The West Papua Freedom Flotilla, a group of roughly 50 people on two boats departed the northern Australian port of Cairns on Wednesday 21 August to offer solidarity to people in West Papua resisting the military occupation.
The group includes Aboriginal elders, musicians and activists who are committed to trying to reach Merauke in southern West Papua in part of bring international attention to the escalating violence and colonial occupation.
The Freedom Flotilla has decided to take action now because in their words:
“Currently in West Papua military repression has intensified with the proclamation of the Federated Republic of West Papua, increasing mass mobilisations organised by the West Papuan National Committee (KNPB), and the escalating resistance to foreign rule by West Papuan society as a whole. The targeting of human and environmental rights groups has intensified since KNPB leader Mako Tabuni was assassinated in June 2012. Australian Government funded and trained military have been responsible for such illegal killings and torture of West Papuans, who are simply expressing their right to self-determination.”