Stéphane Hessel, now 93 years old, is urging those unsatisfied with the way things are to become indignant. Hessel is a former French resistance fighter and concentration camp survivor and was intimately involved in the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. As he underlined in a recent interview about his book, Time for Outrage, he welcomes the recent popular uprisings against repressive regimes and believes we are at a critical moment in history – that "we need now a new, humane vision for our world society."
"You must find the things that you will not accept, that will outrage you. And these things, you must be able to fight against nonviolently, peacefully, but determinedly," Hessel says, noting his support for the Occupy Wall Street encampment. "They're there determined to see that their values are to be respected."
Hessel was inspired to write his book because he was unhappy with the government of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the general state of the world. “The wealthy have installed their slaves in the highest spheres of the state. The banks are privately owned. They are concerned solely with profits. They have no interest in the common good. The gap between rich and poor is the widest it’s ever been; the pursuit of riches and the spirit of competition are encouraged and celebrated.”
He reminds us of the importance of indignation and encourages the younger generations to rekindle the spirit of the Resistance in a non-violent battle against injustice.
The message of Indignez-Vous! is simple: "Do not accept the unacceptable. Take it on you to resist."
“It’s time to take over! It’s time to get angry!” he says. “Politicians, economists, intellectuals, do not surrender! The true fabric of our society remains strong. Let us not be defeated by the tyranny of the world financial markets that threaten peace and democracy everywhere. I wish all of you to find your reason for indignation. This is a precious thing.”
For “the men and women who will make the twenty-first century,” he writes emphatically, “to create is to resist; to resist is to create.”