This event was part of the ‘Freedom Flotilla to West Papua’, an epic 5,000 km journey from Lake Eyre in South Australia to West Papua, which aims to draw international attention to the crisis in Papua where Indonesian military and multinational corporations are complicit in crimes against humanity.
Uncle Kevin Buzzacott, representing Arabunna Nation and the Freedom Flotilla, participated in solidarity with the local Elders in the fire and water ceremony.
It was Uncle Kevin and West Papuan foreign minister Jacob Rumbiak who first conceived the idea of a peaceful unity between Aboriginal and West Papuan peoples.
“The Freedom Flotilla is a great peace movement”, said Uncle Kevin Buzzacott.
Robert Corowa spoke about the struggles that all Indigenous peoples face. “We want to heal the world and heal all the people of the world”, said Mr Corowa.
‘’I was inspired by the dance about hitting the water to send a wave that sends a message to the dolphins to bring in the fish. With this journey we need to hit the water hard to send our message to the world.’’ Said Ronny Kareni, West Papua independence advocate and flotilla spokesperson.
‘’ The dancing was a very moving experience, it brought tears to my eyes’, said Izzy Brown, flotilla crew member.
“On behalf of the West Papua Freedom Flotilla we would like to thank the Nimbin community for their warm welcome, especially Nimbin Environment Centre, Grannys Farm, Nim FM radio, Solidarity Sound System and Nimbin community & cultural centre.”
From Nimbin, the convoy heads to Brisbane on July 30 where they have been invited to join activists from the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy around the fire in Musgrave Park at 4pm.
“We will keep the fire burning,” said Boe Spearim, Embassy spokesperson.
The West Papua Freedom Flotilla will also attend a benefit gig on 1 August at the Brews Brothers in East Brisbane and everyone is invited. The convoy will then head north to Cairns and they will be hosting the ‘Rock the Boat’ concert on August 16th. The sea leg journey will launch on 17th August in Cairns.
Media contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronny Kareni 0401 222 177
Izzy Brown 0410 535 896