Vol. 12, No. 1
Luis Kemnitzer dies at 77
Radical activist and longtime ETANer Luis Kemnitzer died Friday, February 17, 2006 of complications from lung cancer. A founding member of the San.Francisco Bay Area chapter of the ETAN, Luis helped connect Timorese visitors and ETAN with other indigenous peoples’ organizations also working for justice and sovereignty. He and his wife Moher, who survives him, were always enormously generous with their house, a frequent spot for dinners and fundraisers benefiting ETAN and other groups.
Over decades of activism, Luis managed to maintain an enthusiasm for living and appreciation for people, and a down to earth, often surreal sense of humor. Luis is greatly missed by his surviving family members and by his many friends in the Bay Area and throughout the world.
In Memoriam: Nate Osborn
It is withgreat sadness we commemorate the life of Nathan Osborn, one of ETAN’s longest-running and most dedicated members, who died June 16, 2005, six weeks after he was diagnosed with an aggressive sarcoma cancer. Nate was completely dedicated to ETAN’s work; as he liked to point out, his name is “ETAN” spelled backwards.
Nate hosted ETAN’s very first lobby days training and strategy meeting in the community room of his Washington apartment building in the early 1990s. Nate went on to play a memorable role in many lobby days to come. As ETAN’s resident puppeteer, he provided much-needed moments of wild humor by creating and staging an annual puppet show—skewering friend and foe alike —during lengthy trainings for ETAN’s activist lobbyists. Street theater was his forte.
As a 1999 referendum observer with the International Federation for East Timor Observer Project in Same, East Timor, Nate played a special role in supporting the East Timorese people as they struggled to end the Indonesian occupation of their country. Nate was invaluable to ETAN as a key leader in the organization nationally and in its local Washington, DC chapter. A longtime member of ETAN’s Executive Committee, he was always willing to do the hard, unglamorous work necessary to run an effective organization.
Successful movements for social justice require people like Nate, who seek change not credit and by their example remind us that activism is not only necessary but, given a commitment that includes sharing humor, enthusiasm, and love of life, can be joyous as well. He is deeply missed by all of us.