Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  November 12, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PST

8:00 am
11/12/21 112/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york this is democracy now! >> i prescribe rich nations to make the biggest cuts in emissions. quote climate health adaptation projects. quote tackle health and social
8:01 am
inequalities. >> it is my ethical duty to speak about it. >> it is a crisis. amy: as the united nations climate summit enters its final day and negotiators scramble to arrive at a new agreement, the world's health workers are calling on governments to protect people from unimaginable health consequences. we will speak with two of them in glasgow, including jeni miller, head of the global climate and health alliance and the world health organization's civil society working group on climate & health. we'll also get an update on how climate activists held a people's plenary and then walked out of cop26 in protest. and 30 years ago today, indonesian troops armed with u.s. m-16s opened fire on thousands of unarmed east timorese civilians, killing more
8:02 am
than 270 of them. >> i lost one sister and two brothers. >> 10 days before i w to give birth, the army was shooting people and they would die at our feet. we could not stop to help them. >> i know families were totally wiped out. amy: "massacre: the story of east timor." all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. this is climate countdown. at the u.n. climate summit in glasgow, negotiators have backed away from including a call to phase out coal as well as fossil fuel subsidies in the latest draft agreement, which was released today, the final scheduled day of the two-week summit. an earlier draft called for "phasing-out of coal and
8:03 am
subsidies for fossil fuels." the new draft calls for the phaseout of "unabated coal power and of inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels." the draft also called for wealthy nations to double the amount of money they get to developing countries to deal with the climate crisis. but during thursday's high-level session, ugandan youth climate activist vanessa nakate openly -- question such pledges from wealthy nations. >> i have come here to tell you we don't believe you. we don't believe banks will suddenly put trillions of dollars on the table for climate action went rich countries have traveled since 2009 to raise $100 billion for the world's most vulnerable countries. amy: in another major development, the governments of denmark and costa rica have launched the beyond oil and gas alliance, the first high-level diplomatic initiative to phase out fossil fuels. this is costa rican environment
8:04 am
minister andrea meza. >> it is also about acknowledging that every dollar that we invest in fossil fuel projects, it is one less dollar for renewables or for the conservation of nature. amy: we will go to glasgow to speak with people inside and outside the u.n. climate summit after the headline president biden and chinese president xi jinping are preparing to hold a virtual summit on monday. this comes just days after the world's two largest economies announced a deal to work together to address the climate emergency. tension has been rising between the two nuclear-armed nations for months over taiwan and other issues. on thursday, xi jinping warned against a new cold war beginning in the region. meanwhile, the central committee of the chinese communist party has passed what's known as a historical resolution elevating xi jinping's status as a leader. similar resolutions were passed
8:05 am
for just two former chinese leaders, mao zedong and deng xiaoping. the national institutes of health is locked in a legal dispute with moderna over patent rights to its covid vaccine. the nih said three were involved. moderna, which also received $10 million in government funding, is now fighting efforts to share ownership of rights with the government. and afghanistan, blast and a mosque in nangarhar province has killed at least three people and injured a dozen others. though the death toll has yet to be confirmed. the explosion is a latest attack during friday prayers. no groups claimed responsibility for the blast. the islamic state in khorasan province, known as isis-k, has said it was behind two other recent attacks on mosques, that killed over 120 people. meanwhile, up to 5000 afghans have been fleeing into iran
8:06 am
every day for months as the humanitarian crisis in afghanistan intensifies. the norwegian refugee council estimates up to 300,000 afghans have entered iran since august when the taliban seized control of kabul. the world food program has estimated 23 million afghans facetarvation as winter approaches. this comes as the u.n. refugee agency is estimating the total number of people forcibly displaced from their homes globally has risen to 84 million due to war, insecurity, and the climate emergency. the u.n. says the most impacted countries have been syria, venezuela, afghanistan, south sudan, and burma. in related news, a top u.n. official in belarus says the situation at the belarusian-polish border is catastrophic as thousands of refugees and asylum seekers, many from the middle east, are braving freezing cold temperatures with no adequate shelter, food, or medical care as they attempt to cross into
8:07 am
poland to enter the european union. >> as you can see, the situation is very catastrophic. it will only get worse i think. one needs to do something. we have already started providing humanitarian aid by the red cross. it is something we will continue doing for a few days. what we don't want to see is a camp forming here. amy: poland has amassed troops on the border tolock entryor the refugees. this comes as polish and other european leaders are accusing belarus of trying to destabilize s neighbors. at least eight refugees have died so far. on thursday, the president of belarus, alexander lukashenko, threaten to cut off natural gas supplies to europe if the eu proceeds with plans to issue new sanctions against belarus. in a sign of support for belarus, russia flew two nuclear-capable bomber planes over belarus on thursday as it
8:08 am
-- on wednesday and on in news thursday. from burma, a military court has sentenced the u.s. journalist danny fenster to 11 years in prison. he has been held in jail since may. about 30 other journalists also remain locked up by the military junta which seized power in a coup in february. in sudan, army chief general abdel fattah al-burhan has been sworn in to head a new governing council after he led a coup two weeks ago to oust sudan's civilian-led government. the new governing council includes no civilian members from the previous government. protesters responded to the news by blocking roads and burning tires in the capital khartoum. in mexico, indigenous communities are demanding the safe return of irma galindo barrios, a mixteca forest defender in the state of oaxaca who has been missing for over two weeks. galindo barrios is a leading voice denouncing illegal logging in the region. in 2019, she filed a complaint against illegal loggers to local authoritie police did nothing.
