1994 Annual Report
|The East Timor Action Network/United States supports
genuine self-determination and human rights for the people of
East Timor in accordance with the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, the 1960 United Nations General Assembly
Resolution on Decolonization, and Security Council and General
Assembly resolutions on East Timor. Our primary focus is to
change US foreign policy and raise public awareness to support
self-determination for East Timor.
The East Timor Action Network/United States was
formed after November 12, 1991, when Indonesian soldiers
massacred over 250 unarmed people at Santa Cruz cemetery in
Dili, East Timor. We believe that if U.S. and Indonesian
policies on East Timor are ever going to change - even after
19 years of Indonesian occupation and genocide - international
awareness of the tragedy must be converted into action. We
agree with the East Timorese resistance that changing U.S.
government policy is key to Indonesia's withdrawal from East
During 1994, ETAN worked on many fronts. We will expand
those directions and explore new ones in 1995.
campaign: the APEC summit
ETAN organized media outreach and protest
activities before, during and after President Clinton's November
visit to Indonesia for the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic
We organized a press conference to release a
pre-APEC letter from East Timorese resistance head Xanana
Gusmão to President Clinton.
Our "Send Clinton a Message" campaign
produced hundreds of calls and e-mails to the White House urging
the President to raise the issue of self-determination when he
met with Suharto. While in Jakarta, Clinton said "the
people of East Timor should have more say over their own local
affairs," the first time an American president has
mentioned self-determination in public. This is a step forward,
but falls far short of supporting an internationally-supervised
During APEC, we issued numerous action alerts,
were a source for many media outlets, and generated public
pressure on US and Indonesian officials to protect the 29 East
Timorese who sat in at the US Embassy compound in Jakarta.
On November 16, ETAN activists committed
nonviolent civil disobedience at the Indonesian Embassy in
Washington and consulate in San Francisco to support the East
Timorese in Jakarta. We continue to remind the media that,
although the 29 have taken asylum in Portugal, hundreds of other
East Timorese were arrested and "disappeared" after
foreign journalists left or were expelled.
We were the link to the outside world for
American reporters Amy Goodman and Allan Nairn, who were
arrested when they tried to visit East Timor during APEC, and
later entered secretly.
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Organized vigils at Indonesian and US government
offices across the United States. On December 7, the 19th
anniversary of the invasion, we picketed every Indonesian
embassy and consulate in this country.
Demonstrated outside and raised questions inside
conferences organized by the Indonesian government and US
corporations in New York, Seattle, Houston and elsewhere. ETAN
was able to publicly question Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas and key US government and corporate officials.
Began a "corporate campaign" to
develop consumer and shareholder pressure on US companies that
support the occupation of East Timor. We are starting with those
who steal East Timorese oil (Chevron, USX Marathon and Oryx
Energy), or actively lobby against Congressional initiatives on
East Timor (Freeport MacMoRan).
Arranged public and media events with Helen
Todd, the mother of Kamal Bamadhaj, who was the only foreigner
killed during the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre. Todd was just
awarded $14 million by a Boston federal court in her lawsuit
against one of the Indonesian generals responsible for the
Leafleted Indonesian Independence Day
celebrations in San Francisco and gamelan concerts in Boston,
raising Indonesian awareness.
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Held over 100 meetings with Members of Congress
and their staffs. ETAN brought activists to Washington for an
April week of lobbying, followed up by further meetings, faxes,
and phone calls with the contacts we made there.
Successfully worked to continue the ban on US
military aid to Indonesia that Congress passed in 1992. Although
the House also banned the sale of military training, the Senate
Persuaded Congress to outlaw the sale of small
arms and riot control equipment to Indonesia. This came after an
historic roll call in which the Senate refused to ban the use of
all US-supplied weapons in East Timor. It is a step toward
building bipartisan support in both Houses.
Helped develop proposed legislation limiting US
and multilateral funding of Indonesia because the military
dominates their economy, in violation of World Bank rules.
