Nguyen Thi Chiem:
, village headman Chac arrested my husband and had him taken
away. I just gave birth to my child then and did not have anything to
eat for two days. The villagers carried my baby up there to show them
that my husband had indeed gone to fetch a midwife to help me in my
childbirth and so there was no reason for them to arrest him. So village
headman Chac said: "I don't care. I’ll choke this baby to death too!"
This was the reason for the outrage. He exiled my husband to Chi Hoa
prison where he remained
for a year and a half.
After that they sent him to the district jail of Chum
Ruot for six months before he was finally released. This was the reason
for our outrage. I have hot blood. This was because we were just
innocent people who had not done anything wrong at all. And yet my
husband was arrested and tortured until he became injured. They broke
his arms. As a result, he could not do anything to find food to feed his
children at all. It was extremely hard for us. We were continually very
hungry. Therefore, my children also had to put up with a lot of
My outrage caused me to stand up. On the day of the
uprising I stood up to demand the basic democratic rights of the people.
There was a soldier named Con who realized that the inhabitants were
doing the right thing and supported the people. Therefore, he stood up,
captured guns and fought them. After the fighting was over, the enemy
shelled us from Dong Tam, killing one of my children. In May 1966, they dropped bombs and killed
another of my children.
By the beginning of 1967 my
husband was killed when they bombed the village. They died at different
times and not all at once. In 1968 the
Americans conducted a search and destroy operation into this area and
shot and killed another of my children. For this reason, we were really
outraged. Therefore, as we were told by the soldiers, the women all over
the world supported us. While we were struggling, we were roughed up.
But there were some soldiers
who told them that they should not rough us up. We heard that women in
other countries in the world also supported the Vietnamese women and
told the regime not to suppress us. This news encouraged us and so we
stood up and fought for our rights. Before that, I did not participate
in any political activities at all. This was because I had so many
children to take care of. And then I had to spend the whole day working
and transplanting rice.