East Timor Action Network 1999
the right to vote
Keeping up the pressure
Resources and Information
Strengthening the movement
Thinking and acting globally
Mission Statement (1993-1999)
Financial Report, Calendar Year 1999
East Timor is free!
The Indonesian military has been expelled, and a U.N.
transitional administration is facilitating the emergence of the
first new nation of the millennium. East Timorís victory came at a
tremendous price. In September, after the East Timorese people
overwhelmingly voted for independence, Indonesiaís military inflicted
massive devastation, destroying more than 70% of the buildings and turning
three-fourths of the people into refugees.
After belated international pressure
forced Indonesia to accept an international force, East Timor resumed the
path to freedom. Nearly all of the 300,000 who fled into the mountains
have come back to their ravaged villages, although more than 100,000 of
the 300,000 forcibly taken to West Timor and other parts of Indonesia have
not been able to return by yearís-end.
East Timor resisted the brutal
Indonesian military occupation for a quarter-century, at the price of more
than 200,000 lives. Since 1991, the East Timor Action Network (ETAN) has
stood beside them in the United States, advocating for their rights and
for a reversal of U.S. complicity in the Indonesian occupation.
We challenged the U.S.-Indonesia
military relationship, believing that Washington ó Jakartaís main
international patron ó was the key to an end to Indonesiaís occupation
of East Timor. Over the last eight years, we restricted the flow of
weapons and training, and U.S. and Indonesian policy gradually improved.
In May 1998, Indonesian activists ousted longtime dictator Suharto, who
was deserted by his U.S. sponsors after the Indonesian economy collapsed.
In January, interim Indonesian president
B.J. Habibie ó to defuse growing international
pressure ó said that if the East Timorese rejected a then-undefined
autonomy plan, Indonesia would let East Timor go. Years of struggle by the
East Timorese people and their supporters had raised the political and
economic costs of continued occupation. In March and April, while
Indonesian-sponsored atrocities escalated rapidly in East Timor, the U.N.
negotiated an agreement between Indonesia and Portugal for the East
Timorese to vote. The May 5 agreement for an August referendum left
Indonesian troops responsible for "security" in East Timor ó a
compromise we called a recipe for disaster.
During June and July, despite widespread
militia and military intimidation, nearly every eligible East Timorese
registered to vote. ETAN sent 50 election observers to East Timor as part
of the International Federation for East Timor Observer Project. Other
ETAN members went in other capacities. IFET
and ETAN reported that Indonesian terror and intimidation prevented a fair
campaign and alerted the world to East Timorese fears of a violent
crackdown after the August 30 vote.
Displaying incredible courage and
commitment, 98.6% of those registered voted on August 30. The U.N.
announced the results five days later, amidst rapidly escalating militia
and military violence. Nearly four out of five voted for freedom. Within
days, the Indonesian military and their militias uprooted hundreds of
thousands, demolished most of East Timorís infrastructure, and killed an
unknown number of people.
Using our experience and national
activist network developed through eight years of dedication to a cause
many called hopeless, ETAN mobilized public and official pressure. Ten
days after the vote, President Clinton suspended all U.S. military and
economic support for Indonesia, and the World Bank and IMF suspended
pending assistance. Three days later, President Habibie and General
Wiranto allowed an Australian-led peacekeeping force into East Timor. The
violence subsided, and the Indonesian troops began to withdraw.
East Timor is finally on its way to
self-government, facing a whole new set of problems. They must reconstruct
their society after 24 years of occupation, and they must also rebuild
their houses and infrastructure, bring people home, and recover from
trauma inflicted after the vote.
In addition to East Timorís
independence, 1999 saw major moves toward democracy in Indonesia,
especially in Aceh and West Papua. Although East Timor remains our
principal focus, we will continue to support Indonesians working for human
rights and democracy. Once again, the U.S. government will play a crucial
ETAN grew during 1999, enlarging our
membership from 8,500 to 11,700. Paid staff went from three (Washington
Representative Lynn Fredriksson, Field Organizer Kristin Sundell, and
Media/Outreach Coordinator John M. Miller) to four, adding Washington
Organizer Karen Orenstein. National Coordinator Charles Scheiner continues
as unpaid staff. We also had a half-dozen invaluable full-time volunteers
during the crucial July-September period.
In December, more than 50 ETAN activists
gathered in Chicago for our National Steering Committee meeting. We
committed to work to constrain powerful global and U.S. interests, and to
support East Timorís right to choose its political and economic paths.
Much remains to be done. In the short
term, East Timor needs emergency aid. Indonesia must allow the East
Timorese held in West Timor and elsewhere to return home and must disband
its paramilitary militias. The international community should hold the
perpetrators of 24 years of slaughter and oppression accountable, wherever
they live. The East Timorese must have the greatest possible say in their
political and economic development.
