1995 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.
1995 marks two decades of Indonesian occupation of East
Timor, three decades of the rule of Suharto's military regime, and five
decades of Indonesian independence. In this anniversary year, the East
Timor Action Network/United States continued and expanded our efforts to
change US and Indonesian policy toward supporting the human and political
rights of the people of East Timor.
1996 will be the fifth year of the East Timor Action
Network, which was formed after the November 1991 massacre at Santa Cruz
cemetery, when Indonesian soldiers killed over 250 unarmed people in Dili,
East Timor. We believe that if US and Indonesian policies on East Timor
are ever going to change - even after 20 years of Indonesian occupation
and genocide - international awareness of the tragedy must be converted
into action. We agree with political observers and the East Timorese
resistance that changing US government policy is key to Indonesia's
withdrawal from East Timor.
During 1995, ETAN expanded our mailing list to more than
3000, with thousands more in ETAN local groups. We have a new chapter in
Chicago, and increasing activity in Boston, Colorado, Los Angeles,
Madison, New Jersey, New York, Portland, Providence, San Francisco,
Seattle, Texas, Washington DC and elsewhere. ETAN also has chapters at
colleges across the United States.
During 1995, ETAN/US worked on many fronts, including
those below. In 1996, we will expand these directions and explore new
ones, including an increased presence in Washington and several national
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Keeping the pressure
Organized numerous vigils at Indonesian and US
government offices. On December 7, the 20th anniversary of the
invasion, we picketed the Indonesian Embassy, UN Mission, and
consulates across this country.
Intensified our "corporate campaign" to
bring consumer and shareholder pressure on US companies that support
the occupation of East Timor. Raised questions inside Texaco's annual
shareholder meeting and demonstrated outside that meeting. We are
working to raise awareness about the Indonesian activities of other
oil (Chevron, USX Marathon, Phillips Petroleum) and shoe (Nike,
Reebok) companies which support Indonesia's regime, often in coalition
with people concerned about Burma, Ecuador, and labor rights.
Worked with journalists, environmentalists and others
to build knowledge and public concern about environmental and human
rights violations committed in West Papua (Irian Jaya) by Freeport
McMoRan, the largest US corporate investor in Indonesia and a strong
supporter of the Suharto regime.
Publicly questioned Henry Kissinger (Secretary of
State when Indonesia invaded East Timor) about his and President
Ford's approval of the invasion. Kissinger's defensiveness and ETAN's
rebuttals generated radio and magazine stories.
Demonstrated against Indonesian military dictator
Suharto when he visited New York and Washington in October.
Leafleted celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of
Indonesian independence in New York and San Francisco, and other
events, complementing the growing awareness of East Timor among
Demonstrated outside and raised questions inside trade
conferences organized by the Indonesian government and US corporations
in New York, San Francisco, and elsewhere.
Supported human rights attorney Reed Brody, who went
to East Timor to participate in a religious memorial ceremony in
November. Brody and other international VIP's were expelled from East
Timor after 24 hours.
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- Made numerous trips to Washington to meet with Congresspeople and
their staffs, including more than 400 of the 435 Representatives'
offices. In May, we brought two dozen activists from around the
country to Washington for a week of lobbying.
- Worked to maintain the ban on US military aid to Indonesia in effect
since 1992. With the new Republican-controlled Congress, we were only
able to keep a partial ban. Although US military training aid for
Indonesian soldiers is still barred, non-military training aid has
- Continued to oppose all arms sales to Indonesia. We persuaded
Congress, the White House and the State Department to keep the
prohibition on sale of small arms and riot control equipment to
Indonesia. We also work against the pending sale of F-16 fighter jets,
which remains unresolved. 4Expanded and strengthened our relationships
with Washington-based arms control, religious and human rights
- Stimulated hundreds of calls, faxes, and e-mails to the White House
on December 7, the 20th anniversary of Indonesia's invasion of East
Timor. Callers asked President Clinton to cut off all US arms sales,
pressure Indonesia to comply with UN resolutions for East Timorese
self-determination, and free all political prisoners.
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- Published Network News. The latest issue of our newsletter went to
more than 4,000 East Timor supporters worldwide.
