Shirley Shackleton was on board the Lusitania when it sailed to East Timor in 1992 to protest the Indonesian occupation. She offers words of solidarity for the West Papuan Freedom Flotilla
When I heard the shadow foreign affairs spokesperson Julie Bishop comment recently on the Freedom Flotilla sailing peacefully to West Papua, I experienced a moment of déjà vu. In Bishop’s opinion, “If this Freedom Flotilla breaches Indonesia’s territorial sovereignty, Indonesia is entitled to use whatever means it wishes to protect it.”
In 1992 I sailed on the Lusitania Peace Ship to East Timor, which had similar objectives to the Freedom Flotilla, and was blocked by warships, a military plane, three helicopters, and threats to “shoot us out of the water”. The rhetoric at that time was similar to that which is being promulgated at present. We were insulted and threatened in what were obvious canards.