London-"Massacred Journalists" Gatecrash Indonesian Ambassador'sLuncheon

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at SPAMqut.edu.au
Thu Sep 16 20:06:44 MDT 1999



At 15:06 16/09/99 -0700, you wrote:
>
>>
>>Thursday Sept. 16th.
>>
>>On a day when the Indonesian dictatorship denied food drops to the East
>>Timorese refugees they are syetematically starving in the mountains &
>>concentration camps , the Indonesian Ambassador threw a free lunch for the
>>nation's journalists at the elite Mayfair Intercontinental Hotel, London.
>>
>>Four peace activists posing as Greg Shackelton, Brian Peters, Malcolm
>>Rennie and Gary Cunningham attempted to gatecrash the event.  The above
>>journalists a long with Tony Stewart (Australian, English, Scottish and a
>>New Zealander) were some of the first victims of the 24 year Indonesian
>>genocide in East Timor.  They were massacred in Balibo by Indonesian forces
>>on the western border on Oct. 19th. 1975 - 2 months before the full scale
>>invasion.  Many believe the lack of a response by the journalists
>>governments to their murders handed the Indonesian dictator ship a blank
>>cheque to go on and kill over 250,000 East Timorese.
>>
>>The police presence outside the hotel was overwhelming. Ciaron O'Reilly, an
>>Australian activist, managed to run past British police into the foyer
>>before being confronted by Indonesian Embassy staff.  He attempted to
>>engage the Indon. Intel. officers on questions of the ongoing systematic
>>starvation and killing of East Timorese before being jumped by Met police
>>and dragged out of the building, cuffed and charged with "breach of the
>>peace" (sic). Fr. Martin Newell was arrested at the entrance of the hotel.
>>Two other English activists, Virginia Moffatt and David Nutall were
>>arrested after unfurling banners reading "Indonesian Diplomats Lie, East
>>Timorese Die!" and "Indonesian Death Toll: 6 journalists, 250,000 East
>>Timorese".  All were deatained for breach of police and transported to
>>Central District police station.
>>
>>Amongst those in the support vigil were relatives of slain East Timorese
>>and Malcolm Rennie.  The nonviolent resistance action was an attempt to
>>speak truth to the power of the Indonesian dictatorship and challenge the
>>journalist community to reflect on their complicity in the 24 year cover up
>>& betrayal of their dead.
>>
>>The four arrested were deatined for 4 hours and released without charge.
>>The action has grown out of a 3 month long vigil at the Indonesian
>>Embassy,London.
>>
>>The groups statement follows:
>>"INDONESIAN DIPLOMATS LIE, EAST TIMORESE DIE
>>
>>We come to the Mayfair Hotel today to speak truth to power.  Today, the
>>Indonesian Ambassador is hosting a luncheon for journalists, while his
>>government practises systematic starvation of East Timorese in the
>>mountains to which they have fled and in the concentration camps of West
>>Timor where they have been forcibly transferred.
>>
>>It has become abundantly clear over the last few weeks that the role of the
>>Indonesian diplomats is to spin & lie to buy time for their military to
>>carry out a policy of scorched earth genocide in East Timor.  It is
>>estimated that 30,000 unarmed East Timorese have been massacred by the
>>Indonesian Regular Army and their militia stooges since the U.N. referendum
>>of August 30th.  At that referendum, the people of East Timor voted
>>overwhelmingly (78%) for independence from Indonesia in a process
>>guaranteed by the U.N.  Since that vote all the forces of death have been
>>unleashed on the courageous people of East Timor.
>>
>>Those journalists dining with the Indonesian ambassador today, should
>>remember that some of the first victims of this 24-year genocide in East
>>Timor were their fellow journalists.  Greg Shackleton, Brian Peters, Tony
>>Stewart, Gary Cunningham, Roger East and Malcolm Rennie were butchered by
>>the Indonesian Regular Army in October 1975.  They were killed for trying
>>to investigate and speak the truth about the impending Indonesian
>>invasion....for doing their job as journalists.
>>
>>In the last few weeks over 100 Catholic priests, nuns and lay workers have
>>been butchered in similar fashion for the "crime" of offering hospitality
>>in churches to those fleeing the Indonesian death squads.  It is reported
>>that 30,000 unarmed east Timorese have been massacred since August 30th.
>>Over 150,000 East Timorese have been forcibly transferred to Indonesian
>>concentration camps in West Timor.  The militias have free access to these
>>camps and are carrying out summary executions.
>>
>>The 30 year year Indonesian military dictatorship came to power in the
>>1960's by killing over 1 million Indonesians.  It has gone on to kill over
>>1/3 of the East Timorese population and untold numbers of indigeneous
>>people in West Papua.  It has managed to carry out these crimes because of
>>the weapons supplied by the U.K., U.S. and Australia and the complicit
>>silence of our major institutions.  The blood of the 6 journalissts and
>>250,000 East Timorese is on our hands and on our military, church,
>>corporate, political, academic and media institutions that have proactively
>>or  passively supported this most brutal of dictatorships.
>>
>>We act today in a spirit of nonviolent resistance and solidarity with all
>>those defending life and speaking out against the Indonesian military
>>dictatorship and its powerful accomplices.
>>
>>Virginia Moffatt
>>David Nutall
>>Fr. Martin Newell
>>Ciaron O'Reilly
>>
>>
>>*Vigil Continues 9-5 Friday Sept.17
>>Monday  Sept. 20 12 noon -2 p.m.
>>at Indonesian Embassy, Grosvenopr Square, London (closest tube Bond St.)
>>
>>
>>Contact "Vigil for East Timor" Phone 07930-961842/ Email
>>ciaronx at hotmail.com
>>
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