Subject: Money needed for student organizing in East Timor & Jakarta
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 22:14:08 -0600
From: Kristin Sundell
Fernando de Araujo will be leaving the US for Jakarta this Sunday, November 22nd after spending over a month in the U.S. and Canada. Many of us had the privilege of meeting him as he travelled around the country and attended ETAN conferences in San Francisco and New Hampshire. He's been very gracious to give all this time, especially since he's badly needed back in Jakarta!
I've been speaking with Fernando recently about his & Renetil's financial situation. Renetil is very much in need of funding to organize & carry out large-scale actions planned for the next month or so. Fernando has no regular source of income and is also in need of financial support.
Below is a letter from Fernando asking for our solidarity and support as well as a brief bio. So far ETAN/US will be giving Fernando $500 and ETAN chapters in Seattle, St Louis, Chicago, Madison, and San Francisco all plan to give between $50 - $100.
Bio for Fernando de Araujo:
Fernando was imprisoned for six years for activities to oppose Indonesian rule of his homeland, East Timor. He is was an Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience and a Reebok Human Rights award winner for his nonviolent activities. Eighteen of Fernando's relatives were lined up and shot by Indonesian soldiers on the first day of Indonesia's invasion of East Timor. He was key organizer of the underground East Timorese student movement, Renetil, and arrested, tortured and imprisoned after organizing a demonstration in Jakarta to protest the massacre of over 271 people on November 12,1991, in Dili, East Timor. He was released from prison in March, 1998.
Dear friends of East Timor,
I am writing on behalf of RENETIL (Resistencia National dos Estudantes Timor L'Este/National Resistence of East Timorese Students) to appeal for your solidarity.
RENETIL is an organization of East Timorese students studying outside East Timor. Formed on June 20, 1988, we now have at least 1,114 members living in Portugal, England, Ireland, Australia, and parts of Indonesia. We are committed to peacefully achieving self-determination for East Timor. Our goals also include the withdrawal of Indonesian troops from East Timor and the release of all East Timorese political prisioners, including jailed East Timorese resistance leader Xanana Gusmao.
RENETIL and other East Timorese popular organizations are now preparing for mass peaceful protests to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the December 7th, 1975 invasion of East Timor.
Our aim is to show the international community that we need its support to achieve our right to self-determination.
Events are planned in East Timor itself, and in Jakarta. These events will begin in early December, and continue at least until December 10, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration on Human Rights.
We are appealing to our friends around the world for two kinds of support. First, we need representatives of solidarity organizations to come to East Timor to witness these events.
Secondly, we have appealed to the East Timor Action Network (ETAN) in the United States to help us raise money to offset the costs of transportation, signs and banners and food and water for the thousands of East Timorese and Indonesian solidarity activists who will participate in these events.
We are also asking for letters of solidarity and support to be faxed to us, care of ETAN/US, who will ensure we get them in East Timor and Indonesia.
A Luta Continua (the struggle continues)!
Fernando de Araujo General Secretary, RENETIL