Indonesian activists appeal for solidarity

Indonesian activists in the National Liberation Party of Unity (PAPERNAS) continue to face government-sponsored thuggery and have appealed for support from Australian activists to help them defend their democratic rights.

PAPERNAS chairperson Agus Priono has issued a statement calling for solidarity that explains: "Since the day PAPERNAS declared itself an alternative party, it has faced various obstacles, ranging from undemocratic political bills to threats and repression. Over the last year, PAPERNAS has been subjected to 17 attacks from government-controlled forces."

Many on the Australian left have a proud history of supporting the struggles for democracy in Indonesia. Priono noted that PAPERNAS "has been receiving abundant support from various democratic, progressive and human rights groups from all over the world. These groups have continued to express their support for PAPERNAS in many different ways, as well as expressing strong protest [at the Indonesian government's actions]."

In the coming weeks, PAPERNAS is planning mass public meetings in four provinces, which it expects thousands of people to attend despite the threat of repression. PAPERNAS members have pledged to continue distributing the information on the party's policies, which include the repudiation of Indonesia's illegitimate foreign debt, the nationalisation of the country's resource industries, and further industrialisation of Indonesia. "Our work to win more people to an anti-imperialist line and invite them to build a new alternative to contest the ruling party will continue", Priono said. "We invite both individuals and organisations to help us. Any support in the form of solidarity messages or donations will be appreciated. Every message of solidarity will be read out to our members at the meetings."

[To send messages of support, email PAPERNAS at <papernas@yahoo.com> or phone +62 21835 4513.]

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