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Free West Papua!

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Statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)            15 September 2019

The Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) expresses its utmost support and solidarity with the people of West Papua in their struggle for self-determination and independence, and their fight against racism and discrimination which is rooted in the long history of colonial and imperialist oppression of West Papua.

The recent mass protests that have erupted and spread across much of West Papua and in parts of Indonesia, mark the latest round of resistance by the West Papuan people to nearly 60 years of oppression, torture, and dispossession under Indonesian occupation, which began following the subversion of a UN referendum process on independence from Dutch colonial rule.  

The protests began on August 17, Indonesia’s Independence Day, when West Papuan students living in the Indonesian city of Surubaya were attacked, arrested and racially abused by ultra-nationalists with the support of the police following a Papuan independence protest. The repression sparked a wave of mass rallies and protest actions not seen for years.

Indonesia has responded to the outpouring of sentiment for independence and freedom with further repression and violence. Reports suggest an additional 6,000 troops have been sent to the already highly militarised region, adding to the 45,000 permanently stationed there. Internet connection has been cut limiting the flow of information in and out of the region. Restrictions on journalists and foreign tourists are also in effect.

West Papua’s ongoing subjugation by Indonesia is supported by US imperialism and its regional henchman Australia. Both governments provide support and training to Indonesia’s National Armed Forces. The Armed Forces are used to repress the West Papuan’s struggle for self-determination and secure the region’s vast natural resources for exploitation by imperialist multinational mining and energy companies such as Freeport-McMoRan, BP, and Rio Tinto.

Our call to support the movement for a free West Papua should not be construed as an attack on the people of Indonesia. Australian workers and Communists, particularly those amongst the waterside workers and seamen, played an honourable part in the Indonesian people’s struggle for independence from Dutch colonialism. It is against imperialism, colonialism, and all forces of reaction that we must direct our struggles. These are the forces that suppress, attack, and cause suffering for the vast majority of the world’s people. The struggle of West Papua is therefore the struggle of the global masses, including the majority of Indonesians and Australians, and we must all stand in solidarity with the people of West Papua in their fight for self-determination and independence.

In Australia, we encourage people to take action in support of the people of West Papua by attending solidarity rallies and protest actions being held around the country; supporting organising efforts of local representative bodies of the West Papuan struggle such as the West Papuan Rent Collective; sharing news and information on social media; raising the plight of West Papua at meetings of unions and various community organisations etc. As the struggle now reaches a new peak and takes on various forms, international solidarity is of vital importance to the success of the struggle of the West Papuans for justice, freedom, self-determination and independence.

End the Indonesian occupation of West Papua!
Indonesian troops out of West Papua!
End Australian government support for the Indonesian National Armed Forces and the occupation!
Support a referendum on independence and respect the right to self-determination for the Papuan people!
Free West Papua!
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For previous statements of support for West Papuan self-determination, please see:
 
The Struggle for the Liberation and Independence of West Papua Continues  (19 Dec 2017)
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Catalonia, Kurdistan, West Papua – uphold the right of nations to self-determination!  (Oct 4, 2017)
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Widodo sends wrong message to West Papua (Nov 16, 2014)
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Aborigines take up the cause of West Papuans  (Feb 24, 2013)
 

 

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