What Others Say About ETAN
"I’ve long admired ETAN’s work. For well over
a decade, ETAN has conducted some of the most
effective grassroots campaigns
I know. With limited resources,
they helped free a nation and
changed policy toward one of the
and most repressive allies, Indonesia."
host of “Democracy Now!
[ETAN] is a US-based organization, with a vast array of
articles and information on current issues.
—Lonely Planet Guide for Timor-Leste (East Timor)
"ETAN has done more for U.S. national security
divisions of the U.S. army
more for human rights
the entire State
—Caleb Rossiter, former Congressional Aide; longtime
activist for arms control and disarmament (Feb. 2001)
it should be, custody of our democracy, our national conscience, is by
no means the property of our legislature; it is shared with a better
informed and more watchful community, alerted by the invaluable services
of organizations like ETAN."
—James Dunn, author with four decades of
experience as an Australian foreign affairs official and with UN
agencies. He served as Australian consul in Portuguese Timor. From 1971
to 1985 he worked as Foreign Affairs advisor to the Federal Parliament
of Australia. He was a 2000-2001 UNTAET expert on crimes against
humanity in East Timor.
"A worldwide movement sprang up in the aftermath of
the [November 12, 1991 Santa Cruz] massacre to demand freedom for East
Timor. In the United States, the East Timor Action Network was formed...
Grassroots efforts resulted in thousands of letters and phone calls to
Congress. Military assistance to Indonesia was cut back over its abuses in
East Timor against the wishes of successive Republican and Democratic
administrations." —Amy Goodman,
The Exception to the Rulers
Having campaigned for Timor-Leste's independence
for many decades, and as President of the Democratic Republic of
Timor-Leste for the last five years, I know that ETAN (East Timor and
Indonesia Action Network) has consistently supported our people
during bad and good times. —
Indonesia's former foreign
minister "said the case of Timor Leste showed that Indonesia should
never underestimate the power of non-governmental organizations when
they united behind a particular cause. They could influence their
respective governments, he added, and had showed that Timor Leste was
not 'a mere pebble anymore but became something that burdened
Indonesia.'" — The Jakarta
Post. August 10, 2006
For those who think that the
announcements by Bush and Wolfowitz on Wednesday may have glossed over
some of the more interesting aspects of his track record, help is at hand.
We can recommend articles in the Village Voice, the Asia Times, the East Timor Action Network, and Indonesia Alert."
web site (March 18, 2005)
"[T]he East Timor
Action Network in
the US... exercises strong lobbying power in
Washington." - "Timor Explores New Boundaries,"
Australian Financial Review March 25, 2004
(quoted on the floor of the Australian Senate)
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
—Senator Russell Feingold at
[In 1999] a really significant source
of pressure was the US Congress, where many senators and representatives
were urging immediate action. All of the years of lobbying by undertaken
by US activists were paying off.
—Clinton Fernandes, Reluctant Saviour
ETAN began in the USA in response to the Santa Cruz
massacre and soon became a key reference point for international East
Timor activism and advocacy.
ETAN - has been one of the most influential of the
grassroots support and lobby groups that have taken up the cause of the
East Timorese people to end the horrific abuses, to end the illegal
occupation, and to assist the new nation of Timor-Leste on its course
— Peter Cronau is an Australian-based journalist specialising in Pacific
affairs. He is a co-founder of Pacific Media Watch. He is a Gold Walkley
Award-winning (2006) producer and researcher.
"To the international solidarity we extend a profound word of thanks from our people.
We continue to count on you to receive other forms of support, geared towards alleviating the hardships of our most needy populations and to the strengthening of the ties of friendship among people."
—President Xanana Gusmao's inaugural
speech, May 20, 2002
"ETAN deserves all the support
we can give it. In the past it played a key role in bringing about
international involvement in East Timor, and since then has kept us well
informed, a role increasingly important now that East Timor not longer has
a high profile internationally. In fact the continuation of
its news service is very
important backing for the new nation, on its long, and hard, journey to
its leaders' goals of independence, prosperity, social harmony and an
enduring and stable relationship with Indonesia."
