Freedom Flotilla to West Papua & friends board #USSFitzgerald Missile destroyer in DARWIN before it’s deployment to the Indo-Asia Pacific region #FreeWestPapua Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney knew about the massive gold deposits that is now Grasberg Freeport mine before the Dutch pulled out and conspired with Indonesia to take control of West Papua to gain access to its resources. The Freeport project is associated with an astonishing level of violence. Confrontations and military conflict have flared repeatedly since the Dutch departed, with the Indonesian government well supported by the US government with military training, advisers and weapons sales. The Australian government also provided military hardware, including helicopters, and training. There have been multiple instances of military deployment of modern warfare techniques against local indigenous traditional cultures with peaks occurring in 1977, 1980 and 1996.The U.S. betrayed West Papua in 1961 by facilitating Indonesia’s invasion of West Papua. Time for the U.S. to right the wrongs of the past and help West Papua on the road to freedom.
Today The Freedom Flotilla West Papua has chosen to respond to the joint US and Australian ‘war games’ with a direct action on the high seas, drawing attention to the West Papuan struggle for independence against the cruel Indonesian occupation.
The Flotilla are focusing on the US and Australia’s engagement in enabling and supporting this occupation, which dates back to the flawed 1961 U.N. facilitated takeover of West Papua. Both US and Australian ongoing financial and Military support has continued to the present day as have the subsequent widely reported killings and human rights violations in West Papua by Indoensian forces. West Papua has been under Indonesian military occupation since the 1969 vote when Indonesia handpicked 1025 West Papuans who were forced to vote at Indonesian gunpoint. Since, West Papua has suffered a widely reported genocide with now over 500,000 Papuan citizens killed, raped and tortured. Flotilla initiator, Arabunna Elder Kevin Buzzacott, says that “We can no longer have this murder on our doorstep”
”Australia and the U.S. are complicit in the genocide happening in West Papua. The blood of West Papua is on your hands” Izzy Brown – Freedom Flotilla West Papua The 2014 U.S Department of State report on Human rights released recently highlighted Indonesian forces continued human rights abuses in West Papua. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2014&dlid=236442#wrapper This report revealed systematic cover ups of torture and killings. Freeport mine is also renowned for complicity and systematic human rights abuses by security forces employed by Freeport including surveillance, mental torture, death threats and house arrest. Freeport’s operations in West Papua have caused severe degradation to the Amungme people’s environment and habitat, contributing to the ongoing cultural genocide throughtout West Papua. The Australian government reduced foreign aid to Indonesia this year but funding, including Indonesian police training and assistance have remained to secure fragile relations between the nations. Indonesian forces are guilty of gross human rights violations and Australia has to stop funding and feeding the fear and brutal killings. West Papuan people are struggling for freedom. Many Papuans are struggling for their lives. They have asked for our help. We helped the Timorese in their time of need. The people of West Papua also deserve our support. Contact Freedom Flotilla to West Papua firstname.lastname@example.org Cindy Watson Australians for a Free West Papua 0407267502
The Battle of Mindil pirate style
The boat race where anything goes; flour bombs, water sprays etc. The boats sail around the course and have to find an object that has been hidden under water somewhere in the course. The race is on Team Freedom Flotilla Team taking on the big guns
Mural underway on the corner of Bennett Street and Cavanagh Street Darwin. In support of Australians for a Free West Papua.
The mural, featuring the Aboriginal and West Papuan Morning Star flag was painted by over 20 local artists and will be completed with a signing off by visiting West Papuan Independence leader Jacob Rumbiak this morning at 11am at its city central site on the corner of Bennett and Cavanagh Streets.
The raising of the Morning Star flag is a crime in West Papua under the brutal Indonesian military occupation, punishable by 15 years. It now hangs here in the centre of Darwin city protected by the Larrakia people and the wider community to remind all Australians of our obligations to work alongside our near neighbours in their struggle for human rights and freedom.
Photo and interview opportunities at 11am at the site of the mural.
