Escape from Jonestown: Julia Scheeres describes the lives of people in the last days of the infamous compound.
They’d only told him the day before that he was leaving for South America. His head was still spinning with the quickness of it all. He was glad to get away from the never-ending church meetings and rules. But mostly he was excited about seeing his father. Jim Bogue left for Guyana two years earlier, and although he’d called home using the mission’s ham radio, the conversations were rushed and marred by static. His father sounded proud of all the pioneers had accomplished at the mission post, and Tommy was eager to see it for himself.
At Port Kaituma, Pastor Jim Jones finally emerged from the wheelhouse, wearing the dark-lensed, gold-framed sunglasses that rarely left his face. He welcomed them to the village—which seemed to consist of little more than stalls selling produce and used clothing—as if he owned it. Tommy listened attentively to Pastor Jones, who was only there for a short visit. Guyana was a fresh start for him and he wanted to make his father proud.[more inside]
"We didn't commit suicide. We committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world."
31 years ago today, 918 people died in the Jonestown Mass Murder-Suicide. One week later, CBC Radio aired this comprehensive examination[MP3] of the events leading up the tragedy, including cult leader Jim Jones' rise to power, the founding of the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project in Guyana, and the ill-fated investigative delegation headed by Congressman Leo Ryan which precipitated the tragic event.
Due to “credible death and kidnapping threats”, T-Pain has cancelled a concert in Guyana for Mashramani, the festival that marks the anniversary of Guyana’s independence from Great Britain. Last years, celebration was soured by a killing spree perpetrated by a heavily armed gang led by man known as “Fine Man”. Because the 23 victims were mainly of East Indian descent, the massacre was a powder keg issue for the tiny South American nation. With a population of 44% East Indian and 30% African ancestries, Guyana tends to be socially and politically divided along ethnic identity lines. [more inside]
We gotta love you, leave you miles behind / But if you wanna talk a walk then come into the garden with me / Jimmie Jones...
From Silver Lake to Suicide: One Family's Secret History of the Jonestown Massacre.
The Bushi-Nenge of French Guiana and Surinam (Bush Negroes or Maroons) are a unique, and little-known group of peoples (Boni or Aluku, Saramaca, Ndyuka) who escaped from Dutch plantations in the early 1700's, who battled for independence which was recognized through various treaties -- notably by the Treaty of Albina which France and the Netherlands signed in 1860 (I can't find any info on the net), and who still live an African-type life largely based around the Maroni River between French Guiana and Suriname, as citizens of either one country or the other. Their language is Sranan Tongo (a mixture of African Languages, English, Dutch, Portuguese and Hebrew -- also known as Taki-Taki -- click for a listen). Historical and scholarly works are scarce, but they exist (In English but mostly in Dutch or French). Some pictures of typical houses. Symbolic Woodwork. More art. Images of the people of French Guyana. Images of various canoes in French Guiana. More photos of the Maroni River. Amazonie Francaise.