Vol. 5, No. 3
|Against All Odds||East Timor Education and Humanitarian Aid Speaking Tour
Nov. 15 -Dec. 8
Grassroots International and the East Timor Action Network are co-sponsoring a tour to raise awareness about the current and on-going humanitarian crisis in East Timor as well as the critical situation faced by East Timorese who have been forced into refugee camps in Indonesia.
The Speakers: Pamela Sexton Last April, Pamela Sexton made her second visit to East Timor as part of the exploratory team sent by Peace Brigades International. After her return to the United States, Pam worked as the U.S. coordinator for the International Federation for East Timor Observer Project, the largest international observer mission for the referendum. In August, she returned to East Timor as an IFET observer. Following the vote for independence, Pam spent several weeks traveling in both East and West Timor, where she assessed the situation and laid the groundwork for Grassroots International's work in East Timor.
Pam is a long-time activist with the East Timor Action Network in San Francisco. Prior to her activist work on East Timor, Pam lived and taught in Indonesia for two years.
Atanasia Pires Atanasia was born several months before Indonesia invaded her country on December 7th, 1975. In her teens, she started to work for the resistance as a messenger for the underground movement in Dili. After Suharto's overthrow, Atanasia became involved in two of the first "above ground" organizations working inside East Timor for a referendum - the Student Solidarity Council and the Timor Loro Sae women's organization.
Last June, Atanasia began working as an interpreter for the United Nations Mission in East Timor. Indonesian-backed militias immediately targeted her, accusing local UN staff of trying to influence the ballot in favor of independence. After pro-Indonesia forces executed several of her co-workers , Atanasia sought refuge in the United Nations compound in Dili and was eventually evacuated to Darwin. She later found out that her family had survived the carnage, but their home was destroyed. Today, her family is living in Dili's soccer stadium with thousands of other homeless East Timorese.
Atanasia plans to return to East Timor soon to "assist in building a new East Timor without violence." Her talk will address the current humanitarian crisis in East and West Timor, the difficult situation faced by East Timorese students, and the need for an international war crimes tribunal to bring those responsible for the recent carnage in East Timor to justice.
The Tour: The speakers will be available for public events, press outreach and advocacy meetings in the cities listed below. Be in touch with the local contacts in your city if you'd like more information or have suggestions for events in your area. If this tour is not coming to your city and you are interested in hosting a speaker, please contact ETAN field organizer Kristin Sundell at 773-878-4033 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the current tour, contact: Jennifer Moorehead, Grassroots International Act Now for East Timor Campaign 617-576-3610 email@example.com
November 15-16: San Francisco, CA Contact: Todd LeFurge 415-864-7461 firstname.lastname@example.org
November 17-18: Seattle, WA
November 19: Olympia, WA Contact: Joe Szwaja 206 633 2836 email@example.com
November 20-23: Los Angeles, CA Contact: Garrick Ruiz 626-284-7116 Garrickruiz@aol.com
November 28-30: Boston, MA
December 1-3: Vermont Contact: Jennifer Moorehead 617-576-3610 firstname.lastname@example.org
December 4-5: Chicago, IL: East Timor Action Network National Meeting Contact: Kristin Sundell 773-878-4033 email@example.com
December 6-8: Washington, DC Contact: Karen Orenstein 202-544-6911 firstname.lastname@example.org