Clinton Fernandes on The National Interest, Strategic Non-violence, and the Independence of East Timor

This is a great 2008 talk by Clinton Fernandes on the activism that brought about the independence of East Timor, as well as the myth that successive Australian governments were anything but complicit in the ruthless invasion and occupation of East Timor by Indonesia, which led to the deaths (by massacre, forced starvation, or disease) of over a quarter of the population of East Timor. See here and here for more information. The talk is also a great discussion of strategic non-violent resistance and activism in general.

Also, Peace with Justice: Noam Chomsky in Australia, has recently been published. It was edited by Fernandes, who added extensive footnotes to Chomsky’s insightful and detailed discussion.

Here are the details of the 2008 talk and the link to listen:

The National Interest, Strategic Non-violence, and the Independence of East Timor

21 August 2008

Dr Clinton Fernandes

Senior Lecturer in Strategic Studies, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, UNSW, ADFA

Dr Fernandes provides a critical evaluation of what is often portrayed as a noble moment in Australia’s history of overseas interventions. He shows that a series of Australian strategists and policymakers had argued that Australia’s national interest required it to support the Indonesian occupation of East Timor. He shows how this conception of the national interest was challenged by a coalition of activists who maintained a long-running campaign of non-violent opposition to official policy. He demonstrates that Australian policymakers were compelled to send in a peacekeeping force in 1999 under the pressure of a tidal wave of public outrage. This outrage did not arise spontaneously; rather, it was the result of a conscious process of strategic non-violent action by a transnational coalition of activists. He concludes with lessons and implications for the future.

Audio

Lecture(MP3, 21.1 MB) HH:MM:SS=01:01:35

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