Solidarity with the West Papua’s struggle for self-determination

The statement below was released by socialist groups from around the Asia-Pacific region on December 1 to coincide with protests across Indonesia and elsewhere in solidarity with West Papua’s struggle for freedom.

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We, the undersigned organisations, express our support to the struggle of the people of West Papua for self-determination.

December 1 marks the West Papua’s Independence Day for Papuans when the Morning Star flag was raised in 1961 before annexed by Indonesia. The flag symbolised the aspiration of many Papuans for a Free West Papua.

Yet, it is still illegal to raise the Morning Star flag in West Papua and people who do face arrest and persecution from the authorities.

On December 1 this year, the people of West Papua will continue this tradition of struggle for self-determination through mass mobilisation. The people of Indonesia who concerned about West Papua will mobilise to express solidarity. There will be nationwide simultaneous actions in Indonesia to support West Papuan self-determination.

Since annexation of West Papua through the unfree “Act of Free Choice” referendum in 1969 under Suharto dictatorship, an estimated 500,000 West Papuans have been killed in their fight for self-rule. The people of West Papua have endured decades of brutal oppression and culture of fear. Indonesian military and police have conducted systemic suppression against the Papuan by stirring up racial sentiments.

The people of West Papua face increasing intimidation, repression and brutality by the Indonesia government. This year alone, thousands have been arrested for voicing their demands for self-determination and independence referendum.

Hence, we call upon the government of Indonesia to:

1. Respect the right to self-determination of the people of West Papua, including holding a referendum to decide on the future of West Papua.

2. Stop repression against the people of West Papua who voice the demand for self-determination.

3. Protect the right to freedom of information, freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of thought for the Papuan people.

4. Improve the lives of the people of West Papua by providing free education, universal healthcare and affordable public transport.

5. End racial politics practiced by the Indonesian military and police against the people of West Papua.

We reject all forms of imperialist intervention in the process of democratic struggle in West Papua. Our solidarity with the people of West Papua for self-determination is part of the struggle against imperialism and multinational corporations that practice land grabbing colonisation in West Papua.

We call upon the people around the world to consolidate efforts to extend solidarity with the struggle of Papuans for self-determination.

Signed: Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) – Malaysia; Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT) – Malaysia; Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) – Malaysia; Awami Workers Party – Pakistan; People’s Liberation Party (PPR) – Indonesia; Student Center of the Struggle for National Liberation (PEMBEBASAN) – Indonesia; Sedane Labour Resource Centre (LIPS) – Indonesia; Pusat Perjuangan Rakyat Indonesia (PPRI) – Indonesia; Perkumpulan – Indonesia; Lingkar Studi Sosialis – Indonesia; Socialist Alliance – Australia; Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA) – France; the Fourth International.