- Issued Action Alerts by fax, e-mail, and postal mail to encourage
people to respond quickly to emergencies and opportunities, and to
prepare for major events.
- Distributed press releases and other information to our growing list
of media contacts. ETAN activists, including chapter coordinators
Mariza Cabral, Matthew Jardine, Greg Knehans, Sally Levison, John M.
Miller and Will Seaman, have been interviewed by the media.
- Supplied background information for Congressional staff,
journalists, academics 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 Indonesia and East Timor
who have little access to uncensored media.
- Persuaded many PBS stations to broadcast Manufacturing Consent: Noam
Chomsky and the Media. This film, which includes a 20-minute segment
on East Timor, is available in video, book, or audiotape form from
- Initiated and distribute ETAN/LA coordinator Matthew Jardine's Genocide
in Paradise (Odonian Press, 1995), the only inexpensive
US-published book on East Timor.
- Distribute other books, CDs, audio and video tapes, pamphlets, etc.,
many of which are published outside the US and hard to obtain here. We
continue to work with video producers and distributors, and to hand
out material at public film showings.
- Facilitated Internet distribution of fast-breaking news reports,
background information and action alerts, reaching many thousands of
key people worldwide. We increasingly use the World Wide Web, and have
private e-mail lists for internal and international communications.
Our Internet services are featured, among other places, in the January
1996 issue of Wired magazine.
- Published Documents on East Timor, a comprehensive bi-monthly
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 the New York Times, Los
Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Journal of Commerce, and
other major newspapers. Letters to the Editor are ubiquitous. We
provide programs on East Timor for many broadcast media.
- Responded to requests from people discovering East Timor and eager
to learn more. By listing ETAN's contact information in various
places, we receive "what can I do?" inquiries from all over
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Building awareness and
- Provided videos, poster exhibits and other resources to colleges and
communities across the United States.
- Arranged theatrical showings of John Pilger's powerful film Death of
a Nation: The Timor Conspiracy in San Francisco, Seattle, Portland,
Washington DC, Providence, Long Island, Princeton, Madison, Boston and
elsewhere We are now distributing this documentary on video and will
promote its upcoming television broadcasts.
- Arranged numerous speaking dates for East Timorese representative
Constâncio Pinto, journalists Amy Goodman and Allan Nairn, ETAN
National Coordinator Charles Scheiner, writer Matthew Jardine, Law
Professor Roger S. Clark and others.
- Arranged press interviews, private meetings and programs for
visiting East Timor experts, including Australian nurse Simon de Faux,
East Timorese Resistance Special Representative José Ramos Horta, and
East Timorese Protestant Church leader Arlindo Marçal.
- Held a regional conference in San Francisco, where key ETAN
activists from the West Coast and across the US shared experiences and
- Organized public meetings featuring Noam Chomsky in Boston and New
York (which attracted more than the auditorium's capacity of
- Helped create the Asia-Pacific Center for Justice and Peace, a
Washington-based organization which brings together church-based
advocacy groups (all major Christian denominations are included) and
others. ETAN's National Coordinator serves on APC's Board of
- Worked with East Timor Religious Outreach (ETRO) to persuade the
General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA and other religious
bodies (including Methodists, the United Church of Christ, and the
National Council of Churches) to pass strong resolutions on East
Timor, and to organize memorial services, actions and other events.
ETRO and ETAN organized a civil disobedience action at the Indonesian
Consulate in San Francisco on the November 13 anniversary of the Santa
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Thinking and acting globally
- Represented the International Federation for East Timor (IFET) at
the United Nations, including arranging meetings between Timorese and
U.N. representatives. We also work closely with Parliamentarians for
- Participated in international conferences in Portugal and elsewhere
with academics and East Timor support groups. 4Coordinated a secure
worldwide Internet discussion group for strategizing and sharing
- Testified at the United Nations Committee on Decolonization. ETAN
arranged housing, clerical support and presenters for more than twenty
petitioning organizations from around the world.
- Helped with logistical support and contacts for East Timorese
leaders when they visited the United States.
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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 one."
- Professor Noam Chomsky , M.I.T.
East Timor Action Network/U.S.
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