West Papua Freedom Forum held in Darwin, Australia
July 20, 2015
On 4-6 July protesters held a Free West Papua demonstration outside the Northern Territory Parliament in Darwin, Australia. They built a traditional West Papuan honai hut as a West Papuan Embassy and called upon the Parliament to speak to them about West Papuan independence.
Protesters marched to the honai Embassy outside the Indonesian Embassy in Darwin. The demonstration was widely reported by many Australian media outlets including ABC and SBS News.
The demonstration was part of the Darwin West Papua Freedom Forum, which bought together leaders and activists from around Australia, to meet and plan together how to liberate West Papua. Further information can be found on the website of the Freedom Flotilla to West Papua, from where much of this article was sourced.
Below is a video from the demonstration outside the Northern Territory Parliament.
Other activities have included raising awareness by taking a boat with the West Papuan flag to a regatta attended by over 15,000 people, painting a Free West Papua mural in the city centre of Darwin and holding a remembrance ceremony for the victims of the Biak massacre in West Papua.
During the demonstration outside parliament Larrakia tribal elder June Mills said:
“This falls on the anniversary of the Biak Massacre but the killing is ongoing. The Biak Massacre started by a flag raising, by people celebrating their Papuan identity with the morning star flag. Men. Women and children were slaughtered, put up as an example to any one that raises a flag of self-determination.”
The West Papua Freedom Forum “applauded the recent endorsement of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) as observers in the Melanesian Spearhead group.” and “welcomed the solidarity and support offered to the West Papuan Independence movement by the Maritime Union of Australia NT” who were also present.
The West Papua Freedom Forum resolved to:
- Send a delegation of representatives from Indigenous nations across Australia to attend the Pacific Island Forum in September 2015.
- Escalate actions aimed at exposing the human rights abuses taking place in occupied West Papua, including efforts to increase media access and international attention on the occupation
- Support further attempts to reunify the Indigenous nations across the Pacific including through further actions by the Freedom Flotilla and actions to undermine the false borders established by the occupation.
We are very happy to see so much support, interest and awareness being raised in Darwin and we are strongly behind our friends at the Freedom Forum with their commitment to raising further awareness and support for the freedom of West Papua.