This report highlights ETANís major
activities during 1999 ó as we traveled with the people of East Timor in
their final, painful year of Indonesian occupation. They pushed Jakarta,
we pushed Washington, and people worldwide pushed the United Nations. It
was difficult and costly ó but letís not forget to celebrate the
victory. East Timor will soon be independent!
Protecting the right to vote
raised funds for, and coordinated the International Federation for East
Timor Observer Project (IFET-OP), which brought 130 volunteers from 22
countries to East Timor as the largest international observer delegation.
IFET-OP placed teams in each of East Timorís 13 districts for a week or
more before the vote.
* Recruited, selected and trained
52 people from the U.S. to go to East Timor as U.N.-accredited
consultation observers. Pam Sexton, Joe Nevins, Will Seaman, Eric
Piotrowski, Mulaika Hijjas, Mark Rhomberg, Garrick Ruiz, Charlie Scheiner,
and many others, gave months of their time to this project.
* Distributed dozens of IFET-OP
reports, press releases, open letters, and testimonies to U.S. and U.N.
officials, and the media. We urged strengthening of the U.N. mandate to
prevent military violence in East Timor before, during and after the vote.
See http://www.etan.org/ifet for these materials.
* A hundred IFET-OP observers
stayed in East Timor after most observers and journalists fled, relaying
to the world the destruction around them. The last 30 were evacuated on
September 6 and 7; they then pushed their governments to take action.
Strengthening U.S. government policy
* Actively worked with more than
50 Representatives and 25 Senators. We were pleased that Reps. Jim
McGovern (D-MA) and Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Tom Harkin (D-IA)
visited East Timor.
* Extended legislative victories
from previous years, including the ban on U.S. export of small arms
(including armored vehicles and helicopter-mounted weapons) to Indonesia,
the effective prohibition of U.S.-supplied weapons in East Timor, and the
ban on U.S. military training for foreign military units guilty of human
* Brought Liquica massacre
survivor Francisco de Jesus da Costa to the U.S. in early May, along with
East Timorese academic Vicente Soares Faria and former Indonesian military
employee Manuel dos Martires. They testified about the massacre,
Indonesian troop levels and militia-military collusion at two
Congressional hearings, held press conferences in Congress and the U.N.,
and met with government, church leaders, U.N. officials, and human rights
* Held our sixth annual
"Lobby Days" in March and June. More than 100 grassroots
lobbyists visited 300 House and Senate offices. In addition, more than a
dozen volunteers spent weeks in Washington with ETAN.
* Facilitated a late September
Congressional hearing featuring Xanana Gusmao, Jose Ramos-Horta, Emilia
Pires, T. Kumar, Allan Nairn, Arnold Kohen, and high-level State
* Drafted and campaigned for
legislation (H.R.2895 and S.1568) to put binding conditions on President
Clintonís temporary mid-September suspension of U.S. military and
economic assistance to Indonesia. Many of their provisions were included
in the Foreign Operations Appropriations
Act. U.S. assistance to Indonesia
is restricted until it assists in returning East Timorese held in West
Timor, cooperates with investigations of human rights violations, and
prevents militia attacks on East Timor.
* Continued the Congressional ban
on IMET military training. Also worked for a similar ban on all related
training (H.R.1063) which has yet to pass.
* Advocated and won U.S.
government financial support for emergency aid and economic development
for East Timor.
* Worked with the State
Department, developing relationships with key officials and sharing
information and critiques. ETAN and East Timorese leaders have met with
officials from Secretary Albright on down.
* Organized and hosted Washington
visits of more than 20 East Timorese leaders, as well as activists from
Aceh, West Papua and Indonesia. Among the most prominent were Xanana
Gusmao, Jose Ramos-Horta and Yayasan HAK head Aniceto Guterres Lopes.
* Monitored and participated in
discussions of support for East Timorís emerging nation and economy with
the World Bank, National Security Council, USAID and the Office of
Transition Initiatives, as well as the Pentagon and Treasury departments.
* Released documents
Social Safety Net Funding under the World Bank umbrella was illegally
being used to support militia and campaign against the independence. We
organized a campaign to pressure financial institutions.
Keeping up the pressure
* Organized emergency national
demonstrations (often including civil disobedience) and national call-in
days in response to the April massacres in Liquica and Dili. Distributed
10,000 copies nationwide of a four-page Emergency Action Alert within
weeks of the massacres.
* Mobilized emergency responses to
attacks or threats on Yayasan HAK (May and September) and a humanitarian
aid convoy (July), Dr. Dan Murphyís deportation (August), Allan Nairnís
arrest (September), escalating military violence (August), the devastation
of East Timor (September), and the detention of East Timorese people in
West Timor (October-December).
