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  • Writer's pictureMerdeka Secretariat

Free West Papua! Defend Global Flag Raising Day and the Resistance of the West Papuan People!

Commission One calls on the members of the ILPS to show their unity with the people of West Papua as they commemorate the Global Flag Raising Day. In West Papua and many parts of the world, the Morning Star Flag – the symbol of unity of all the peoples of West Papua – will be flown to send a strong message of resistance to the Indonesian government, which has unlawfully administered over this vast island since 1969.

The display of the Morning Star in West Papua and even in other countries is dealt by the Indonesian state with fascist attacks and red tagging of groups supporting West Papua.

The Global Flag Raising Day is an important event for the people of West Papua, as it signifies their life and death commitment for freedom from oppression and for self-determination.

The ILPS highly condemns the Indonesian government and the US for their stranglehold on this island ever since the US brokered an agreement in New York in 1963 between the former colonizer the Netherlands and the Indonesian Government that transferred authority over West Papua from the Netherlands to Indonesia.

The sham 1969 UN Referendum conducted in West Papua endorsed West Papua’s integration into Indonesia. However, said referendum did not carry the voice of the people of West Papua who, at that time, numbered 800,000, while the referendum was conducted only among selected 1,000 persons. It did not really reflect the will of the people of West Papua for liberation from Indonesia.

The people of West Papua tremendously resisted this illegitimate transfer of authority, and to this day, they have struggled – in many forms – to be free from the brutal and bloody reign of Indonesia and the plunder of their gold minerals by the US corporation Freeport-McMoRan and the British Petroleum.

These corporations’ large-scale extractive operations have caused severe environmental degradation and massive displacement of indigenous West Papuans for several decades now.

Further, Indonesia has deliberately carried out a program of transmigration of Javanese Indonesians into West Papua, effectively reducing the latter into a minority population in this vast island. These Indonesians have been selected to control key administrative and political offices in West Papua. As a result, there is massive and deeply-ingrained racism, religious discrimination, marginalization and subjugation of the original people of West Papua.

Aside from imposing military rule in West Papua in order to curtail and crush any movement for liberation, Indonesia has employed divide and rule tactics among the various leaders in West Papua. There were West Papuan leaders who carried the line of “forgiveness” and “peace” within the framework of the Republic of Indonesia. There were leaders who opted for special autonomy under same Republic.

Leaders who fought with arms or who led street demonstrations for freedom for West Papua were murdered or heavily tortured and imprisoned for a number of years. Several members of communities who supported these leaders were massacred and driven away.

But the majority of the people of West Papua have not given up their decades-old struggle and have appealed to groups and organizations in Indonesia and abroad for their solidarity.

Recently in Indonesia, youth groups have called for the release of West Papuan political prisoners. Revolutionary groups In Indonesia have called on the youth and the workers in said country to work for unity with the struggling people of West Papua. Only through such revolutionary unity would they be able to defeat Indonesia and US imperialism.

Commission One likewise stands firm with its resolution made at the Sixth International Assembly of the International League of People’s Struggle to organize and to mobilize the youth, workers and other sectors for the campaigns and other issues of the people of West Papua.

Together with the freedom-loving and democratic groups in Indonesia and all over the world,

Commission One upholds the aspiration of the people of West Papua for their freedom, their liberation from colonial rule abetted by US Imperialism, and for the supreme right to Self-Determination.

The above is the International League of Peoples Struggles Commission 1 solidarity statement for the 2019 December 1st Global Flag Raising Day for West Papua. ILPS Commission 1 focuses on the cause of national liberation, democracy, and social liberation against imperialism and all reaction.


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