8:09 am
instead, loggers in the area reportedly hired an armed group to burn her house down, as well as the homes of other earth defenders in her community. she briey fled, but ultimately retued. galindo barrios was last seen alive october 27. solidarity rallies have been held across the occupied west bank and gaza to show support for five hunger striking palestinians who have been imprisoned by israel without charge under so-called administrative detention. one of the palestinians has not eaten for 120 days and is reportedly in severe condition. a sixth prisoner ended his 113-day hunger strike on thursday after israel agreed to release him within three months. in other news from the middle east, the united states, israel, bahrain, and the united arab emirates are holding five days of joint military exercises for the first time in the red sea. this comes just a year after bahrain and uae normalized
8:10 am
relations with israel, which has floated the idea of forming a nato-type alliance to target iran. in kenosha, wisconsin, testimony has ended in the trial of kyle rittenhouse, the white teenage gunman who fatally shot two people and wounded a third during protests over the police shooting of jacob blake in 2020. closing statements are set to begin on monday. meanwhile, in georgia, the trial of the three white men who hunted down and shot dead ahmaud arbery took an unexpected twist thursday when a defense attorney claimed the courtroom presence of high-profile black pastors sitting with the arbery family could be "intimidating" for the jury, which is almost all white. >> obviously, there are only so many pastors they can have. al sharpton, that's fine. that's it. we don't want any more black pastors coming in here or jesse
8:11 am
jackson, whoever was here earlier this week, sitting with the victims family trying to influence the jury in this case. amy: in a statement, the reverend al sharpton said the attorney's comments "underscore the disregard for the value of the human life lost and the grieving of a family in need of spiritual and community support." in los angeles, olympic gymnast and gold medalist sunisa lee was pepper sprayed in an anti-asian attack. lee says the attack took place as she and a group of friends, also of asian descent, were waiting for an uber when passengers in another car shouted racist slurs at them and one person pepper sprayed lee on the arm. attacks on asian americans skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic, with nearly 5000 incidents reported in the first half of this year. 18-year old lee is the first ever hmong american to both participate in the olympics and win a medal. a federal appeals court has temporarily blocked the release of records of former president
8:12 am
donald trump's white house calls and activities related to the january 6 insuection. house lawmakers are seeking the records as part of their sweeping investigation into trump's attempt to overturn the 2020 election. earlier today, abc news released audio of donald trump defending his supporters who called for hanging his vice president mike pence on january 6. he made the comment in an interview with jonathan karl. >> you heard those chants. that was terrible. pres. trump: a lot of people are angry. it is common sense, john, that you're supposed to protect -- if you know a vote is fraudulent, right? how can you pass on a fraudulent vote to congress? amy: this comes as house democrats are threatening to seek criminal contempt charges against trump's former chief of staff mark meadows if he refuses to testify today as part of the january 6 probe. in new york city, 3000 graduate workers are on strike at columbia university. the union of teaching and
8:13 am
research assistants is demanding a fair wage, better health insurance, and proper mechanisms for addressing harassment and discrimination. the student workers say columbia refuses to negotiate a fair contract even as the school's assets increased by $3.3 billion over the past year. columbia has threatened to withhold pay and stipends from the striking workers. and british prison authorities have reversed course and have now granted permission to julian assange, the imprisoned founder of wikileaks, to marry his partner stella moris. the couple had sued the british government after their initial attempt to marry was blocked. to see our interview with stella moris, the fiancée of julian assange, she visited glasgow, scotland, the u.n. climate summit, go to democracynow.org and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
8:14 am
this is climate countdown. we are broadcasting from new york and glasgow. as this year's united nations clate summit enters its final scheduled day, negotiators are scrambling to arrive at a new agreement. this comes as the world's health leaders are calling on governments to match their climate commitments to limit global heating in order to protect people from what they called "unimaginable" health consequences. this week the global climate and health alliance presented a letter to the president of cop26, and the president of next year's cop in egypt, that was signed by 46 million health workers worldwide who are part of a campaign calling for global climate action on health. these are some of the workers. i have seen rising rates of heat exhaustion. >> double the number of asthma. >> heart disease, heart attack, stroke. >> problems with kidneys,
8:15 am
hearts, and lungs. >> i have seen children die due to the air quality on our streets. >> children's diseases. >> the worsening of psychiatric illnesses. >> not knowing, is this going to come again?
