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Together, We Walk


I shared this story because of the article on World Pulse Summer/Fall Edition about Courageous Love. On page 58, World Pulse wrote an incident in my hometown. I didn't experience the incident, but my friends did.

I still remember that day in May 1998. We were in chaos. Everybody was shocked by the attack. Some of us were badly injured. Some others were saved, but the saving efforts were not easy. Some of us had to run as faster as we could, climbed the gate of a hospital near our campus, or hid somewhere, to avoid of being kicked, hit by a gun, or any other physical assault that might harm us. We were unarmed students, but had to fight against the armed forces.

It was totally horrible. We had prepared everything so well, but still, the information was leak.
Rumor then spread out. She was the spy, he was the spy. We could not trust somebody easily, but yet, we kept on fighting.

And, days later, the resignation of Soeharto –a president who ruled Indonesia for over 32 years, marked the end of the regime.

It was the brightest day of our life. We won the battle.

But then, years later –precisely over a year ago, my friends –delegation from Aceh, who attended ILGA Conference in my hometown had to move out of the hotel, as their hotel was being attacked by a group of hardline Islamist, known as FPI (Front Pembela Islam, or could be into Islam Defender Front). Luckily, I was in town, so they could stay at my home. It was harder for those who had no friends or relatives, and especially those who were from abroad. Fortunately, they were all rescued. I know the committee had worked hard to handle the situation.

That moment has re-awakened my conscious. One-day revolution never guarantees our freedom.

Though, now in Indonesia, we can speak about how corrupt our government is, how bad our education system, or how terrible our law enforcing. But, don't expect good response if we speak about inter-faith issue, LBTIQ rights, or even woman's rights. Still, inter-faith marriage is taboo –especially for Muslim woman, lesbian is invincible, Marriage Law is hard to be reformed, and yet Syariah Law implemented in several provinces can not be eliminated.

Today, we are not fighting against government or military, but we are “fighting against” our own community. And, that is even harder. Being alienated of having different values is not easy to overcome. But, no mission is impossible. I believe, if we stick together, stand up for human rights, good things will always come. At least, we’ve proved it before. The fall of New Order regime has proved that even the most powerful man could surrender.

Thus, I believe, one day, our community will be more compassionate.

Though, it might be a long way to walk, but we'll keep on walking.
For me, power can not be measured by high amount of majority, but by committed-thoughtfulness of minority.


olutosin's picture

We are.......Walking

Thanks so much for this piece, we are not deterred because our efforts are yielding fruits, no matter how little.

Hmmnnn to be silent in face of oppression is worse.
Thank God, millions of women the World over are talking and walking the talk.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town


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