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Freedom Flotilla to West Papua Sets Out For Lake Eyre

Freedom Flotilla to West Papua Sets Out For Lake Eyre

The West Papuan Freedom Flotilla sets out on the first leg of its epic journey from Lake Eyre to the warm waters of Merauke, West Papua on July 16, 2013.

People from across Australia supporting their West Papuan brothers and sisters will meet Uncle Kevin Buzzacott, Arabunna (Lake Eyre) Elder and peacemaker, at the shores of Lake Eyre in South Australia on July 20 to collect the ceremonial water to take on their journey to West Papua.

The arrival of West Papuan asylum seekers to Australia's shores over a decade ago meant that the First Nations peoples of Australia and West Papua rediscovered their connection through song lines and tradition from the time when the land masses were connected.
It was then that Uncle Kevin Buzzacott and Jacob Rumbiak, Foreign Minister of Federal Republic of West Papua, called for boats to take the message of solidarity to the people of West Papua.
“This was one land; we still are one people, one soul.” said Uncle Kevin Buzzacott.

“This mission will reunite our Indigenous family link, which was broken by geological evolution and colonial boundaries,” said Jacob Rumbiak.

Freedom Flotilla crew member Izzy Brown said, “We begin this historical journey from the desert sands to stand strong against human rights violations and environmental destruction, this is the beginning of a big movement and the world is watching.''

The Freedom Flotilla convoy, will travel through central and north eastern Australia and leave from Cairns by boat on August 17.

Lake Eyre was returned to the Arabunna people in 2012 and the land around it has a long history with land rights and anti uranium mining actions of creative resistance such as Roxstop in 1996, Earth Dream in 1999 -2012 and the Lizards Revenge protestival against the Olympic Dam mine in 2012. Following this tradition the Freedom Flotilla will also begin its epic journey from there.

The Freedom Flotilla is being crowd-funded, and has so far received support from environmental and human rights activists, politicians, musicians, unions and West Papuans both in and outside of West Papua.

ENDS

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