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Election 2000 
& East Timor

Itís campaign season in the U.S., providing opportunities to interact with candidates as they come among us asking for votes. Letís challenge or praise their records on East Timor and Indonesia, and ask them their positions on restoring U.S. military ties to Indonesia. During the 1992 campaign, ETAN activists in Wisconsin publicly challenged Republican Senator Robert Kastenís support for U.S. training of Indonesian soldiers. The issue was picked up by Russell Feingold, who defeated Kasten and remains one of East Timorís strongest supporters in Washington. Senator Feingold recently said," I hadnít always planned to become involved in East Timor, because I wasnít always aware of the situation there. But then, more than seven years ago, the Madison, Wisconsin chapter of the East Timor Action Network ó ETAN ó brought the plight of the East Timorese people to my attention..Ē We need more like him.

spacer    Election 2000 and East Timor

Here are a few things you can do: 

1. Challenge Presidential, Congressional, and Senatorial candidates to state their position on U.S. military training and weapons sales to Indonesia while their military continues to undercut East Timor and carry out repression across Indonesia. Ask the candidates to support an international tribunal to bring those responsible for decades of crimes against humanity in East Timor to justice. Call the campaign headquarters of Bush (512-637-2000) and Gore (615-340-2000) and urge them to oppose the normalization of military ties with Indonesia. Ask incumbents where they stand on current legislation in Congress.

2. Ask questions at debates, fora and events for candidates. Praise those whoíve stood up for the East Timorese, challenge those who havenít, and encourage newcomers to learn about and use the issue. By having different people ask questions in a variety of fora, candidates will see that East Timor is important to people in their district or state. Encourage others to write or call the member or candidate. 

Keep your questions brief, and try to get the candidate to make a specific commitment to oppose any restoration of training, weapons and other military aid to Jakarta.. Follow up with a letter, reiterating your position and outlining your agreement or disagreement with the candidate. (Be prepared to provide additional information for candidates who may not be familiar with East Timor.) Click here for sample questions and check here often for updates and more information about the elections and East Timor. 

3. Write the letters page of local papers pointing out the need for candidates to take stronger stands on ending U.S. backing for brutal militaries like Indonesiaís. 

4. Encourage third party candidates to oppose U.S. support for the Indonesian military in their campaign speeches and materials, and to support genuine East Timorese independence. 

5. Let people know about the Bush record on East Timor. 

6. Discuss Al Goreís lack of follow-through on East Timor and Indonesia. 

Be sure to send any responses you receive from candidates to, or call us with them at 202-544-6911.

ETAN/L.A. Demonstrates at Gore Headquarters

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