West Papua flag raised at Leichhardt Town Hall

This December 1, for the twelfth year in a row, there was a West Papua flag-raising on the historic Leichhardt Town Hall, courtesy of the Inner West Council.

"On December 1, 1961 the West Papuan Morning Star flag was flown for the first time officially alongside the Dutch tricolour,” explained Joe Collins from the Australia-West Papua Association.

"The Dutch were about to grant West Papuans their freedom but, tragically, the international community because of the geopolitical situation of the times the United Nations handed West Papua over to Indonesia in 1963."

“It was the betrayal of a whole people.”

Retired lawyer and respected human rights activist Liz Biok reminded the gathering:

“There are between 60,000 to 100,000 West Papuans displaced at the moment. Some of them, in the Star Mountain region, have been displaced for three years with no medical access, no food security and no education. “It is a major humanitarian crisis.”

Collins added that the Morning Star flag would once again be raised around West Papua even though it is banned and flag-raising has been met with violent repression in previous years.