I saw one of those photosets showcasing the different beautiful nature of Africa. But most of the time, that’s all we really see of Africa in the West: wildlife documentaries and starving children. And that give a very distorted view of this continent.
So I went on a picture hunt and gathered shots from some of the major cities in a selection of countries. This is by no means a complete list, but a little glimpse into what we don’t see that often.
Because human rights organizations and journalists are not allowed to enter West Papua. and because of the Indonesian suppression of free speech and the press the West Papuan struggle for independence is one of the lesser known such struggles. Few people know or care about the human rights abuses and suppression of the indigenous Papuan population by Indonesia, and in the case of the Netherlands I would say this is especially shameful.
After Indonesia gained independence from the Netherlands it also claimed West Papua with the promise to allow them a referendum later on about independence. This referendum was held in 1969 and was a complete sham, but was still recognized by the UN. The KNPB or the West Papuan National Committee is the peaceful branch of the West Papuan liberation movement. Many of the leading KNPB members have been murdered by Indonesia.
The West Papuan National Liberation Army is the organization engaged in armed struggle against the Indonesian occupiers.
In this documentary undercover Al-Jazeera journalists visit with the leader of the KNPB to pay some much needed attention to their struggle.
Watch the documentary here: [video]
Could you do a favor for those of us who don't know alot about it and explain more about the west memphis three thing and that Damien guy?
oh mannnnn, can i! this is like my fave thing to talk about because i’m a criminal justice major so justice is my middle name (actually my middle name is liberty so that’s close enough) but forreals, i would be happy to. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE understand that this is by no means a complete account of everything that happened and is much more a little summary of things. if you have questions, would like me to cite more sources on a specific thing, or would like me to elaborate, please let me know and i would be more than happy to but this is gonna be crazy long as it is!
some facts about the case:
christopher byers, stevie branch, and michael moore were three 8 year old boys who were found brutally murdered and bound hand to foot with their own shoelaces in may of 1993 in west memphis, arkansas, a southern state in the USA for those who aren’t familiar (crime scene photo links, asterisks are for graphic and potentially triggering photos, click at your own risk 12*3*4*5*6*7*)
damien echols, jason baldwin, and jessie misskelley were pretty immediately considered suspects (because a douchebag of a juvie probation officer named jerry driver, who had previous experience with damien and his mental health issues stemming from childhood abuse and home life and was pretty much convinced from the get go that he was a satan worshipping lunatic, basically walked around town with photos of damien asking people if they’d seen him with the boys by which point people were looking for anybody to pin the blame on so it was pretty easy for them to pin it on damien and co. who wore a lot of black and listened to metallica and shit because as we all know those are obvious signs of being a murderer, eyeroll)
one big thing to understand is jessie misskelley and his confession(s)! jessie had an iq of 78, which is pretty close to being mentally disabled. when they brought him in to question him because he was an acquaintance of jason and damien who at the time were best friends, they didn’t explain what his options were, didn’t allow him to call his father, etc. etc. etc. they also stopped and started recording, didn’t record all his of his confessions, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, LED HIM IN THE QUESTIONING. for real, that dick of a detective bombarded him with a ton of confusing questions, frequently changing the time frame of the murders to later in the day so as to get jessie to confess that they were there at the right time when he clearly didn’t know anything about it. i don’t even need to say anything else except that when jessie was awaiting trial, he was reading a pamphlet about satan given to him by a minister, and when he met with his attorney, asked him who ‘satin’ was as he had never before heard the term satan pronounced. so yeah, obviously these were suuuper satanic murders for which these boys were to blame! (another eyeroll)
to summarise: three boys are murdered, three other young boys are demonised and brought in as the suspects when there was literally no evidence to pin on them except a coerced confession
facts about the trials:
damien was seen as the ringleader of the crimes and jason’s attorneys tried their hardest but failed to get his trial severed from damien’s; because of jessie’s confession, his trial was already separated from theirs. damien and jason went to trial together.
