Den enskilda händelse som kanske mest bidragit till att fr&äuml;mja Östtimors självständighetskamp mot Indonesien var Santa Cruz-massakern den 12 november 1991.

Skälet var att den filmades av den brittisk-svenske filmaren Max Stahl som också lyckades smuggla ut filmen.

Till den 12 november 2020 har Max Stahl skrivit ett uttalande. Du kan läsa det här nedan på originalspråket engelska.

Message for 12 November 2020 from Max Stahl

The nights leading up to the morning of November 12 1991 have never left me. On the 8th of November I was in a tunnel under a dried up stream bed talking to Commander David Alex Daitula and his eight Falintil fighters. Within 10 kilometers on all sides, he said, were 3,000 Indonesian soldiers. A group of 30 were about 500 meters away. When a messenger, a boy, arrived with mail, sent the day before, requesting my presence in Dili.

I left that night with Maun Bulak - Brother Nutcase - who guided me over the river, through the rice fields, and took my video tapes, before I left him to continue alone walking on the main road to Baucau, trusting in Brother Bulak whose madness was wiser in Timor than all the Indonesian officers educated in American military schools.

The next night, I spent in the Baucau army police base explaining how I had missed the bus, whilst Maun Bulak delivered my tapes to the home of José Ramos-Horta’s brother Arsenio, whose wife Edit Macarenhas worked the Resistance communications under the noses of the Indonesian military who believed Arsenio was in their pocket.

On the morning of the 12 November the kids in Edit and Arsenio’s house dug up a Portuguese flag and another revolutionary banner, the flag of the BNU bank, buried in a tin box in the garden, and spread it out for my camera before I left for the Motael church.

There Fr Ricardo, later Bishop Ricardo, said a mass I have watched on my video tape so often since that I feel I know every young face who came for communion, some who died that day, some who survived being shot an hour later, or lived to tell the world how they were poisoned at the military hospital.

What I remember most and about all of these Timorese people who cooperated silently, across the country without a word exchanged between them that day, was the modesty, the decency, young and veterans of 16 years of suffering and slaughter, those recognized today as great heroes like David Alex, fighting and surviving against incredible odds, those like Aviano Faria, who stood up suddenly like a ghost in the morgue shocking the Indonesian soldiers when he saw the consequences of the medication they were giving to the wounded who screamed too much; like Amali, barely 16 years old, who lined up for holy communion, and an hour later refused to run, facing down instead the Indonesian guns whilst he supported another young man he hardly knew who was bathed in blood after being shot and stabbed 5 times, an image today immortalised in a statue outside the Motael church in Dili.

The message that these people gave my camera was not brutal, despite all the brutality they had lived through, or even heroic, despite their willingness to give their lives. It was a message of dignity. Dignity which may never be recognised, dignity in the face of brutality, of anger of the madness all around. Their dignity might have been like so many others a passing moment in the death of yet one more human being, helpless against the abuse and cruelty of ignorance and power.

But by a miracle that day it was not. That message of dignity I filmed, and put on TV around the world transformed the prospects of not just of those who came out peacefully to protest on the 12 of November, not just of those in the resistance that made them who they were, not just of the guerrilla fighters whose struggle defied all military logic, but even of many other peoples across the world who had lost hope.

We still don't know precisely how many people died on the morning of the 12 of November when the Indonesian soldiers opened fire on a peaceful, unarmed protestors outside the Santa Cruz cemetery. Was it the 68 named in the Santa Cruz committee with surnames and photographs attached, or 270 named with first names at the time, or how many of the disappeared reappeared, how many of the wounded may have survived and for how long? Some died of physical injuries, some of psychological injuries much later. But the message that day of decency and dignity stood in such sharp contrast with the Indonesian lies and callous talk of enemies, that five years later the Nobel committee in Norway gave two great sons of Timor the Nobel Peace Prize, and eight years later the world intervened, finally, after so many years of shamefully ignoring mass murder in Timor to ensure a referendum was held, and then again after hundreds of thousands put their lives on the line one last time in September 1999, returned to see the result was enforced.

Sometimes dignity can change the world. For this insight I thank those people who resisted quietly, without bluster, in what seemed like a hopeless cause, and showed that sometimes faith really can move mountains and values shared across generations, from mountains to cities, from a small island abandoned and forgotten around the world, can conquer arrogance and murder, against all the odds.

This was a message that liberated a nation, and rekindled hope in a world of despair.

I thank them to this day and I thank you all, Timorese, and friends of Timor who today bear witness to the sacrifice they made. Let us all carry on the struggle for dignity against all odds, for which those young people died on the 12 November 1991.

Källa: East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)