Injected the issue of Indonesia and East Timor
into elections, especially the California Senate race.
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resources and information
Published our quarterly Network News newsletter,
which is sent to several thousand East Timor supporters
Issued Action Alerts and press releases to help
people respond quickly to emergencies and opportunities, and to
prepare for major events.
Supplied background for Congressional staff,
journalists and others who visited East Timor or Indonesia. ETAN
put them in contact with semi-underground democratic movements.
We also provide information to people inside who have little
access to uncensored media.
Continued to work with video producers and
distributors. ETAN sells and produces videos, and we handed out
materials at many showings of the film Manufacturing Consent:
Noam Chomsky and the Media. We also distribute books, pamphlets,
and other educational materials, many of which are published
outside the U.S. and hard to get here.
Arranged showings of John Pilger's new
documentary Death of a Nation: Conspiracy in East Timor, which
has so far been refused US television and film distribution.
Promoted the All in the Family CD - music by and
about East Timorese people - reaching new constituencies.
Facilitated worldwide information distribution
of fast-breaking news reports, background information and action
alerts through the Internet.
Published periodic Documents on East Timor, a
comprehensive compilation of reports and analyses. Subscribers
include activist groups, journalists, governments and libraries
around the world.
Wrote articles on East Timor for a wide range of
publications. Op-ed pieces by ETAN activists have appeared in
major newspapers, and we initiated programs on East Timor on
NPR, CNN, and elsewhere.
Served as a contact point for people discovering
East Timor and eager to learn more. By listing ETAN's address in
various places, we receive "what can I do?" inquiries
from all over the world. Alternative Radio's East Timor: A Case
of Genocide has helped over 150 new people find ETAN.
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Building awareness and
Provided videos and other resources to
communities across the United States. We arranged numerous
speaking dates for East Timorese representative Constâncio
Pinto, journalists Amy Goodman and Allan Nairn, and others.
Developed a national network of ETAN groups,
including Austin, Boston, Colorado, Houston, Los Angeles,
Madison, New Jersey, New York, Portland, Providence, San
Francisco, Seattle, Sonoma and Washington DC. Each has organized
programs and demonstrations.
Held our second national conference, where key
activists from across the U.S. developed ETAN strategies and
structure. We tightened our structure, so that ETAN can react
quickly and democratically when decisions need to be made.
Strengthened ties with religious, human rights,
labor, peace, social justice, media, Luso-American,
Asian/Pacific-American, and other organizations. We are also
working with Amnesty International on their Indonesia/East Timor
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Thinking and acting
Represented the International Federation for
East Timor at the United Nations, including arranging meetings
between Timorese and U.N. representatives.
Facilitated a meeting between U.N. Secretary
General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and four members of
Parliamentarians for East Timor from around the world.
Attended the Asia-Pacific Conference on East
Timor in Manila. When Indonesia leaned on the Philippine
government to ban the conference (Manila deported a dozen
people), ETAN's presence there and media outreach at home helped
magnify the impact of this globally-covered event.
Testified at the United Nations Committee on
Decolonization in July. ETAN arranged housing, clerical support
and presenters for many of the 28 organizations from 11
countries who spoke.
Supported outspoken Indonesian professor George
Aditjondro when he was threatened and interrogated by military
officials. ETAN distributes Aditjondro's book on East Timor, and
we hope to bring him to the United States to speak.
Helped with logistical support and contacts for
East Timorese leaders when they visited the United States to
meet the Indonesian Foreign Minister, for the Indonesia-Portugal
negotiations and for other U.N.-related activities.
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"ETAN has been doing wonderful work, which I really
appreciate very much, having been deeply involved in this issue
since almost the beginning. Seemed pretty hopeless for a long time,
but ETAN has made a tremendous difference, maybe even a decisive
- Professor Noam Chomsky , M.I.T
East Timor Action Network/U.S.
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