Melbourne rally in support of Freedom Flotilla August 27

Calling out to all supporters of the Free West Papua movement to join in a peaceful rally in support of the Freedom Flotilla. In solidarity with peaceful actions happening across West Papua on the same day.


SPEAKERS: Shirley Shackleton (Lusitania Express to East Timor in 1992); Natalie Pa’apa’a (Freedom Flotilla to West Papua in 2013); Piter Elaby (West Papua)

A gathering outside the Indonesian Consulate in Melbourne on Tuesday 27 August 2013 is voicing fears for the safety of a truth-seeking Freedom Flotilla from Lake Eyre (in South Australia) to Merauke (in West Papua) as it approaches the border between Australia and New Guinea.

ANYONE DELIGHTED with Aboriginal and Papuan leaders re-establishing relations between peoples separated by rising seas 6,000 years ago and more recently by colonial politics

ANYONE BEWILDERED by the Indonesian government’s decision to set its Airforce and its Navy against twenty peace-builders on two small yachts

ANYONE ANGERED by Australian military gifts to Indonesia (most recently nine Hercules), who threatened East Timor’s Lusitania Express activists twenty-one years ago with the same tactics

ANYONE STRESSED by the Australian Labor Party’s support of Indonesia’s Special Autonomy in West Papua, which violates indigenous human, civil, and political rights

ANYONE DISMISSIVE of Foreign Affairs Minister Carr’s propaganda that supporting West Papuans’ right to self-determination (peace, security, and justice) is a ‘cruel hoax’

ANYONE APPALLED by the Liberal Party’s Foreign Minister’s endorsement of militarism (‘Indonesia has a right to deploy its military or whatever means it wishes against the flotilla’)

ANYONE WHO AGREES that illuminating Indonesia’s denial of West Papuans’ rights to life is ‘a call to truth and not an international crime’


SHIRLEY SHACKLETON dedicated her life to liberating the East Timorese after her husband was shot in BALIBO in 1975 by the Indonesian military. Her account of East Timor’s struggle The Circle of Stone won the 2010 Walkley Book Award, and in 2013 she was awarded the Order of Timor-Leste by the President of East Timor. In 1992 she was on the Lusitania Expresso to East Timor, which had similar objectives to the Freedom Flotilla, and was blocked by three Indonesian warships, an Australian-supplied warship, a military plane, three helicopters, and threats to ‘shoot them out of the water’.

NATALIE Pa’apa’a is the singer-songwriter of the urban roots band Blue King Brown who took to campaigning for West Papua after meeting activist-musician Ronny Kareni. She creatively highlights the abuse of West Papuans under Indonesia, notably in 2012 at Womadelaide and the Byron Bay Blues Festival. On 17 August 2013 she helped launch the Freedom Flotilla’s water journey from Cairns to West Papua.

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