Solidarity for West Papua on 1 December 2004
29 November 2004
Below are the details of solidarity actions for West Papua for this coming Wednesday, 1 December: 'Messages of solidarity' which is something you can do wherever you are, and details of solidarity events in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
We will also be sending out an Action Alert on West Papua in the next couple days with information about a major Indonesian military operation which is apparently underway in the highlands region of West Papua, and action you can take about that.
Wednesday, 1 December, is the anniversary of the 1961 West Papuan Declaration of Independence from Dutch colonial rule and is observed by people in West Papua and solidarity groups around the world. In West Papua people mark the day in a variety of ways, including raising the 'Morning Star' (the West Papuan flag) - in previous years the Indonesian military and police have responded with increased violent oppression around this day, arresting and killing those they perceive as pro-independence activists.
Last Thursday, the governor of Papua province (the Indonesian government name for West Papua)announced ... "all people of Papua are not allowed to celebrate the 1st of December as Papuan Independence Day. The raising of Bintang Kejora [Morning Star] flag and other Papuan symbols which are against the unitary state of Indonesia are banned." For more information about West Papua, and what has happened on Independence Day in previous years, see West Papua: the forgotten Pacific country.
On 1 December 2004, the forty-third anniversary of the West Papuan Declaration of Independence from Dutch colonial rule, you are invited to send a message of solidarity to the people of West Papua.
Since 1963 West Papua has been occupied by Indonesian armed forces. For the past forty-one years, the people of West Papua have been subjected to gross human rights violations including rape, torture, cultural genocide, murder and massacre - more than 100,000 West Papuans have been killed. More than 15,000 West Papuans are currently living in camps in Papua New Guinea; and others are forced to live in exile around the world because it is not safe for them to go home.
Multi-national corporations in cahoots with the Indonesian authorities have exploited West Papua's natural resources to an extraordinary degree. This has caused massive social dislocation, devastation of rain forests, and pollution of streams and rivers on which the local people depend for their survival. As well as the direct violent repression by Indonesian armed forces, they are creating armed militias, similar to what they did in East Timor.
If you would like your message included on the 'Messages of solidarity' web page, please send your name, address*, occupation / position and organisation (optional), and message to Peace Movement Aotearoa [* only the town / city part of your address will be put on the web page, not your full address.]
If you can help distribute 'Messages of solidarity' forms from stalls, or in newsletters or other mailouts, please contact Peace Movement Aotearoa with your postal address; and telling us either the numbers of forms you require, or if we can send you the artwork so you can copy the form as needed. Thank you.
Join us to fly the Morning Star flag at 12 noon, at the corner of Queen and Customs Streets (adjacent to the Britomart bus terminal), passers by will be asked to sign solidarity messages. Organised by the Indonesia Human Rights Committee; for more information contact tel (09)815 9000 or email.
Gathering in solidarity with the people of West Papua. Join us at parliament from 1pm to 1-30pm to fly the 'Morning Star', to write a personal message of solidarity with the people of West Papua, and to release balloons as a symbol of our support for their hopes for justice, peace and self-determination. Organised by Caritas and Peace Movement Aotearoa; for more information contact tel (04) 496 1742, email or tel (04) 382 8129, email.
Stall by the Cathedral, in the Square, from 12 noon to 2pm, to fly the 'Morning Star', and provide information about West Papua and 'Messages of solidarity' forms. For more information contact Arena, tel (03) 366 2803 or email.