asakiyume: (far horizon)
If it wasn't for today's Google doodle, I wouldn't have learned about the Silent Protest of 1917 or the massacre of East St. Louis. It's a deeply evil streak in humanity that gets people to delight in the slaughter of the defenseless. I'm full of deep gratitude and admiration for the people, like Ida B. Wells and James Weldon Johnson, who have the courage to fight against that evil. (After seeing the Google doodle, I read this article on the Silent Protest.)

Jakarta 2

Aug. 22nd, 2013 06:58 pm
asakiyume: (Timor-Leste nia bandiera)
This will be probably the most sobering of my entries on Timor-Leste.

First, a tiny bit of history )

The fighting was intense in Ainaro--Wikipedia notes that 95 percent of the buildings were burned by the departing Indonesian forces. One of the young men whom I talked to remembers his house being burned and fleeing to the mountains when he was ten years old. Another lost a father, an uncle, and seven half-brothers in the conflict. Many of the buildings remain in ruins:

ruins of war

A short walk from where I was staying is a place where the land falls away in sheer cliffs on both sides of the road. This place is known as Jakarta 2. It's where the Indonesian forces conducted executions--pushing people off the cliff. There's a concrete crucifix there now:

Crucifix at Jakarta 2

another memorial

memorial at Jakarta 2

The guy who took me here told me that when cars drive by here, they will slow down, out of respect, and people on motorbikes or foot will often stop for a moment to say a prayer.

We looked over the edge. I didn't take a picture. Too many ghosts.

All of which makes the children at the school across the street from where I was staying, singing Timor-Leste's national anthem while raising the flag of their eleven-year-old country, extra moving. (Voices you can hear are the voices of my two hosts.)

(If the embedding doesn't work for you, go here.)

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