East Timor Protest at Gore L.A. Headquarters
Contact: Garrick Ruiz, cell: 626-235-7466 (L.A) John M. Miller, (718)596-7668; cell: (917)690-4391 (New York)
Demonstration to Oppose Renewal of U.S. Military Ties to Indonesia Urge V.P. Gore to Support Justice for East Timor
WHEN: Thursday, August 10, 1130 a.m.
WHERE: Gore Campaign Headquarters, 515 Flower Street, downtown Los Angeles
WHO: East Timor Action Network (ETAN)
Demonstrators carrying a giant Gore puppet will protest the renewal of military ties with Indonesia at the Vice President's Los Angeles campaign headquarters. The puppet will give guns to another puppet representing the Indonesian military holding hostage refugees --a reminder of the estimated 100,000 East Timorese currently in Indonesian West Timor against their will.
The protesters will urge the Vice President to oppose the renewal of military ties and to acknowledge the U.S. role in Indonesia's illegal invasion and occupation of East Timor.
"Vice President Gore can show real foreign policy leadership by vocally opposing any resumption of military engagement. The U.S. government says that it believes the Indonesian military has been rehabilitated, giving legitimacy to its terror tactics and human rights abuses," said Lisa Rosen of ETAN/Los Angeles. "We want to know if the Vice President agrees."
ETAN will also demand that Vice President Gore support an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the death and destruction in East Timor since 1975 and to support aid to East Timor.
"The U.S. bears great responsibility for what happened to East Timor. The least we can do is provide substantial aid to the new nation as a way to atone for the many years we backed their killers and torturers, " said Garrick Ruiz of ETAN/LA.
Indonesia invaded neighboring East Timor on December 7, 1975. Over 200,000 East Timorese were killed as the U.S. provided weapons and political support under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Last September, the U.S. suspended military ties with Indonesia as the military and its militia were destroying East Timor following its pro-independence vote. Eighty percent of East Timor's infrastructure was destroyed and three-quarters of East Timor's population was forced from their homes, many to West Timor. This summer, the U.S. took steps to renew military ties by conducting a joint military exercise. Since then, Indonesian military-backed militia have killed a U.N. peacekeeper and forced U.N. agencies to abandon their activities in refugee camps in West Timor.
The East Timor Action Network/ U.S. (ETAN) was founded in November 1991 to support self-determination for East Timor. ETAN now works for a peaceful transition to independence. It has 28 local chapters throughout the U.S. For additional background, see ETAN's website www.etan.org.
John M. Miller Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org Media & Outreach Coordinator, East Timor Action Network 48 Duffield St., Brooklyn, NY 11201 USA Phone: (718)596-7668 Fax: (718)222-4097 Mobile: (917)690-4391 Web site: http://www.etan.org
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