8:16 am
amy: this comes as a delegation of mothers from brazil, britain, india, nigeria, poland, and south africa attended cop26 to deliver their own letter to the summit's president signed by about 500 parent groups from 44 countries and calls for limits on air pollution. one of parents, rosamund kissi-debrah, had a daughter, ella, who died last year from a rare form of asthma and is the first person in britain to have air pollution officially listed as her cause of death. an itallation artist michael pinsky at cop26 features giant pollution pods that mimic the air quality of the future in various cities to show the link between climate change and health. for more, we go inside the u.n. climate summit in glasgow by two -- to speak with two guests. amit singh is a medical student at the university of east anglia and is the cop26 national working group chair for students
8:17 am
for global health. and dr. jeni miller is the executive director of the global climate and heah alliance and the co-chair of the world health organization's civil society working group on climate & health. she helped present the letter at cop26 from 46 million health workers. we welcome you both to democracy now! jeni miller, talked about the connection between global heating, between the climate emergency, and health. >> absolutely. thank you, amy. climate impacts health in so many ways. you were speaking earlier about air pollution. the drivers of climate change are the same burning of fossil fuels also drive the air pollution that is killing 7 million people around the world every year. the heat waves -- we are saying heat waves around the world. just this year, 500 people died from a heat wave in western canada. the extreme weather events have
8:18 am
displaced tens of thousands of people with floods in southeast asia. we are also seeing the spread of infectious diseases, malaria and lyme disease spreading into new regions as a result of changing humidity, changing ecosystems, changing weather patterns. the health impacts are growing, there significant, they are touching every country in the world. the most vulnerable countries are being hit the worst. amy: talk about the letter that you with a group of others just delivered representing tens of millions of health workers around the world. >> yeah, absolutely. as we have seen these impacts on health increase around the world, the health community has really woken up and become very activated around this. doctors and nurses are used to
8:19 am
treating people when they come into the clinic, come into the hospital, but increasingly, we are recognizing that we can't care for the patient and the communities we serve if we don't step outside the clinic and address this driver of health impacts, which is climate change. with this letter, organizations representing 46 million health professionals around the world came together around a letter articulating some of those health impacts that we were just talking about and really calling for the level of action we need to see we are not yet seeing from global leaders. amy: can you talk about why going beyond 1.5 degrees celsius, 2.7 degrees fahrenheit, is extremely dangerous for people's health? and can you directly relate the issue of the climate emergency with the current and future pandemics and epidemics? >> yeah, absolutely.
8:20 am
so we are now at about 1.1-1.2 degrees of warming over preindustrial levels. we are already seeing these super storms, heat waves, droughts, movement of infectious disease has, wildfires. that is what we are seeing at 1.1. 1.5 has been identified as a limit beyond which we are really anticipating catastrophic impacts on people's health. and every 10th of a degree will make a huge difference in lives lost and help impacts. the connection with pandemics --climate change is a threat multiplier, so when we have a pandemic and we are also facing climate change issues, the ability to respond to that pandemic is impacted by the challenges of climate change as
8:21 am
well. one of the places we have seen that in this round is there were communities that were already facing drought-driven, undernutrition, and hunger with the pandemic that impacted supply chains and ability of people to move around and do what they needed to do. those communities were really pushed to the brink of famine. so that is on the impact side. i think more generally, human beings are putting pressure on our natural ecosystems, and we know the r0 not a diseases that transfer from wild animals to humans. the more pressure we put on those ecosystems, the harder it will be to prevent the next pandemic that may occur. amy: i want to bring amit singh into the conversation, medical student at the university of east anglia, which has -- the cop26 national working group chair for students for global health.
