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ETAN at 20


On December 10, ETAN began celebrating our 20th anniversary. Inspired by news of the Santa Cruz massacre, a small group in New York began meeting. On the 10th we held a small picket at the Indonesian Permanent Mission to the United Nations, publicly launching what was to become ETAN, which soon expanded into a nationwide organization.

Over the coming year, we will publish here reminiscences, testimonials and other reflections on the activities and role of ETAN and international solidarity. These are only part of the story, we would love to read yours. We urge you to contribute your reflections on the role solidarity over the past two decades and in the coming years. If you can only send something brief now, that would be great. We would love to get a longer reflection later. Send your reflections and comments to

Please let us know if you have any questions. If you have any photographs, audio or videos of ETAN activities, we would love to have them. Please let us know, so we can make arrangements.

The reflections linked from this page are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETAN.


ETAN's Charles Scheiner reflects on Santa Cruz massacre and solidarity (November 12, 2011)

John M. Miller - Reflecting on ETAN at 20 (December 10, 2011)

Press Release and Report from first demonstration at Indonesia Mission to the UN (Dec 9-11, 1991)

Allan Nairn speaks on ETAN, Santa Cruz Massacre, Occupy Wall Street and more (January 2012, New York City) In two  talks, Nairn spoke about the successful movement to support East Timor's self-determination and restrict U.S. military assistance to Indonesia and its significance for Occupy Wall Street and today's global movements for justice.Watch the video here

Comments, Reflections and Reminiscences

more to come

Short Takes

  • Esther Anderson (Australia)

  • Carmel Budiardjo (Britain)

  • Jude Conway (Australia)

  • Bob Crane (Canada)

  • Barbara DiTomasso (USA)

  • Maire Leadbeater (Aotearoa/New Zealand)

  • Mary Anne Mercer (USA)

  • Sr.Monica Nakamura (Japan)

  • Constancio Pinto (Timor-Leste)

  • Carlos Semedo (France)

  • Max White (USA)

I first encountered ETAN in 1993, soon after my exile from Timor-Leste, and I am deeply familiar with ETAN's 20-year record of solidarity activity. I have long been impressed by ETAN's capacity to mobilize internationals and its commitment to working in equal partnership with Timorese and with Timorese organizations. ETAN is strictly non-partisan. It has always taken seriously its commitment to Timor's self-determination. ETAN has in-depth knowledge of Timor-Leste's reality and history. ETAN observed the 1999 referendum that brought Timor-Leste to independence and has been present at every Timorese election since. - Constancio Pinto, Timor-Leste Ambassador to the United States

What did make the difference was the emergence of ETAN/US in the solidarity movement in December 1991. We all know, and it was immediately obvious at the time, that the Santa Cruz massacre was a watershed moment in the solidarity struggle. I think Indonesia, which believed it had effectively won and succeeded in suppressing the issue, was taken by surprise and started by underestimating the importance of the media coverage of this massacre. It did not realise that this coverage brought new blood to the solidarity movement, people who were not "burned out" by years of slowly losing the battle.  - Bruno Kahn, France


Help ETAN celebrate our 20th Anniversary. Donate today!

Read Noam Chomsky on ETAN's 20th Anniversary

With your help, we can put ETAN on a firmer footing for the future.
 Please give generously in this anniversary year. In doing so, you can help strengthen ETAN to meet the challenges of the coming years.

Read Noam Chomsky on 20 years of ETAN

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I am very happy to join you in celebrating your 20th anniversary. ETAN has been in the forefront of global campaigning in support of the tireless struggle of the people of East Timor. It has kept us all informed of everything happening to the people of East Timor and pointing us in the direction of what needs to be done.


Campaigning to end Indonesia's brutal occupation of East Timor inspired many groups of activists here in the UK where it was closely linked to the campaign to end British arms sales to the Indonesian dictatorial regime. For many years, East Timor was one of the foremost issues among human rights activists and NGOs in the UK which also had a major impact in reinforcing concerns about human rights in general across the country.
We in TAPOL salute ETAN on its 20th anniversary and hope that we together, acting in solidarity with the people of Timor-Leste as they build a new country and at the same time press for an end to impunity to ensure that the many military personnel who perpetrated crimes against humanity against the Timorese people during the occupation are brought to account.
Carmel Budiardjo, TAPOL

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