West Papua

Sunrays pierced the cold rain to make a sudden halo around the Blackbird as it approached the Collins Landing wharf in Melbourne on June 21, docking across from the Republic of West Papua’s new state of the art Department of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade office.

People in suits, high heels, dreadlocks and traditional Melanesian headdresses sang, danced and waved West Papua’s outlawed Morning Star flag as they gathered to greet the boat of West Papuan Foreign Affairs staff arriving to formally open their new office.

Supporters of the Freedom Flotilla to West Papua, including the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy, gathered outside the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Brisbane on September 2.

They were protesting against the arrest of four supporters of the Freedom Flotilla in the West Papuan city of Sorong on August 28 and who are now facing charges of treason for raising the West Papuan Morning Star flag.

The West Papua Freedom Flotilla released this statement on September 12.

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Evading the Indonesian navy, two tiny boats met near the Australia-Indonesia border to ceremonially reconnect the indigenous peoples of Australia and West Papua. The ceremony was the pinnacle of a 5000 kilometre journey beginning in Lake Eyre, in which sacred water and ashes were carried and presented to West Papuan leaders.

Australian foreign minister Bob Carr is nothing if not committed to humanitarian causes. And anyone supporting humanitarian causes cannot be anything but especially concerned about the situation facing the people of West Papua.

And so it was that Carr bravely spoke out against the “cruel” forces oppressing the long-suffering Papuan people: the international solidarity movement with the Papuan people's struggle against Indonesian occupation and for self-determination.

This statement was released by the West Papua Freedom Flotilla on June 1.

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A historical ceremony was held outside the Victorian Trades Hall on June 1 for the issuing of “Original Nations” passports and West Papuan visas in conjunction with the Freedom Flotilla from Lake Eyre to West Papua.

In solidarity with the passport ceremony in Melbourne, a peaceful rally was also held in Manokwari, West Papua.

West Papuans and their supporters staged protests worldwide to coincide with US President Barack Obama's visit to Indonesia. Large protests were held in West Papua.

In Melbourne, about 50 activists protested at Federation Square on November 10, demanding action against the Indonesian government and its atrocities against West Papuans.

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