West Papua Honai Embassy Vigil – Melbourne

West Papuan and non-Papuan activists and supporters for a Free West Papua in Melbourne prepare to set up a vigil overnight across the Indonesian Consulate. As part of the global flag raising day, it is tragic to hear about the arrests of hundreds of Papuan Student of Alliance (AMP) in Jogjakarta and shootings in Yapen that left four people died.

Spokesperson at the West Papua Honai Embassy – Melbourne, Ronny Kareni, condemned the inhumane treatment of Papuans who peacefully celebrate this historic day. “We are saddened by the lost of our Papuan activists by Indonesian security forces crackdown on peaceful activists and condemned the barbaric act from the state,” said Mr Kareni. ”It clearly shows Indonesia has no place in West Papua.”

The sad news have strengthen the supporters at the West Papua Honai Embassy conviction to continue their vigil overnight at the Indonesian Consulate – Melbourne. Izzy Brown, who helped in organising the event today said “We stand in solidarity with West Papuans who were arrested today Jogjakarta and West Papua.”

The supporters at the Honai Embassy call out for Melbournians to come and join them in solidarity at the camp opposite the Indonesian consulate on this global day in support for the ongoing cry and hopes of the indigenous people of West Papua. Meg, Jaadwa woman and member of Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, said that she came in solidarity with our West Papuan brothers and sisters in our shared struggles. “We condemn the Australian government’s involvement in training and funding Indonesian paramilitary forces that protect the interests of Australian and multinational mining corporations,” Meg said. She drew parallels between the forced closures of Aboriginal homeland communities and re-iterated that we as indigenous people are united.

The people also raised a traditional West Papuan Honai embassy to symbolise indigenous people’s struggles as they are displaced from their homelands, their culture, language and freedom. The flag was raised in solidarity with activists across West Papua repressed by Indonesian forces as they attempted to raise the flag this morning.

Since the Morning Star flag was first raised 54 years ago, the Melanesian peoples of West Papua have continued to suffer under Indonesian occupation with an estimated 500,000 people missing or murdered since the Indonesian invasion in 1963. The Australian government is complicit in this slow genocide through its’ military and diplomatic support of the Indonesian government. Multinational mining corporations wreak environmental devastation for huge profit while local people are displaced from their homelands.

West Papuans and their supporters from all over the world call on their governments to support West Papua’s claim of their homeland and freedom for their people.

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