Solidarity Month for West Papua

Today, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) Asia Pacific, Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) and the Merdeka West Papua Support Network, launch the Solidarity Month for West Papua’s struggle for self-determination and freedom.

The solidarity month will comprise of a webinar series on the West Papua struggle and people’s movement, solidarity activities from various support organisations in different countries, and a solidarity cultural program.

Stay tuned to the FB pages of ILPS Asia Pacific, IPMSDL and Merdeka for schedules and other announcements!

Long live international solidarity!

(Below is the statement of ILPS Asia Pacific for today)

Statement of solidarity on the commemoration of July 1st declaration of West Papua Independence
Sarojeni Rengam
International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS) – Asia Pacific

Today, the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS) – Asia Pacific joins the West Papuan peoples – both in West Papua and overseas – and their supporters worldwide in the commemoration of the declaration of independence of West Papua in 1971.

Forty-nine years ago, West Papua declared its independence following the subversion of the decolonization process, and annexation of West Papua by Indonesia. The New York Agreement in 1963 brokered by the US transferred West Papua from the control of The Netherlands to Indonesia.

In 1969, a UN referendum was held that supposedly upheld the annexation of West Papua to Indonesia. The referendum, however, did not carry the voice of the 800,000 West Papuans that time as it was only conducted among 1,000 chosen individuals who voted under duress with the presence of the Indonesian military.

For decades now, the West Papuans have struggled against oppression and repression of the imperialist-backed Indonesian government alongside the plunder of the rich natural resources of West Papua by the imperialists and local Indonesian ruling elites. They also confront deeply-rooted racism and marginalization, and even key administrative and political positions in West Papua have been controlled by the Indonesian state to ensure West Papua remains under Indonesia.

West Papua remains to be highly-militarized and actions calling for the self-determination and liberation of West Papua have been met with state violence. Even participation in the annual December Morning Star Flag Raising day is met with violence or red-tagging of West Papuans including those overseas.

In recent weeks, West Papuan organisations and supporters have intensified the call to release the Balikpapan 7 who were arrested in relation to the protests in August to October last year where at least 50 people were killed and more than 50 more were arrested. The Balikpapan 7 that include prominent members of the Komite Nasional Papua Barat / West Papua National Committee (KPNB) and the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (UMWLP) have been judged guilty and are now facing prison time.

In support of the West Papua struggle for Merdeka, the ILPS Asia Pacific has made July as a solidarity month for the West Papua struggle to promote understanding of the situation in West Papua, project the struggles of the people in West Papua, and enjoin the broadest solidarity support for their struggles.. The solidarity month comprises of a series of virtual seminars on West Papua history, struggles, and people’s movement; support to activities free West Papuan political prisoners; and, heightened projection and promotion of West Papua struggle.

The ILPS Asia Pacific enjoins its members, anti-imperialist groups and solidarity groups for West Papua to continue to express solidarity with the West Papua struggle against repression and plunder, and for self-determination and liberation.

Merdeka! Free West Papua!

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