8:22 am
can you talk about this cop happening in the midst of this global pandemic and how it has affected attendance at the cop when it comes to issues like vaccine equity most of we started our first day by interviewing a leading climate activist not at cop26, but in mozambique, because she could not make it there. >> yes, definitely. that is the huge issues we are facing right now. the pandemic has met a lot of people on the global south, countries that africa and latin america and other countries, they cannot actually come to the u.k., firstly, due to vaccine access as we mentioned but also due things su afinances and visa applications not being accepted on time. other delegates at cop got their visas day before. some were getting the funds ready last-minute to represent their communities can't advocate
8:23 am
for help for their communities in particular. th pandemic has played a huge role in that. we are seeing how the pandemic also decreed health equity in general, countries again in the global south being impacted more because not only do they not have more vaccines, countries in the global north are oftentimes hoarding them. there is a huge disparity there. amy: can you talk, amit singh, about when exxon mobil and other companies claim that when you raise these issues, you are playing the health card whenever health care is discussed at the cop? what does playing the health card mean? >> playing the health card means saving lives. we are playing the health card because the health card is the most important card play.
8:24 am
this is the only way to discuss climate change from the health community. we have to talk about how it impacts people and their health. people die from climate change. but looking at 250,000 preventable deaths per year, so plain health card is the most important card we can play. that is the desperation we are facing right now. exxon and other companies don't want to recognize that. they want to be little the most important aspect of the discussion, which is saving lives, saving people, and making good quality lives, not just unhealthy but lives they deserve to lead as well. amy: talk about radical students organizing around the world, amid. >> yes. medical students around the world are actively working on climate change and health.
8:25 am
we are seeing the impacts of climate change on our own patients quickly to clinics and seeing how they are being impacted by air pollution, from heatstroke, and someone. we are seeing it every single day. not only is it hard to see and sad to see where it could be prevented, it is sadly traumatic for a lot of these medical students and doctors as well. we are working as hard as we can across the globe to call on health equity, vaccine equity, to make sure the voices of those most impacted in particular are heard. alongside that, focusing on making sure there is actual justice transition. we want to create change route economic system is related to the heah of ourommunity. angry new deal allows health care workers -- a green new deal that allows health care
8:26 am
workers, that we don't increase emissions is sustainable health care systems. amy: let me go back to jeni miller, and if you can talk more specifically about diseases and how they relate to the climate catastrophe? for example, the world health organization reports over 250,000 additional people die each year, and he referred to some of this before -- malaria, diarrhea, heat stress caused by climate change. what is adaptation funding? how can this be dealt with? >> yeah, so, i mean, adaptation -- first of all, mitigation is critical important. we will not be able to adapt to climate change if we don't slow it down. like if climate change is unabated, we won't be able to
8:27 am
adapt enough to keep up with it. but that said, we are already seeing the impact widely now. currently, there is not enough funding being put into adaptation, particularly, finding that has been promised for years from wealthier countries to lower income countries to help them address the climate challenge. a significant proportion of that funding that has been made available has gone toward mitigation, not toward adaptation. they promised -- the promised amounts have not been met. in adaptation funding being leveraged, very little is going toward health and -- strengthening health systems. we need to see significantly more funding being allocated to adaptation. we need wealthy countries to beat the promises they have made and bring in more funding because these most impacted countries, the lower income countries, are really struggling to keep up with the health
8:28 am
impacts they are seeing as well as the impacts on their health systems themselves. we would really like to see stronger funding. amy: we spoke to sonia shah last year, cites investigative journalist, author of "pandemic: tracking contagion from cholera to ebola and beyond." i asked her about the connection between the climate crisis and coronavirus. >> the climate crisis is resulting in 10,000 -- heads of thousands of wild species moving into new places. that will contribute to this broader phenomenon of people and why left coming into new contact. we can see with deforestation that when you cut down the trees where bats roost, they don't just go away. they, into your back gardens and farms and yards instead, and that allows people and bats to come into new contact andhe microbes that live in their bodies, which show because of disease, can spill over into human bodies. that is how we turn animal
8:29 am
microbes into these epidemic and pandemic-causing pathogens. amy: jeni miller, your final comment? >> you know, the outcomes for cop are still being negotiated. we want to see strong commitment to limiting warming to 1.5. we want to see strengthened funding for adaptation that is given to lower income countries so they can have the resources they need to adapt. and we want to see follow through on all of these commitments. it is critically important we take action now. amy: amit singh, as you head back to your university and continue your training as a doctor, can you talk about what you bring from this and your demands of this climate summit? >> yes. firstly, i demand 1.5. right now the negotiations are working toward 2.4 degrees. as jeni mentioned, this is not
8:30 am