jessie sat with his head down during much of his trial as his confession was played for the courtroom; in the end he was convicted of a count of first degree murder for allegedly recapturing michael moore when he ran away, and two counts of second degree murder for stevie branch and christopher byers; he was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 40 years
during damien and jason’s trial, damien acted a bit like the arrogant teenager he was, fixing his hair and giving the finger to the media, etc, but some of his actions were also misinterpreted and a much sweeter side of him was brought out when he was seen holding and playing with his newborn son. tbh he was a scared-as-fuck teenager, and he was right to be. while jason was sentenced to life imprisonment, damien was sentenced to death (courtesy of him being seen as the ringleader)
another fun fact to understand about this whole thing is that while jessie’s confession was something to be used against him during his trial, the prosecution literally had nothing to go on for damien and jason’s trial, and judge burnett, asshole that he is, emptied the courtroom multiple times and blocked pretty much every attempt for the defence to do their job while letting the prosecution parade a bunch of halfwit witnesses through the courtroom to “testify”
no seriously their “expert” in satanism/occultism was a dude who got his doctorate from a diploma mill
the aftermath, new evidence and the release of the wm3:
three documentaries were released by hbo and are referred to as the paradise lost trilogy (links below)
the case brought many people who would sooner crucify the wm3 than believe them, but it also brought a bunch of famous people with a big platform to speak from as supporters (eddie vedder, johnny depp, natalie maines, etc)
i also think it’s important to point out that they now have supporters in pam hobbs, stevie’s mother, and john mark byers, christopher’s stepfather (who was once a suspect) who both were out for the blood of the wm3 for a VERY long time but who now believe in their innocence THAT IS SO IMPORTANT
it is important to note that no dna has ever been found to match the wm3 and in fact, dna WAS found that more than likely matches terry hobbs, stevie branch’s stepfather, IN the knots of one of the shoelaces of one of the OTHER boys; another hair was found that matches a friend of hobbs’, and finally, hobbs supposedly confessed to family members that he killed the boys
blood evidence potentially related to the crime (has never been confirmed and now can’t be) was lost so that’s also important to note
most importantly of all, the wm3 were released in 2011 after spending 18 years and 78 days in prison on the basis of an alford plea, which in very simple terms, means they get to maintain their innocence while also accepting that the prosecution had the evidence to proclaim them guilty
because unfortunately, you can be free without really being free; while damien, jason, and jessie are rebuilding their lives, they are also not exonerated because the state of arkansas won’t budge because hey, who ever wants to admit they’re wrong? which is really what it comes down to in the end. damien especially had it rough, spending most of his days for the last decade of his imprisonment in solitary, which resulted in him wearing the dark glasses you now see him in frequently because his eyesight suffered
jason is one of the most consistently positive people i’ve ever seen. while at first he didn’t want to accept the alford plea because he didn’t think it was right that they shouldn’t be exonerated entirely, he did it for jessie, whose father’s health was failing, and also for damien who could have been executed at any time. but he also has a big problem! he’s studied law and would like to practice someday to help others like him, but he can’t do that without exoneration.
jessie now spends much of his time in his home, afraid to leave because he’s apparently petrified they’ll lock him up again. and he’s not wrong to be afraid. if he is caught in any minor infraction, or in anything that is SEEN as an infraction, he could be sent back to prison
three innocent boys were murdered and three more innocent boys suffered the consequences of a crime they did not commit, spending much of their lives so far (they are now in their mid-late 30s) in prison because of hysteria and panic and a lack of evidence that should have any prosecutor thrown out on his ass by any reasonable judge
stevie branch, michael moore, and christopher byers deserve justice and while the case remains closed, they don’t get that
「@irritablefacade, bc tunglr deleted my reply to this story & i’m too heartbroken and petty to write 8 paragraphs all over again✦ 」
More than one car nearly ended up through their front gate upon sighting Jane. A two-story drop awaits should she edge just a little further over the green cast-iron railing. When she slipped like a specter onto their wide balcony the sky was still pale. Now a starless petroleum blue has eaten it. She’s barefoot, still in the same damp clothes she came home in, and hunched over. Devil’s Peak dangles from her battered fingertips. She hasn’t spilt any from the bottle, though her lips and tongue have been playing with the rim.
The entire drive home was silent. She forgot to prepare dinner. Tandie lies on their bed, chewing a long lost and forgotten about shoe that Brian must have kicked under it. Molala trees dance on the breeze that Jane cannot truly feel. He’s shielded her in suburbia. Past the screen of lush plants, their neighbors in the cape to the left have two small children. On the right, their house is practically attached to another two-story home with cute, albeit neglected wrought-iron rails. Those neighbors despise her.
Her cheeks shiny and wet with black tears, Jane smears the liquid shadow away with the heel of her hand. Then she blindly reaches behind her to seize him by the tricep.
“I ruined our date,” she murmurs, stroking his tanned skin with an ashen thumb, “I’m sorry.” Jane twists to best hook his shadowed face into her periphery. She’s dead behind the eyes, yet they bleed black onto an equally empty catacomb of a face. “You know I love you, right?“
like, i bet ever since that happened he gets pulled over on the regular every time some adult complains about 'suspicious looking teenagers' regardless of whether he was anywhere near the area etc. gets a bit wearing. it must have had a really complicated effect on his relationship with his father too, who we know was constantly being bailed out of jail by Fred. (1)
Answering each ask here but in order because, phew, so much to unpack! I also hope you don’t mind me posting publicly, because I wanted to save it somewhere, i really loved these asks a lot. Also, lmao, i’m glad my socio/crim degrees are going to use for the purpose of discussing fictional characters. Responses under the cut to save people’s dashes.