A lot has changed since I arrived in Uganda in 2009. At that time, mass mobilization for political goals was far more abnormal in Uganda.
For those of us in the struggle against authoritarianism, it is only natural to dwell on the long distance we must still travel to victory. We see the goal still ahead of us — a dictator’s removal or a war that must end — but we rarely look behind to celebrate how far we’ve come.
Even just two years ago, I would’ve hesitated to assert that Ugandans had begun to coalesce their power. It was the same handful of activists and disorganized, strategy-less opposition parties making noise at press conferences. In October 2017, however, all hell broke loose as dictator Yoweri Museveni orchestrated an amendment to the constitution, prolonging his three-decade reign. Parliamentary proceedings looked more like a WWE special, as legislators brawled with chairs and military personnel infiltrated their proceedings, along with the offices of progressive organizations throughout the country.