East Timor and Indonesia Action Network
Protester with signs outside ETAN's protest of the
Appeal to Conscience award's ceremony in New York City. Photo by John M.
Do you ever wonder if signing a
petition makes a difference?
Last spring, some shocked
Indonesians informed ETAN that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was to
be honored by the New York-based Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an
organization dedicated (it said) to religious tolerance and human
rights. Our immediate response was to organize protests against giving
the "World Statesman Award" to SBY. Among other actions, we organized
online petition that many of you signed.
I am writing to urge you to
support ETAN by making a contribution today. Please go to
www.etan.org/etan/donate1.htm to donate.
More than 2,000 of you spoke out against the award
to SBY by signing
ETAN’s petition. The petition motivated a spin-off in
Indonesia, which gathered an additional 6,000 signatures, mostly from
amazed, amused or outraged Indonesians. I was in Jakarta during this
time and many Indonesians expressed their appreciation for ETAN's
We weren’t surprised when SBY
did, indeed come to New York to accept the “World Statesman Award.” Our
old antagonist, Henry Kissinger, was on hand to present it at a
big-ticket fundraising dinner. But so was ETAN’s “welcoming committee”
of Indonesian, U.S. and other human rights advocates, who protested the
award and spoke out about SBY’s real record on human rights, religious
tolerance, and the rule of law in Indonesia.
Our actions helped to draw
attention to Indonesia’s continued persecution of religious minorities
and other human rights violations. For the first time the semi-weekly
public protests by religious minorities in front of the
National Palace in Jakarta drew regular media attention. Letters and
other denunciations of the award from academics, rights activists,
religious figures, and others generated news in Indonesia for weeks
prior to the awards ceremony. Calls for SBY to make good on the promises
he made in his acceptance speech continue to this day.
We were interested to learn just
how “threatening” Indonesia’s diplomats find ETAN. We were told of a
meeting among U.S.-based diplomats who blamed ETAN, among others, for
the uproar about the award. We heard from Indonesians living in the New
York area who had received offers of dollars and dinner to fill seats at
the award presentation. Those bused in were forced to participate in a
“counter-demonstration” aimed at covering up the truths that ETAN was
exposing. We do not have access to the discretionary funds of the
Indonesian Embassy; our protest was smaller, but all the more genuine.
Your signature made a
difference. And so can your donation.
The “No Award for SBY” petition
represents just one of ETAN’s deceptively modest efforts to keep
Indonesia - and its continued military and economic support from the
U.S. - in the public eye and before policymakers. These efforts have
been making a difference for more than two decades and, with your
support, will continue to do so.
contribute what you can. We depend on support from people like you.
People who are dedicated to human and civil rights for the peoples of
Your financial contribution to
ETAN will make a difference. With your help, ETAN can continue to:
Keep you and others informed about violations of human
rights, the role of corporate interests and other developments in West Papua
through our monthly report,
Respond to calls for action in response to reports of human
Provide firsthand reports on elections, legislation, economic
development in Indonesia, West Papua, and Timor-Leste,
Keep you aware of the influence of U.S. policy on events in
Timor-Leste, Indonesia and West Papua – and keep U.S. and Indonesian policymakers aware that
we are watching them.
Please see our
information about our current campaigns.
Please give generously, so
that together we can continue to make a difference.
Member, Board of Directors, ETAN
P.S. Please consider becoming an ETAN
sustainer by making a monthly donation by credit card. Help put ETAN on
a firmer financial footing:
to Donate to ETAN
To support ETAN’s advocacy work, please make your check out to
"East Timor Action
ETAN, PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY
Donate by credit card (not U.S. tax-deductible) via PayPal
Donations of any size for ETAN's political and advocacy work should
be made out to ETAN and are not tax-deductible.
U.S. tax-deductible checks
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!