sustainable or healthy for our community's at all. secondly, i demand the countries have broken a promise of 100 lien dollars actually stick to their promise, increasing their promise, making sure that countries that do not have the funding to act on climate crisis to be supported. this funding must not be -- it has to be a grant, not a loan. this money was taken from them early from colonialism and capitalism. when i go back to uva, i will bring this discussion to my communities and talk to my local doctors as well. we need to get the health care community together and act on this as a collective mobilization. amy: i want to thank you both for being with us, amit singh, medical student at the university of east anglia and is the cop26 national working group chair for students for global health. and dr. jeni miller, executive director of the global climate and health alliance. cochair of the world health organization's civil society
8:31 am
working group on climate & health. speaking to us inside the cop. next up, we go outside because today there was a climate activist people's plenary in the cop26 followed by a walkout. asad rehman led the walkout. we will talk to him outside. ♪♪ [music break]
8:32 am
amy: "parade" by sylvan esso. this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman. as we continue our coverage of the u.n. climate summit in glasgow, scotland, where negotiations for a climate agreement have entered their final day. an earlier draft had called for "phasing out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels." meanwhile, the new draft is calling for the phaseout of
8:33 am
"unabated coal power and of inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels." one of the added words, "unabated" means nations could continue using coal if they are able to capture large amounts of the carbon dioxide they emit -- something that's been widely deemed controversial as the technology to fully capture greenhouse gases is still being developed. indigenous leaders and climate justice activists have denounced the draft agreement as a failure and far weaker than what climate scientists say is crucial to do to contain global heating to 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels. today, dozens of people took over the plenary hall inside cop26 to amplify their demands. a huge procession of global climate justice advocates marched through the hallways of cop26 as they chanted "power to the people" and walked out of the venue where they met with other protesters. for more, we go outside the venue where we are joined by asad rehman, executive director
8:34 am
of war on want and lead spokesperson for the cop26 coalition. one of the organizers of today's peoples plenary, part of the walkout now. welcome back to democracy now! describe where you are and your response to the latest draft of what will be the glasgow packed. >> response, we should not call it a glasgow packed, should be called a suicide pact because it does not keep us below the 1.5 degrees most of governments turn their backs on the poorest and the most vulnerable in the world . can't even meet the paltry $100 million. they're making a mockery of the climate negotiations. that is why this morning all of the 700 people from all the different civil societies representing an environment of organizations, women, youth,
8:35 am
trade union, indigenous people, farmers and presents came together and took over one of the main plenary halls. we issued our own people decoration calling on -- what we want to see outside this cop. biting targets with real zero by 2030, recognizing we need trillions if we're going to have a real just transition that leaves no one behind, recognizing the realities of the climate crisis means we need adaptation for the poorest and most honorable and rich countries need to take liability for the damage they are doing. we know there are polluters and big businesses who helped draft, so this was our attempt as people drafting our declaration as a rallying call for both the
8:36 am
inside and outside. amy: described the people's plenary and the walkout. >> this morning, there are official u.n. -- recognized by the united nations. we are an integral part of the negotiations. we are the eyes and ease of global civil society. what we have found is we have been locked out of those negotiations. we have been barred from the negotiating rooms. unprecedented moment of unity -- really, these are not just climate justice organizations. mainstream organizations coming together to say we are fed up, we are absolutely frustrated by the inaction and by the way the u.k. presidency has hosted this cop to silence our voices. we heard speech after speech and
8:37 am
the declaration which has been drafted by the different constituencies, adopted by popular claim my people broke out into singing of "power to the people" led by the indigenous movement. we came out to a massive rally at people who from the outside were at the gates to welcome both the inside and outside together and to declare that what they're calling for inaction, we are calling for inaction, we're calling for justice. our movement is getting stronger and stronger. united trade unions, indigenous, women, students, young, and old are building what is needed. this change will only happen when we as ordinary people lead the change in force governments back in our interest. amy: we only have a few minutes and i want to ask about your meeting with horace johnson, the british prime minister. >> yes, i met with boris johnson as we get a commitment to the movement committed people of the u.k. saying not only would we
8:38 am
build a movement -- build a powerful climate justice movement that for hundreds of thousands of people on the streets, but we take that voice and message in their demand into the negotiations and into making sure the prime minister heard that. i said the u.k. is hypocritical, that it cannot be a climate leader when it is turning its back on the poorest, when it has [indiscernible] handing out billions and billions of fossil fuel subsidies. if they were a genuine leader, it would be committing to its fair share of action. the prime minister said, i would love to see more action. somebody else -- britain is one of the most polluting countries historically and has a responsibility to act. he started this summit, the prime minister said we are at one minute to midnight.
