Vol. 5, No. 1
|Indonesia Hints Independence||ETAN Chapters Keep Up the
On November 12, the seventh anniversary of the Dili massacre, ETAN/NY organized a demonstration outside the Indonesian Mission to the United Nations. ETAN members from the New York metropolitan area were joined by an energetic contingent from ETAN/Rhode Island.
On December 10, the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), ETAN/NY joined International Action for Human Rights, an ad hoc coalition which brought together groups representing more than 24 nations and millions of people, in events inside and outside United Nations headquarters. (The UDHR was adopted in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly. Signing nations pledged to achieve, in cooperation with the UN, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms.) Journalist Allan Nairn and East Timorese activist Fernando de Araujo spoke on East Timor at the outdoor rally.
Inside the UN, ETAN helped organize and participated in a press conference featuring National Council of Timorese Resistance representative Constâncio Pinto, Chinese dissident Harry Wu and the Dalai Lamas US spokesman, Dawa Tsering.
ETAN/San Francisco helped East Timor Religious Outreach organize a November 12 commemoration for the victims of the 1991 Dili massacre in front of the SF Indonesian consulate. Nineteen of the forty five activists present engaged in non-violent civil disobedience and were taken away by police who, unlike in past years, did not issue summonses to appear in court.
On December 7, the chapter held a candlelight vigil on the anniversary of the invasion of East Timor. It also co-sponsored a lively coalition demonstration commemorating the December 10 UDHR anniversary and helped organize a Dec. 12 march for human rights in Indonesia and East Timor which drew about 75 participants.
ETAN/Madison took its banner and new East Timorese flag to the November 12 ETAN/Chicago demonstration at that citys Indonesian consulate. Several Chicago cops on the detail promised to check out ETANs website. On December 7 the Madison chapter held a noon rally at the University of Wisconsin, with speakers representing ETAN, Medical Aid For East Timor, Amnesty International and the Green Party. The chapter kicked off its "Indonesian Government New Math Flash Card" postcard campaign to Albright (see cut out, p. 11) at the event; that night it held a candlelight vigil. On December 8 it staged an opening ceremony (complete with Timorese coffee) for an East Timor window display, featuring Timorese weavings and East Timor-focused books and CDs, at the Rainbow Community Bookstore. On Dec 10 the local co-sponsored a candlelight vigil to mark Human Rights Day and the UDHR anniversary.
ETAN/Bloomington has established regular contact with the local office of Rep. John Hostettler. On November 12th, Constâncio Pinto visited and spoke about the Dili massacre and the current situation in East Timor. On December 10th, ETAN was part of a Bloomington human rights vigil and issued a joint statement with other human rights groups to the City Council.
ETAN/DC held protests at the U.S. State Department on November 12 and December 7. Both involved street theatre featuring a giant calculator with an error message to dramatize the Indonesian regimes false claims of troop withdrawals from East Timor. The chapter also staged an emergency demonstration at the Indonesian Embassy in November to protest ABRI offensives in East Timor and participated in a January protest in solidarity with the people of Aceh.
ETAN/Portland is working on a Selective Purchasing law for the Oregon Legislature, making presentations in Vancouver (U.S.) high schools as preparation for an upcoming visit from José Ramos Horta (part of the "PeaceJam" program), and organizing a delegation visit to the office of newly-elected Congressman David Wu.
Three members of ETAN/Twin Cities handed out 300 background/action alert fliers in downtown Minneapolis on November 12. Since outdoor leafleting is not yet illegal in this country there were no arrests. Chapter representatives have been routinely raising East Timor with staffers of its Congressperson and Senators.
ETAN/LA held a candelight vigil outside the Indonesian Consul Generals house on Dec. 6; about 15 people attended. On Nov. 12, the chapter staged a demonstration at the Indonesian consulate featuring Pacifica Radio journalist and Dili massacre survivor Amy Goodman which drew 70 people. The chapter increased its Congressional lobbying in past months and by hosting several well-attended events with Amy increased its activist base significantly.