* Worked with U.S., international
and Indonesian movements campaigning against sweatshop labor,
environmental devastation, economic oppression, anti-democratic practices
and other injustices enforced or permitted by the Jakarta regime.
* Supported local activists in
Dartmouth (MA) to pass a town resolution supporting self-determination for
East Timor. Similar resolutions passed in many nearby towns.
* Organized a daily vigil at the
Indonesian embassy in Washington before and during the August 30 vote.
Numerous demonstrations were held throughout the U.S. in September.
* Won a First Amendment lawsuit
(with the Center for Constitutional Rights) against New York City to
temporarily rename the street next to the Indonesian consulate as
"East Timor Way" during the summer.
* Worked with journalist Terry J.
Allen to expose the training of Indonesian soldiers at Norwich University
in Vermont, and coordinated ETAN Executive Committee member Allan Nairnís
talk at the school. Norwich is severing formal ties with the Indonesian
* Helped to expose Phillips
Petroleum director (and University of Oklahoma president) David Borenís
denial of payments to Indonesia for East Timorese oil after the August
vote. Phillips is the principal U.S. company extracting oil and gas from
the Timor Gap. ETAN worked with local organizers and stimulated
communications between Phillips executives, activists and Timorese
Providing resources and information
* Published three issues of Estafeta,
our national newsletter.
* Enhanced our web site, http://www.etan.org,
as a frequently updated source of news and information about East Timor.
Volunteer Frank Fitzgerald maintains the site. In September, ETANís web
site was visited by more than 40,000 people a week.
* Issued numerous Action Alerts by
fax, e-mail, and postal mail. Our network continues to grow as many other
groups redistribute our materials.
* Disseminated press
photographs, backgrounders, articles and information to reporters and
editors, and organized more than a dozen press conferences. John M. Miller
coordinates this part of our work. ETAN press materials were often
published in East Timorese and Indonesian newspapers.
* During September, our most
active staff and volunteers were featured or quoted in countless
mainstream media articles and programs, reaching tens of millions. ETAN
activists authored op-eds in major U.S. newspaper, wrote letters to the
editor, and appeared on local and national radio and TV shows.
* Distributed printed and
audiovisual materials, including much hard to find material. Ask for
our resource list or see our website.
* Responded to numerous
information requests about East Timor; wrote book chapters and other
materials for publishers and groups worldwide.
* Conducted workshops and gave
talks for the Student Peace Action Network, Solidarity, Amnesty
International, and many other organizations and national conferences. We
created a national roster of more than 30 speakers (mostly ETAN activists
who were observers in East Timor). We provided speakers, videos and other
resources to hundreds of college and community groups.
* During the Spring, ETAN
organized speaking tours for East Timorese activists Luciano Valentin da
ConceiÁao, Domingos Savio, Ezequiel de Oliveira, and Bella Galhos.
* Conveyed information between
East Timorese leaders and U.S. officials. ETAN continues to consult
regularly with East Timorese political and NGO leaders.
* Organized, with the Center for
Constitutional Rights, the U.S. premiere of "Punitive
documentary about a successful federal lawsuit against an Indonesian
general responsible for the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre.
* Managed internet mailing lists
on East Timor, Indonesia and West Papua. Our East Timor action alert list
reaches more than 5000 people. Hundreds of policymakers, journalists, and
activists depend on our news lists, which distribute hundreds of articles
* Worked for the release of
journalist and ETAN leader Allan Nairn after his arrest by Indonesian
troops in mid-September. ETAN provided support while he was underground in
Indonesia and East Timor for four months, organized speaking events for
him upon his return, and disseminated information he unearthed about
ongoing U.S.-Indonesian military collusion.
* Organized support of outspoken
American doctor Daniel Murphy, a volunteer in East Timor since November
1998. Before and after he was deported, ETAN pressed Indonesia to allow
him to continue his life-saving work. In August, ETAN hosted him in
Washington, New York and the Midwest. His first-hand accounts of
escalating terror were invaluable.
Strengthening the movement
* Expanded our Washington office.
Washington Representative Lynn Fredriksson maintains contact with key
Congressional, State Department, World Bank and organization leaders. In
July, Karen Orenstein became our Washington Organizer, working full-time
to communicate between Washington and our grassroots network.
* Created seven new local
chapters. Field Organizer Kristin Sundell worked to build up ETANís 21
other chapters and visited many areas with and without chapters to meet
with local activists, journalists and community leaders. ETAN now has 28
local chapters in Albany, Arizona, Atlanta, Austin, Bloomington, Boston,
Chicago, Florida, Green Bay, Houston, Ithaca, Los Angeles, Madison,
Michigan, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Haven, New Jersey, Notre Dame, New
York City, Pasadena, Philadelphia, Portland, Providence, St. Louis, San
Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC, as well as colleges across the U.S.
* Organized and strengthened
rapid-response telephone networks to mobilize action on legislative
priorities and developments in East Timor.
