On Saturday 17 July Coventry Peace Action will be demonstrating against the
pre-election violence in East Timor with a striking tableau in Coventry city centre.
The election is to determine whether East Timor gains independence from Indonesia or
whether it stays under Indonesian rule with some level of autonomy. East Timor has been
struggling for independence since 17 July 1975 when it was annexed by Indonesia. Since
then a third of the population have been killed or disappeared in over two decades of
John Walker, a member of the group said:
"These elections are vital to East Timorese people because they need to know that
the rest of the world is aware of what is happening. Indonesian backed pro-autonomy groups
are terrorizing the population with widespread killings.
"For example on 6 April 57 people were slaughtered in a church in Liquisa. The UN
now has an Election Observation Team there in an attempt to stop the intimidation and the
ballot has been postponed from 8 August until later in the month, but murders continue in
the more remote areas."
Three members of Coventry Peace Action were part of the Peace Camp outside the Alvis
factory for over a year calling for an end to the export of tanks to Indonesia. The group
will be staging the tableau at various places in Coventry city centre and giving out
leaflets to explain their action.