Call Cindy Watson from Australians for a Free West Papua on 0407 267 502
”On Sunday night here in Darwin, Northern Territory, I performed a Larrakia sacred smoking ceremony for the Biak Massacre and all West Papuan people who have lost there lives and their families. This one of my favourite images of the night.” June Mills
In 1998, Indonesian forces opened fire on West Papuan citizens in Biak, where the Morning Star flag had been raised in support of West Papua’s independence.
The Indonesian military violently raided houses and forced West Papuan people toward the sea – then tortured, raped and murdered innocent Papuans, murdering over 100 men, women and children. Their Bodies were piled into awaiting Indonesian naval ships. No member of the Indonesian forces have been brought to justice for this crime against humanity.
For more information, please visit http://www.biak-tribunal.org/
The first Freedom Forum held in Darwin on Larrakia Land was held this week. The forum was a united gathering of representatives of West Papuan and Indigenous nations and non-Indigenous Australians who resolved to recognise the sovereignty of West Papua and work towards a peaceful end to the brutal Indonesian military occupation of West Papua.
The Forum applauded the recent endorsement of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) as observers in the Melanesian Spearhead group.
The forum welcomed the solidarity and support offered to the West Papuan Independence movement by the Maritime Union of Australia NT who resolved to “speak out against the atrocities being perpetrated on the West papuan people by Indonesia”.
The forum calls on the Australian government to end all cooperation with the Indonesian occupying forces carrying out a slow genocide of the West Papuan people. The Australian government has been working hand in glove to maintain Indonesia’s occupation of West Papua by providing political endorsement, financial assistance and military training used to perpetrate the most severe human rights violations.
The forum further resolved to:
i) send a delegation of representatives from Indigenous nations across Australia to attend the Pacific Island Forum in September 2015.
ii) To escalate actions aimed at exposing the human rights abuses taking place in occupied West Papua, including efforts to increase media access and international attention on the occupation
iii) to support further attempts to reunify the Indigenous nations across the Pacific including through further actions by the Freedom Flotilla and actions to undermine the false borders established by the occupation.
West Papuans struggling for freedom deserve our solidarity and support. The conference resolved to intensify our efforts to bring justice and freedom to the people of West Papua.
The embassy is making history, with West Papuan, Larrakia and Arabunna Elders and non-indigneous activists gathering on the grounds outside parliament drawing attention to the ongoing genocide in West Papua by the Indonesian occupiers.
“We’re refusing to leave until a parliamentary representative speaks with us and commits to a plan of action for West Papuan Independence.”said spokesperson Izzy brown
With a traditional Honai hut erected, a welcome by Larrakia elder June Mills, and the morning star flag flying, the embassy stands as a space where West Papuan culture is celebrated.
“This falls on the anniversary of the Biak Massacre but the killing is ongoing. The Biak Massacre started by a flag raising, by people celebrating their Papuan identity with the morning star flag. Men. Women and children were slaughtered, put up as an example to any one that raises a flag of self-determination.” Said Larrakia Elder June Mills
Exile West Papuan Foreign Affairs Minister, Jacob Rumbiak, said recently the occupation in West Papua has worsened with Indonesia killing hundreds involved in the student movement.
“We are supporting the United Liberation Movement of West Papua. People in Papua are united in their struggle for independence” Jacob Rumbiak, West Papuan Foreign Affairs Minister
“We are not going to close our eyes we are not going to close our hearts. We are here to give a voice to the voiceless. Children do not deserve to grow up in a war zone” said Larrakia Elder June Mills
“The time has come for us to make world peace, West Papuans have the right to live in freedom” said Arabunna elder Kevin Buzzacott
The embassy has resulted from a 3 day forum on the West Papuan struggle in Darwin, which was attended by West Papuan, Larrakia, and Arabunna elders, and representatives as well as non-indigenous supporters, including crew members from the West Papuan Freedom Flotilla.
The Freedom Flotilla is set to sail again to draw attention to the destruction and genocide perpetrated by multinational corporations and colonial governments against the West Papuan people, we are targeting share-holder Rio Tinto over the Freeport Grasberg mine.
Izzy Brown, Freedom Flotilla Spokesperson, 0410535896
Ronny Kareni, West Papuan Media Spokesperson 0401222177