Melbourne rally for East Timor
By Jo Brown
MELBOURNE — About 500 East Timor supporters picketed the opening of the "Great Expectations: The United Nations at 50 Years" Conference at Melbourne University on Thursday, April 27.
The target of the protest was foreign minister Gareth Evans, who was speaking at the conference opening with UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. The protesters chanted "No Blood For Oil" and "Shame Gareth Shame" and held candles to commemorate the 200,000 East Timorese who have died since the 1975 invasion by Indonesia.
Earlier, an East Timor Freedom Festival was organised by "University Students for East Timor" from Melbourne University was held with performances by the East Timorese Youth Cultural Group and Painters and Dockers.
Guest speakers addressing the rally included Abel Guterres from CNRM, Joaquim Santos from Fretilin, Pedro Batista from UDT and Justice Einfeld. Guterres told the rally that the international struggle for East Timor was intensifying, and that people in Australia had an important role to play in challenging Gareth Evans and the Australian government to end its support for the Indonesian occupation.