The years fly by, and soon we’ll
observe the 20th anniversary of the founding of East Timor and Indonesia
Action Network (ETAN). ETAN started a month after the Santa Cruz
massacre in November 1991, when hundreds of peaceful East Timorese
protesters were shot down by Indonesian troops. When a few dozen peace
and human rights activists held a vigil in front of the Indonesian
Mission to the United Nations on International Human Rights Day –
December 10, 1991 – they didn’t plan to make a two-decade commitment.
And none of them imagined that within eight years, Timor-Leste would be
free of Indonesian troops, on the way to becoming a sovereign member of
the international community.
ETAN’s work is still essential. The organization has lived for 20 years
based on the dedicated activism and the generous support of people like
you, who steadfastly believed and worked to support the right to
self-determination, to justice and accountability, to human rights, and
to social and economic justice for the people of Timor-Leste and
As a Timorese woman and a human rights activist, I know that ETAN’s work
was crucial to freedom of my homeland.
I am writing you now to ask you to support ETAN with as generous a
contribution as possible.
I first learned about ETAN in 1998 when I attended the
third summit of
the Asia Pacific Coalition for East Timor (APCET). Together with four other
members of the underground student group RENETIL, I traveled to
Thailand. It was my first trip abroad (apart from Indonesia), and it was
my first opportunity to meet one of ETAN's founders, Charlie Scheiner. I
heard first hand about ETAN’s impressive work.
Since that first encounter, I have had tremendous admiration and respect
for ETAN and its members’ unshakable commitment to continue shining a
light on justice and human rights in Timor-Leste and Indonesia. It is
the only solidarity group which carries the mantle of upholding the
rights of the people of Timor-Leste and Indonesia, working persistently
and fearlessly to hold the world’s governments, especially the United
States, to account for complicity in rights violations.
Mica Barreto Soares (2nd from left) speaking at APCET conference in
Bangkok, 1998. Photo by Jude Conway.
My brothers and sisters in Timor-Leste and Indonesia who continue to
cry for justice still need ETAN’s clear and firm voice. ETAN is
their mouthpiece from a distance! ETAN’s long track record speaks for
itself as it has built relationships and made change at the United
Nations, through four U.S. presidencies and in the halls of Congress. As
Timor-Leste evolves, we are learning that building a new nation from the
ashes of occupation, war and colonialism is as challenging as ending a
foreign military occupation, and we continue to learn from and lean on
ETAN, which looks ahead as it presses for accountability for past
I recently completed two years in graduate school at Ohio University, and I relied on ETAN’s
firstname.lastname@example.org email list to keep up with events back home
and with solidarity around the globe. Many of my Timorese friends also
rely on this long-running and vital service, which has more than 2,500
readers in Timor-Leste and around the world.
For 20 years, ETAN has operated on a shoestring budget. Please join
me in helping ETAN have a happy anniversary, so that it can continue its
essential work. We need to keep ETAN strong. You can help by making
a generous contribution to ETAN today.
Mica Barreto Soares P.S. You can
contribute safely through ETAN's website below.
also mail your donation. To support ETAN’s advocacy work, write a check
made out to “East Timor Action Network”. Tax-deductible donations of
over $50, to support ETAN’s educational efforts only, can be made out to
“A.J. Muste Memorial Institute/ETAN.” Please mail your donations to:
ETAN, PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873. Thank you
for your support.
Donations of any size for ETAN's political and advocacy work should
be made out to ETAN and are not tax-deductible.
for more than $50 can also be made out to "AJ Muste Memorial Institute/ETAN"
only be used to support our educational work.
your donation to:
PO Box 21873
you for your support.
Become an ETAN Sustainer, make a
pledge via credit cardhere