* Trained more than 30 ETAN
organizers in a day-long workshop to improve grassroots media work.
* Worked with East Timor
supporters in the religious, labor, Indonesian-American,
Chinese-Indonesian, and Portuguese-American communities. In Washington, we
have built relationships with arms control, labor, academic, peace,
religious, political (all ends of the spectrum), economic justice and
human rights groups.
* Stimulated and advised Peace
Brigades International on the creation and development of their new
project on East Timor.
* Worked with Grassroots
International to develop their East Timor program and organized a national
speaking tour for ETAN Executive Committee member Pamela Sexton, who also
served as U.S. coordinator for the IFET Observer Project. Grassroots sent
Pam to East and West Timor in September and October.
* Cooperated closely with Health
Alliance International, Medical Aid for East Timor, the East Timor Relief
Fund, Oxfam, Timor Aid, and other humanitarian aid
efforts. Many chapters
have organized fund-raising events for relief and reconstruction.
* Tabled and leafleted at the
November protest at School of the Americas (Fort Benning, GA), building
awareness about East Timor and support for H.R.1063, which restricts U.S.
military training for both Indonesia and Guatemala. Allan Nairn spoke to
more than 12,000 people there.
* Held a National Steering
Committee meeting in early December in Chicago, attended by more than 50
people, representing 23 of ETANís 28 local chapters.
Thinking and acting globally
* Represented the International
Federation for East Timor (IFET) at the United Nations, including
arranging meetings between East Timorese and U.N. representatives.
* Worked closely with
Parliamentarians for East Timor, the International Platform of Jurists for
East Timor, the Asia-Pacific Coalition on East Timor, the East Timor
International Support Centre and national organizations in many other
* Organized numerous letters,
media statements and press conferences directed at the U.N. Security
Council, Secretary-General, or participants in the "tripartite
talks" at the UN between Portugal and Indonesia.
* More than 50 ETAN activists
visited East Timor and Indonesia during 1999, bringing back first-hand
observations, organizing ideas and feedback. We have strong ties with
activist organizations in both countries.
* Testified at the U.N. Committee
on Decolonization. ETAN arranged housing and presenters for more than 30
petitioning organizations from around the world. We also facilitated
testimony at the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly and at the U.N.
Human Rights Commission in Geneva.
* Helped with logistical support
and contacts for East Timorese leaders visiting the United States,
including Xanana Gusmaoís first overseas
trip. ETAN hosted a dinner in
Washington to introduce Xanana to the activist community.
Mission Statement (1993-1999)
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 U.S. foreign policy and raise
public awareness to support self-determination for East Timor.
With East Timor having achieved political
self-determination, ETANís mission is shifting toward ensuring that the
East Timorese people have the support, resources and political space to
develop their country freely. We are also exploring ways to help advance
democracy in Indonesia.
Financial Report, Calendar Year 1999
At the end of 1999, ETAN/US had three
full-time and one ĺ-time paid staffers, with Karen Orenstein having
joined our Washington Office in June. Our National Coordinator and many
other active volunteers and interns work without pay. In addition to our
office on Capitol Hill and shared space in Chicago, we use donated
national (White Plains) and chapter offices. Consequently, we accomplish
much more than most groups with a $260,000 annual budget. The figures
below consolidate all national ETAN-related work, and are not a formal
statement for ETAN, Inc. Local chapters raise and spend their own money.
Financial Report, Calendar Year
Phone & internet
Legal & accounting
1 This report is being prepared in
mid-December, so many figures are estimates.
2 Expenses connected with grants are
primarily the handling fees charged by our fiscal sponsors.
3 Expenses related to donations are
primarily costs of fund appeal mailings.
4 Much of the money for the IFET
Observer Project came through ETANís accounts, although the project is
independent. The surplus here is uncertain as IFET-OP still has
obligations to East Timorese. The figures shown here reflect only the IFET-OP
funds that were handled directly by ETAN.
5 Although ETAN shows a net loss for
this year, this is more than covered by a $40,000 grant we received at the
very end of 1998 that does not show on this report.
The educational work of ETAN is a
project of the AJ Muste Memorial Institute which can accept tax-deductible
contributions of $50 or more. Other donations should be made out to
ETAN gratefully acknowledges grants
during 1999 from the Solidago Foundation, the Threshold Foundation, the
Samuel Rubin Foundation and the Funding Exchange.
The IFET Observer Project was also
supported by the Lawson Valentine Foundation, the Canadian Labour Council,
the Finnish government, the Canadian Government, and CDPM. The A.J.Muste
Memorial Institute was its tax-deductible fiscal sponsor.
East Timor Action Network/U.S.
Post Office Box 1182
White Plains, New York 10602 USA
tel. 1-914-428-7299 fax 1-914-428-7383