Vol. 5, No. 2
|Militia Attack Humanitarian Team in Liquiça||ETAN/NY Dedicates "East Timor Way"
On Saturday, July 17, ETAN/New York dedicated a street sign naming 68th Street "East Timor Way." The sign -- posted by the City of New York at the northwest corner of Madison Ave. and 68th Street in Manhattan -- temporarily names the street in front of the Indonesian consulate. The posting of the sign is the result of a lawsuit by ETAN.
Some 40 people attended the ceremony where a traditional East Timor cloth temporarily covering the sign was removed. Speakers at the ceremony and subsequent demonstration included John M. Miller, coordinator of ETAN/NY, Nancy Chang of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the lead attorney on the lawsuit, and Amy Goodman of Pacifica Radio.
The dedication ceremony was followed by a demonstration in support of self-determination and human rights for East Timor directly across from the consulate. Charles Scheiner of ETAN and Rev. Max Surjidanata, an Indonesian-American activist, spoke at the demonstration. The dedication and protest took place on "Integration Day," the anniversary of the day East Timor was annexed by a decree of then-President Suharto on July 17, 1976 in a move not recognized by the United Nations.
"The street naming commemorates the courage and spirit of the people of East Timor. 'East Timor Way' will serve as a daily reminder to the Indonesian Government of its pledge to allow a free and fair vote by the East Timorese people on their political status," said John M. Miller.
With the support of CCR, ETAN sued the City of New York, challenging the city's refusal of ETAN's request for a temporary street renaming. The posting of the sign on July 17 is a partial settlement of the federal lawsuit which criticizes the arbitrary way in which the city implements its temporary street sign policy. ETAN and CCR will continue to litigate the first amendment issues involved.