West Papua

“We have just received urgent news from West Papua that 200 people have been arrested and 26 tortured by Indonesian police, two days before Indonesia hosts the World Press Freedom Day in Jakarta,” the Free West Papua Campaign said on May 1.

A group of West Papuans living in Australia and their supporters are walking 73 kilometres from Geelong to Melbourne over April 26 to 30 to highlight the ongoing human rights abuses experienced by indigenous West Papuans who have lived under Indonesian occupation since 1963 and to raise awareness of the campaign for a free West Papua.

The distance of 73 kilometres was chosen to signify the distance between Australian territory (Deliverance Island) and West Papua.

A rally organised by Australians for a Free West Papua in support of West Papuan independence was held outside the Indonesian Consulate in Darwin on January 31.

Maritime Union of Australia NT secretary Thomas Mayor pledged the MUA’s help to grow the campaign for a Free West Papua. The rally burned a copy of the Lombok Treaty.

The West Papuan struggle continues to gain momentum as the facts about the West Papua struggle become known via social media.

About 50 people rallied on October 2 in a show of solidarity with the peoples of West Papua, and to protest the ongoing genocide and dispossession that has been carried out by a rapacious Indonesian state against the Indigenous population since the 1960s.

After some spirited speeches, including by members of the small local West Papuan community in exile, the rally set off for a short march from Town Hall to the New South Wales Parliament.

The rally also expressed its support for:

Undercover West Papua documentary Forgotten Bird of Paradise has been awarded Best Short Documentary at the 2015 Davis International Film Festival in the US. More than 1100 films were submitted to the festival from 80 countries.

Since its release in 2009, Forgotten Bird of Paradise has been shown at dozens of film festivals around the world, providing a rare and moving insight into the ongoing struggle for freedom being waged by the West Papuan people living under Indonesian colonial rule.

West Papua supporters held a peaceful rally at the Prime Minister’s Sydney residence, Kirribilli House, on August 15 to mark the signing of the New York Agreement, which betrayed the people of West Papua.

On August 15, 1962 an agreement was signed between the Republic of Indonesia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands concerning West New Guinea.

A vote on a Dutch/Indonesian resolution on the agreement by the UN General Assembly on September 21, 1962 was adopted and included this statement:

ADELAIDE
Learn at Students of Sustainability: Nourishing our roots, an annual environment and social justice conference, on Wednesday July 8 to Sunday July 12. Flinders University. Visit studentsofsustainability.org.

CANBERRA
Come to a conference: Queer Collaborations on Tuesday July 7 to Sunday July 12. The theme for this year is “Queer at Heart”. The Australian National University, East Rd, Acton. Visit qcanu2015.com.

MELBOURNE

Green Left Weekly’s Chris Peterson spoke with Jacob Rumbiak, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of West Papua -- a government-in-exile of the Papuan terrritory occupied by Indonesia since the 1960s. Its new foreign affairs office is in Melbourne.

Rumbiak is one of five officials of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, a new consultation body set up at a conference in Vanuatu in December.

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.

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