8:39 am
he does not act like it. he acts like we have years and years and years. the reason why is because the people in the front line or not the people in the global north, they are the people of the global south. once again, sacrificing people for profit. amy: the green deal, the global green new deal, in this last minute, what would it look like? >> a radical green new deal, not only tackle the climate crisis and cut emissions fairly, but recognize we need to tackle globally inequality. half the world is in poverty. we need -- we cannot build a transition in the global north with the same extraction on the global south. we need to transform from an economy of extraction to a circular world sharing equitably the world's resources and wealth. we also need to recognize the realities of why these
8:40 am
injustices are taking place are structural and have been hardwired into our economies from slavery to colonialism to imperialism to neoliberalism. we have seen the ridges have grown wealthy on the backs of the global south. we need to uproot those systems and create a fair and just wrote where everyone has a right to live with dignity and harmony with our planet. we know we need to transform our energy and food system and guarantee people living wages, public services and social protections. we know all the things we need, and now need to build -- around the world in the last two weeks, amazing the different iterations of people not just saying this is what we're going to create. that is the most uplifting thing about this summit. amy: asad rehman, thank you for being with us, executive director of war on want and lead spokesperson for the cop26 coalition. he addressed the plenary earlier this week. today, he was one of the leaders
8:41 am
of the walkout at civil society. next up, we go to massacre, the story of east timor. 30 years ago today, indonesian soldiers opened fire on east timorese civilians, killing more than 270 people. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break] amy: "i am the x in extinction"
8:42 am
by reverend billy and the stop shopping choir. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in east timor today, that people come the nation remember what happened 30 years ago today most of today is the 30th anniversary of the santa cruz massacre. in occupied east timor. november 12, 1991, inanition troops fired on thousands of unarmed timorese civilians gathered at the santa cruz cemetery in the capital of east timor dili. ,at least 270 were killed. it was a turning point. at least one third of the population over that 17 year period was killed. 200,000 people from 1975-1999 when indonesia in 1975 illegally invaded east timor.
8:43 am
journalist alan there and i witnessed and survived the massacre 30 years ago today. they beat us, fractured his skull, and we got out that day to report about the massacre to stop the killing. we did not succeed. today we go back to that day 30 years ago as we feature an extended excerpt of the documentary we produced. >> i lost one sister and two brothers. >> it was 10 days before i was to give birth. the army was shooting people and they would die at our feet. we could not stop to help them. >> sign-up families that were totally wiped out. >> two american newsmen badly beaten, mr. allan nairn and ms. amy goodman. amy: the indonesian army converged in two places. >> hundreds and hundreds of troops coming straight at the timorese.
