etmnlong.gif (2291 bytes) spacer Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) on ETAN

excerpt from:
A New Currency for the Body Politic
Students Changing the Face of Political Involvement

Prepared Remarks of Senator Russ Feingold
March 17, 2000
Brown University (page 3-4)

But by providing a vital volunteer base for our communities, this generation is shaking up politics. I'd like to spend a few minutes on some exciting examples. Look at what young people have done

Take the East Timor Action Network. I've experienced the impact of this grassroots organizing firsthand. Today I am very active in my support of the people of East Timor, who for years have suffocated under Indonesia's brutal repression. But I hadn't always planned to become involved in East Timor, because I wasn't always aware of the situation there. But then, more than seven years ago, the Madison, Wisconsin, chapter of the East Timor Action Network - ETAN - brought the plight of the East Timorese people to my attention. I understand that you have an ETAN chapter here at Brown, and I think ETAN is an outstanding example of the powerful new voice of young people in politics today.

The situation in East Timor, which was once unknown or ignored in the U.S., is today an important item on the foreign policy agenda. ETAN has been the driving force behind this sea change Grassroots helped pressure Congress to cancel several weapons deals with Indonesia, and in November 1997, ETAN succeeded in getting Congress to enact a law that effectively prohibits the use of U.S.-supplied weapons in East Timor. Most recently, ETAN has been instrumental in keeping the pressure on Congress in the wake of the violence surrounding the referendum in East Timor last fall. Thanks to ETAN, we've come a long way from the days when Indonesia invaded East Timor using arms supplied largely from the United States.

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