Statement on West Papua Independence Day 2019
Statement on West Papua Independence Day
July 1, 2019
On 1st July, the people of West Papua will be remembering this historic day in 1971 when the people have marked their fate as an independent nation. On this day, Papuan activists with their allies, will again be hitting the streets to register their demands as a sovereign nation and assert their right to self-determination.
The Indonesian State will also be in attendance in these actions through its police and military, ready to arrest and harass the protestors. They have also been very present in the highlands of West Papua, sowing terror and fear in Indigenous communities, and facilitating the plunder of Papua’s natural resources by multinational and transnational corporations. This terrorism from the Indonesian state has forced some Papuans to take up arms as freedom fighters to defend their rights as a people and a sovereign nation.
Recently, the issue of children joining the West Papua Liberation Army has made it into international news. For a moment, the conflict and armed struggle in West Papua was under the spotlight, let alone the existence of this nation. West Papua’s situation has remained unknown to the world for decades, and even within Indonesia due to the Indonesian Government’s massive media blackout and heavy repression of media and human rights activists in West Papua.
The dire conditions in West Papua, from the deprivation of the most basic rights to the intense militarization, has imposed a specific way of survival for its people, including its children.
The Merdeka West Papua Support Network is of the position that the rights of the women and children of West Papua, and their genuine liberty, could only be realized if West Papua ceases to be a colonized by Indonesia and exploited by Imperialist countries like the US and Australia. West Papua’s liberation will also be of its women and children.
We express our solidarity to West Papuans on this significant day of struggle and remembrance. We also appeal to the international community to support our calls to pull-out the Indonesian military from West Papua and to stop the political repression and all forms of attacks against the people!
Today and onwards, we join the people of West Papua in saying, Papua Merdeka!