Putting Timor on the Global Agenda in 1985: Solidarity Activism Ten Years after Indonesia’s Invasion of East Timor
Webster, David; Leal, Juliana Brito Santana; Ferreira, Jr.,Fernando Jorge Saraiva
Indonesia’s military invaded East Timor in 1975, but failed to subdue the people there. The role of international solidarity movements in Timor-Leste’s subsequent fight for independence was particularly evident a decade later, when groups in diverse locations mobilized to raise awareness about East Timor’s ongoing plight. Using Timorese (or Maubere) culture as a mobilizing focus, activists engaged the public to take action. Thus, an issue fading from global consciousness and receding from the agendas of governments and intergovernmental organizations was put back on the table in 1985 by transnational advocacy movements. The research presented here looks at some actions in Portugal, Britain, and Canada, with briefer references to similar actions in Spain and Sweden. The study puts solidarity groups located in unexpected places at the center of the analysis. For instance, TAPOL in Britain and CDPM in Portugal emerge as nodes in a transnational advocacy network, serving to transmit the Timorese resistance’s appeal to the outside world.
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Page range: 3-15
Cornell University Southeast Asia Program