—James Dunn, December
"Apart from official Washington, the American people have been a reliable
friend of the East Timorese. Americans established the East Timor Action
Network, participated in Peace Brigades International, dedicated their personal
savings through individual foundations and trusts--all with the goal of helping
the East Timorese people overcome great odds. Americans gathered in living rooms
and lecture halls throughout the country to learn the truths about the
oppression of East Timor ; they demonstrated on sidewalks and lobbied their
Congress, they met with newspaper editors and other journalists in order to
bring out the truth; and a few brave Americans sacrificed their personal safety
in East Timor to shed light on the reality of Indonesian government oppression."
Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
"For years, Washington insiders said it could never happen, as
administration after administration actively assisted the Indonesian occupation
of East Timor. I think you'll agree with me that the East Timor Action Network
(ETAN) not only proved that independence for East Timor was possible but helped
make it happen. ETAN harnessed the power of ordinary people in the United States
-- people like you and me -- to redirect the policy of the most powerful
government in the world. I can't think of a better recent example of grassroots
action changing U.S. foreign policy."
historian (December 2002)
“ETAN channeled our voices of opposition to U.S.
policies blocking East Timorese self-determination, and in so doing became
a powerful force for change.” - Noam Chomsky,
MIT Professor of Linguistics and long-time supporter of East Timor
"These corporations are worried that a
handful of U.S. activists--led by the East Timor Action Network and
investigative reporter Allan Nairn--will overturn the U.S. policy of
constant support for Suharto." - Progressive
“The progress in American policy is a direct
result of the grassroots work of the East Timor
Action Network. By keeping the issue in the media and
keeping policymakers aware that voters are watching, ETAN has
helped to shift Washington’s perspective. ETAN’s work with
Congress, in particular, has developed a constituency which does
not let Pentagon officials and State Department desk officers
proceed with business as usual."
—José Ramos Horta, Nobel
Laureate (July 1998)
“East Timor will not follow the path of those in Nicaragua or
Mozambique who believed that international activist support was no longer
important once independence had been achieved. We have waged East Timor’s
struggle with the help of concerned people from around the world, and we
will continue to remember and rely on you in this new phase of East
—José Ramos Horta, letter to Utrecht International
Solidarity Conference, May 2000
"Though it can't take credit for the event,
the fall of Indonesian dictator made 1998 an especially sweet year for
the East Timor Action Network. The Network, which fights for
self-determination for East Timor - which was invaded by Indonesia, with
US backing, in 1975 -- can take more direct credit for some important
victories in Washington."
—Ten Groups Who
Make a Difference (Counterpunch)
"I don' recall in my work as a
writer/researcher ever having found a site like etan.org which is as
thorough, resourceful, accessible and detailed as yours (and I have
been on many!).
"Nonviolent direct action
in support of East Timor’s independence assumed a transnational
character. In the United States, the East Timor Action Network, a
network of human rights organizations, religious groups, and other
grassroots organizations created after the Dili massacre, successfully
pressured the U.S. government to stop providing Indonesia with military
aid and training until it ended the human rights abuses in East Timor
and allowed self-determination there.
In 1992 the U.S. Congress passed a resolution cutting
International Military Education Training (IMET) funding to Indonesia,
despite a strong effort by Jakarta’s corporate allies to block the
resolution. The State Department blocked the transfer of F-5s to
Indonesia, and in 1994 Congress passed a law banning the sale of small
arms to Indonesia. Although the Clinton White House continued to sell
arms to Indonesia (and for a period of time reinstituted IMET),
sustained grassroots pressure made East Timor a central issue in
—Maria Stephan and Erica Chenoweth,"Why
Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict,"
International Security, volume 33, issue 1, pages 7-44,