self-determination

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.

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.

A rally in Sydney on August 21 protested the Turkish government’s sacking of three elected mayors.

Speakers at a 100-strong solidarity rally in Brisbane on August 17 opposed the Indian government’s crackdown on Kashmir which began on August 5, including sending in the military and blocking all communications.

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