8:44 am
amy: when they came, they opened fire on the people. >> we pride ourselves in standing up for human rights. >> i am very concerned about what is happening in east timor. we have ignored it so far in wa that i think are unconscionable. amy: " massacre: the story of east timor." >> powerful military machine should not be permitted to invade occupy and brutalized their peaceful neighbors. amy: james baker explained why the united states was going to war against iraq yet 16 years earlier, another big country, indonesia, invaded a much
8:45 am
smaller one, east timor, with the support of the united states. what followed was one of the greatest genocides of the 20th century. it is estimed up to one third of the timorese population has been killed through a policy of army massacre and enforced starvation. many who are left have been imprisoned a tortured by a military armed and trained by the united states. east timor, a quiet farming nation on a mountainous island about 0 mis north of australia, had been a portuguese colony until 1974 when there was a democratic revolution in portugal and the new government decided to disband its empire. neighboring indonesia, military dictatorship more than 200 times east timor's size, began attacking them in order to prevent them from moving toward independence. on december 7, 19 75, indonesia launched a full invasion. timorese shortwave where radio was heard putting out deerate
8:46 am
calls for help. >> a lot of people are being killed. i repeat -- [indiscernible] amy: the night before the invasion, henry kissinger and president ford were in the indonesian capital of jakarta toasting general, the ruler. >> our relationship involves a common concern for the right of every nation to pursue its destiny on its own independent and sovereign courts. on behalf of mrs. ford and myself, i raise my glass and propose a toast. amy: the brother of the former governor of east timor and mself a political leader now in exile, was working for the indonesians at the time. >> i arrived in jakarta one hour
8:47 am
before presidentord and henry kissinger related in jakarta. on the same night, i was informed, a top officer in the administration, that america had given the green light for indonesia to invade timor. amy: the united states supplied 90% of indonesia's arms the story of east timor is one few know about except those who have lived through it. six foreignournalistshere there is indonesia type are executed by the indonesian military. australian tv correspondent greg shackleton said this report the night before the frontier town he was visiting was seized by the indonesian troops. >> why are the indonesians invading us? why if indonesians believe -- do they not suited delegation to find out? why, the as, they're not helping is? when the japanese invaded, they did help us.
8:48 am
why are the portuguese done helping us? we're still a portuguese colony. who will pay for the terrible damage to our homes? i made answer was australia would not send forces here. that is impossible. however, we could as i stroll you raise this fighting at the united nations. that was possible. the second in charge rose to his feet, shook my hand and we were deported because we are australia's. that is all they want is for the united nations care about what is happening. coast emotions were so strong -- >> emotions were so strong stop in an undimmed village which we will remain forever. amy: the following day, indonesian troops moved in and executed greg shackleton and his crew.
8:49 am
though the government of australia ended up siding with indonesia, the un security council denounced the invasion of east timor and passed to resolutions like those later pressed against iraq, calling on indonesia to rick -- withdraw its troops without delay. as indonesia began to execute the to marie's, washington doubled its military aid. -- execute the timorese, washington doubled its military aid. ♪ amy: i first arrived in the summer of 1990, 16 years after the end nation army first came ashore. they were still occupying east
8:50 am
timor. i was there were journalist allan nairn. >> the capital city was honeycombed with army bases and torture houses. there were soldiers on the street corners, secret police watching the market stalls and the public parks. timorese could be hauled away to the torture houses if they were found speaking to foreign urnalists were listening to shortwave radio. they would be beaten with iron bars and at night soldiers wearing hoods would roam to the neighborhoods terrorizing the timorese. amy: we returned to east timor for an historic event, special delegation from the united nations that article was due to visit east timor. the timorese hoped it would lead to u.n. action and security of the resolutions calling on indonesia to withdraw from east timor. >> we were told in place after place the army have been holding neighborhood and village meetings to warn the timorese if they try to speak to the u.n.
