Baltics were absorbed into the Soviet Union after World War II ended in 1945. In 1984 New leader Mikhail Gorbachev pushed “glasnost” which was openness and “perestroika” which is restructuring in 1985. In the late 80’s the Soviet government planned to open up a mine in the Soviet Republic of Estonia. The mine threatened incredible environmental degradation. Many Estonians resisted and there was push back. On the anniversary of the ill-famed Molotov and Ribbentop Pact on August 23, 1987 some Estonians started to protest against the Estonian Communist Party in a park in Tallinn. At a Tartu Pop Festival in May 1988 Alo Mattiisen, an Estonian musician and composer premiered “Five Patriotic Songs.” The Old Town Festival was moved to the Song Festival Grounds in June. There, Estonians broke out in patriotic song together spontaneously. Then on August 23, 1989 something remarkable happened when the Baltic wall was formed. A human chain of over 2 million people spanned almost 420 miles across Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Mattiisen’s “Five Patriotic Songs” were performed at the Rock Summer Festival held in Tallinn from August 26 through the 28th. Another music festival occurred on September 11, 1989 again on the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds. It was on that day that the Chairman of the Estonian Heritage voiced a desire for independence. The Supreme Soviet of Estonia issued the Estonian Sovereignty Declaration on November 16, 1989. The Singing Revolution lasted four years and symbolized defiance to the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union tried to put it down Estonians formed human shields and the Soviets backed down. The Singing Revolution ended when Estonia declared independence on August 20, 1991. It became one of the most peaceful revolutions in history. The coup of against Mikhail Gorbachev in the Soviet Union was ongoing. The first country to recognize Estonia was Iceland. If you would like to read more about the Singing Revolution you can do so below.
- Atlantic, “A Country Created Through Music“
- Smithsonian, “Estonia’s Singing Revolution”
- Culture Trip, “A Story of Defiance: A Brief History of the Singing Revolution.”
- Visit Tallinn, “The Singing Revolution – How Estonia restored its’ independence.”
How Can Liberty Students Implement a Singing Revolution?
The challenge for Liberty University students is to keep the protest alive and to grow it so that more Liberty students get involved. The call is for transparency of the universities finances and to open up the books to an independent investigation. Liberty students, by the way should push for an outside accounting firm to participate. One that has no ties to this situation or is local in Lynchburg where it can be influenced. The Singing Revolution I would suggest would be the means to get the protest alive and to grow it. It would be noticeable, grab attention, and you can play it off your faith. While holding signs you can sing Christian hymns, and worship songs. It can grow and in the protest #studentsforchange need to remind people why you exist. Here’s a thought, what if at some point over a thousand students formed a human chain across Liberty and continued to demand the books to be opened. The Singing Revolution was one of the most peaceful revolutions in history. Not only did it topple a regime and lead to freedom but Estonia found itself in the process. Maybe Liberty after all these problems with Jerry Falwell Jr can do the same thing. This blog is cheering for the students who stand up at Liberty and sing while calling for an independent investigation of the finances.