Thursday, July 16, 2015

Reveal the Truth, Acknowledge the Crime


Reveal the Truth, Acknowledge the Crime
Take Action on U.S. Support for Mass Violence and Genocide in Indonesia

The Look of Silence glassesThe massacre of up to 1,000,000 communists, leftists, ethnic Chinese, and others in Indonesia in 1965-1967 is a foundational event in modern Indonesian political history, but it remains mostly a footnote for most in the United States and elsewhere.

The documentary THE ACT OF KILLING shocked audiences as perpetrators of the mass murder reenacted their violence. The film has fueled a debate within Indonesia and drawn attention internationally to events unknown to many. Events that the U.S. facilitated and cheered at the time.
THE LOOK OF SILENCE, a companion film to THE ACT OF KILLING will soon be showing in U.S. theaters It follows the investigation by Adi Rukun into the murder of his older brother who was killed during the violence.

These powerful films tell us much about Indonesia today as they do about the past. However, any evaluation of the events of 1965-1967 must include a discussion of the role of Western powers in the violence, especially the United States. The 
East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) continues to call for accountability for those in the West who encouraged and assisted in the mass violence in Indonesia. The full truth must come out and the U.S. should declassify all files related to Suharto's U.S.-backed seizure of power and the murderous events which followed.

ETAN has prepared a background piece on the events and aftermath of Suharto's brutal seizure of power, where we focus on the U.S. role and responsibility. Read Breaking the Silence: The U.S. and Indonesia's Mass Violence
What You Can Do

1) Sign the petition urging the U.S. government to take two immediate steps:
a) declassify and release all documents related to the U.S. role in the 1965/66 mass violence, and b) formally acknowledge the U.S. role in facilitating the 1965-66 violence and its subsequent support for the brutalities of the Suharto regime.
Thanks to all who have signed so far.

2) See the THE LOOK OF SILENCE Going to a showing of The Look of Silence? Print out our leaflet and hand it out to the audience. PDFs: half-page: 8.5" x 5.5" or full page - 8.5" x 11"

3) Spread the word about the petition and the film. Write a letter to the editor and post to facebook or other social media calling for the U.S. to take responsibility for its role in the mass killings in Indonesia. Go here for sample letters, tweets and facebook posts. It is best to use your own words. Also use ETAN's Backgrounder: Breaking the Silence: The U.S. and Indonesia's Mass Violence. for additional information. 

4) Organize a discussion of the films. (We will soon have a short discussion guide to assist, write for a copy.) If you are high school teacher or college professor teaching an appropriate subject, consider assigning THE ACT OF KILLING or THE LOOK OF SILENCEto your students. Use it as a springboard for discussions on the impact of U.S. foreign policy, the need to address human rights violations, and how the past affects the present. (Contact: Chris Lundry for further info or assistance.)

5) Support ETAN. We need your support to continue our work for justice and accountability. Please donate today.


For more information see