8:51 am
portuguese delegation, they and their families would be killed. the bishop of east timor told us thehreat was we will kill your family to the seventh generation. amy: despite the threats and dramatic increase in disappearances, torture, and at, timorese spoke out. they made banners and petitions for the delegation when the army try to hunt them down, many had gone into hiding and sought refuge inside churches. under pressure from the united states, the visit of the delegation have been called off. three days later with the world spotlight removed, the army stormed the main catholic church and killed a young man named sebastian who had taken refuge there. then came the mormon of november 12, that she would commemoration of the funeral. tomorrow morrill ms were planned -- a memorial and mass workplan. people, young and old, came out into the street and in a land where public speech have been been for over a decade, they
8:52 am
started chanting. the timorese held up banners drawn on bedsheets. they been prepared for the delegation that never came. they called on indonesia to leave east timor and said things like "why did the indonesian army shoot our church?" it was the boldest act of public protest occupied timor had ever seen. >> more timorese joined the recessions. -- processions. i building feeling of exhilaration as well as fear among the timorese. when they reached the cemetery, the crowd swelled to maybe 5000 people. some went into lay flowers on the grave. most of the crowd was still outside. suddenly, someone looked up and we saw marching up along the same route the timorese had come, came along column of indonesian troops dressed in brown, holding m-16s in front of
8:53 am
them, marching in a very slow, deliberate fashion. hundreds and hundreds of troops coming straight at the timorese. amy: allan suggested we walk in the front of the crowd between the soldiers and timorese. while we knew the army committed massacres, we hoped we as foreign journalists could serve as a shield. standing with headphones on and microphone and camera in full view, we stood in the middle-of-the-road looking straight at the approaching troops. behind us, the crowd was hushed. >> soldiers marched straight to us and never broke stride. we were enveloped by the troops. when they got a few yards past us within a dozen yards of the timorese, they raised their rifles to the shoulders at once an open fire. the to marie's in an instant
8:54 am
were down. there were torn apart. the street was covered with bodies, covered with bodies. the soldiers kept on coming. they poured in one rank after another, leapt over the bodies. they were aiming and shooting people in the back. i could see their limbs being torn, bodies exploding. blood was spurting in the air. could hear the pop of the bullets everywhere. it was very systematic. the soldiers did not stop. they kept on shooting until no one was left to stand. amy: a group of soldiers grabbed my microphone and grabbed me to the ground, kicking and punching me. allan threw himself on top of me. the soldiers used the rifle bud light baseball bats, beating allan until they fractured s skull. allan covered in blood, group of soldiers lined up, pointed their guns at our heads, had stripped us of our equipment and kept shouting "we are from america."
8:55 am
in the end, they decided not to execute as. >> they were beating us, but we were still alive. they kept on firing into the timorese. we were able to get onto a passing civilian truck, went into hiding. the timorese who have been with us on the cemetery road, most of them were dead. amy: inside the cemetery walls, filmic on assignment had had his video camera running. >> the soldiers began to encircle the entire cemetery. i saw soldiers as they gravelly -- gradually moved, people wounded are taking refuge between tombstones. when they got to them, they beat them and assembled them in the back of the cemetery. people were stripped totheir waist. they had their thumbs tied behind their backs. they were made to look at the
8:56 am
ground. if they looked up, they were medially beaten -- immediately beat with a rifle. amy: some of the wounded and those too scared to run were huddled inside praying. he buried his videocassette in a french grave and then he was arrested by the troops. >> while i was being interrogated, i observed these trucks driving by with more people in them. these people were clearly in a kind of paralysis of fear. they were not able to move, some of them, at least in the cemetery and indeed even the trucks when i saw them going by, were barely breathing. people were terrified. quite often difficult to tell if they are dead alive. amy: after nine hours a custody, stall went back to the cemetery under cover of night and i got his videocassette that had them spelled out of the country. allan nairn and i managed to leave a few hours after the
8:57 am
massacre. we reported what happened to dozens of newspapers, radio, television out with around the world. >> november 12, 19 91. a massacre in east timor. among those injured work to journalists including news editor of pacifica stationwbai in new york. amy: they beat me and drag me over and started slamming me with rifle butss and kicks and punches. allan jumped on top of me and they beat him very badly. but that was the least of what they did. the open fire on the people. >> when indonesian troops opened fire on a crowd -- folks this is bbc radio. >> unarmed timorese gun down.
8:58 am
>> photographs during a fight for freedom. >> this is the cbs evening news. amy: even the longtime allies were compelled to condemn the killings and came under public pressure to cut back their age in a new show. in australia, large crowds surrounded indonesia's local consulate. european parliament voted for sanctions against indonesia and the european community later canceled scheduled trade pact. they were even open protest inside indonesia were student demonstrators were beaten and arrested. back in the united states, the bush administration continued to ship weapons to indonesia. amy: that is an excerpt of "massacre: the story of east timor," the documentary i produced with allan nairn. east timor would vote for its freedom in a u.n. referendum in
8:59 am
1999 and become an independent nation in 2002, 1 of the newest nations in the world. the video from inside the cemetery was filmed by max stall, the award-winning filmmaker who died several weeks ago at the age of 66.
9:00 am

31 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on