A JOURNAL OF FREE VOICES We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of human-kind as the foundation of democracy: we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powetfid or cater 10 the ignoble in the human spirit. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them we do not necessarily imply that we agree with them, because this is a journal of free voices. SINCE 1954 Founding Editor: Ronnie Dugger Publisher: Geoff Rips Editor: Louis Dubose Associate Editor: Michael King Production: Harrison Saunders Copy Editor: Mimi Bardagjy Editorial Interns: Amanda Toering Contributing Writers: Bill Adler, Barbara Belejack, Betty Brink, Warren Burnett, Brett Campbell, Peter Cassidy, Jo Clifton, Carol Countryman, Terry FitzPatrick, Richard L. Fricker, James Harrington, Bill Helmer, Jim Hightower, Ellen Hosmer, Molly Ivins, Steven Kellman, Deborah Lutterbeck, Tom McClellan, Bryce Milligan, Debbie Nathan, Brad Tyer, James McCarty Yeager. Editorial Advisory Board: David Anderson, Austin; Frances Barton, Austin; Elroy Bode, El Paso; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Dave Denison, Cambridge, Mass; Bob Eckhardt, Austin; Sissy Farenthold, Houston; Ruperto Garcia, Austin; John Kenneth Galbraith, Cambridge, Mass.; Lawrence Goodwyn, Durham, N.C.; George Hendrick, Urbana, Ill.; Molly Ivins, Austin; Larry L. King, Washington, D.C.; Maury Maverick, Jr., San Antonio; Willie Morris, Jackson, Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Fort Worth; James Presley, Texarkana; Schwartz, Galveston; Fred Schmidt, Fredericksburg. Poetry Editor: Naomi Shihab Nye Poetry Consultant: Thomas B. Whitbread Contributing Photographers: Bill Albrecht, Vic Hinterlang, Alan Pogue. Contributing Artists: Michael Alexander, Eric Avery, Tom Ballenger, Richard Bartholomew, Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein, Valerie Fowler, Dan Hubig, Pat Johnson, Kevin Kreneck, Michael Krone, Carlos Lowry, Gary Oliver, Ben Sargent, Dan Thibodeau, Gail Woods, Matt Wuerker. Business Manager: Cliff Olofson Subscription and Office Manager: Douglas Falls Development Consultant: Frances Barton SUBSCRIPTIONS: One year $32, two year $59, three years $84. Pull-time students $18 per year. Back issues $3 prepaid. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm editions available from University Microfilms Intl., 300 N. Zech Road, Ann Arbor, MI 481\(16. Any current subscriber who finds the price a burden should say so at renewal time; no one need forgo reading the Observer simply because of the cost. INDEXES: The Texas Observer is indexed in Access: The Supplementary Index to Periodicals; Texas Index and, for the years 1954 through 1981,The Texas Observer Index. copyrighted. 0 1995, is published biweekly except for a three-week interval 477-0746. E-mail: [email protected] Second-class postage paid at Austin. Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. Note: The following Dialogue was received in response to “A Professor’s Resignation,” in the Observer for September 29, 1995. A Visit to West Papua \(The following is excerpted from a letter, dated September 27, by Professor Steven Feld to William H. Cunningham, ChancelDear Dr. Cunningham, Your letter [T.O., September 29] attributes the source of our disagreement on Freeport’s environmental and human rights record to the fact that you have visited the mine site and I have not…. [This response] indicates little understanding of the political situation in Irian Jaya. I have not undertaken research in Irian Jaya because the Indonesian government does not grant research visas to anthropologists for work there. This has been the dominant situation for twenty-five years. It is well-known that the Indonesian state finds anthropologists to be potential threats to its efforts to dominate indigenous West Papuans. This pattern applies to both foreign and local anthropologists; witness the 1984 Indonesian police murder of Irian Jaya anthropologist Arnold Ap. Indonesia has been repeatedly cited for such repressive and brutal retaliation against researchers and journalists. As I write, over fifty political prisoners are in Indonesian jails merely for advocating independence for the indigenous people of Irian Jaya. Documentation of these matters can be found in Amnesty International’s 1995 Annual Report and 1994 Indonesia handbook, Power and Impunity: Human Rights under the New Order; more local details can be found in Carmel Budiardjo and Liem Soei Liong’s book West Papua: The Obliteration of a People, published in 1988 by TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign. You might object that even if I cannot do official research in Irian Jaya, I could at least visit as a tourist. But in fact travel to Irian Jaya on a tourist visa is also quite re strictive in terms of where one is allowed to go and who one is allowed to meet. Indeed, there are serious risks to visitors who ask questions of indigenous Melanesians, as well as retaliations against locals who speak to them…. But this does not mean that there is no reliable information about indigenous responses to Indonesian colonialism and its transnational component. Some ten thousand indigenous West Papuans who are refugees from Indonesian political oppression in Irian Jaya currently live over the border in Papua New Guinea…. [R]efugee accounts, as well as those from other West Papuan refugees living in Australia and The Netherlands, have been in circulation for years. There are also eyewitness and first-person accounts of experiences around the mine, like the ones in the ACFOA and Catholic Church reports, and ones provided by Indonesian and foreign NGO’s as well as former Freeport staff. …Whatever your experience at Freeport’s mine…the volume and variety of information I and others have researched is serious and must be addressed; it cannot simply be dismissed by claiming that I have not been to the site. I am, nonetheless, grateful for your offer to facilitate a visit to the mine, now that you have gone on record stating how strongly you feel that such an experience would significantly alter my views. I would very much like to take such a trip in the near future \(at my own expense of tiate the process of visiting the mine site and witnessing Freeport’s operation in the way you have. […] Finally, I am astonished by your transparent acceptance of The Jakarta Post headline proclaiming “Freeport Not Involved in Timika Case.” Neither the ACFOA report nor the Catholic Church report I sent claims that the murders, detentions, tortures, and harassments cited Continued on P. 10. DIALOGUE Editor’s Note Since September of 1989, Observer Copy Editor Roxanne Bogucka has held the line against typos, misspellings, lapses in style and taste, and the editor’s inclination to occasionally split infinitives. Except for those occasions when we managed to circumvent her desk, the quality of our copy has been far better because of her attention. Roxanne left the Observer to pursue an advanced degree in library sciencean academic discipline new to her, and probably a mother’s attempt to provide chronic bibliophiles Woodrow and Harriet with a steady supply of reading material. She is replaced by Mimi Bardagjy, who happily returns to Austin after ten years AWOL in Houston. 2 NOVEMBER 10, 1995
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