National liberation

After centuries under the yoke of English rule, Irish nationalists staged failed uprisings against British rule in 1798, 1803 and 1848. By 1858, Irish freedom fighters formed the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Known as the Fenians, they recruited among Irish soldiers in the British army to overthrow the British authorities.

However by 1867, the Fenian rising was crushed and dozens of their members sentenced to up 15 years in the British penal colony of Western Australia. Once there, they sent to Fremantle Gaol. Known as the "Convict Establishment" or the "Living Tomb", and built by convict labour in the 1850s, the men were subjected to a brutal regime of forced labour and floggings.

The recent uprising in West Papua was sparked by racist attacks on Papuan students in the Indonesian city of Surabaya. However, the West Papuan people have been struggling for more than 60 years against Indonesian occupation, human rights violations and for the right to self determination.

Indonesian occupation has led to human rights abuses, disappearances, kidnappings, extrajudicial killings, forced displacement and the death of an estimated 500,000 Papuans.

A rally for a Free West Papua was held in Melbourne on September 14.

Occupying the Plaça d’Espanya and surrounding streets on September 11, 600,000 people came out in Barcelona to celebrate Catalan National Day (the Diada).

The vast crowd demanded the acquittal of jailed Catalan social movement and political leaders, presently awaiting a Spanish Supreme Court verdict on charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement.

The decades-long struggle of the West Papuan people for self-determination has intensified in recent months — and Australia’s role in aiding and abetting the Indonesian occupation is once again being brought under international scrutiny.

Sri Lanka has a long history of discrimination against Tamils.  In 1948 Tamil plantation workers were deprived of citizenship.  In 1956 Sinhalese was made the sole official language, denying the Tamil language equal status, writes Chris Slee.

Tecber Ahmed Saleh, a health worker for the Ministry of Health of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (Western Sahara), is touring Australia, advocating for international recognition of her country. She spoke to Tony Iltis.

Members of the Kashmiri community and supporters rallied for a free Kashmir on September 1.

Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-West Papua) spokesperson, Surya Anta was arrested in Jakarta on August 31 and accused of “subversive” acts in relation to his advocacy for West Papua.

On August 17, Indonesian Independence Day, armed Indonesian police, soldiers and radical Islamic militia stormed a student dormitory in the Indonesian city of Surabaya (on the island of Java), which housed West Papuan students, arresting 43.

In response to the crackdown on activists and protesters in West Papua, which has followed this attack, regional left organisations have issued the following joint statement.

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