West Papua Solidarity In Aotearoa New Zealand On 1 December
Below are the details of the solidarity events around Aotearoa on Tuesday, 1 December - in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin - along with a brief summary of why 1 December is so important for the people of West Papua.
West Papua has been occupied by the Indonesian military since it was handed over, against the will of the indigenous population, to Indonesia in 1963. Since then, the people of West Papua have been subjected to gross human rights violations including rape, torture, cultural genocide, murder and massacre - more than 100,000 West Papuans have been killed. Many live in exile because it is not safe for them to go home.
Multi-national corporations in cahoots with the Indonesian authorities have exploited West Papua's natural resources to an extraordinary degree. This has caused massive social dislocation, devastation of rain forests, pollution of streams and rivers on which the local people depend for their survival, and appalling human rights violations in areas where multinationals operate.
1 December is West Papua Independence Day, this year marking the fifty ninth anniversary of the day the West Papuans first raised their new flag, the Morning Star, as the symbol of their forthcoming independence from Dutch colonial rule.
In West Papua, people mark Independence Day in a variety of ways, including peaceful gatherings to fly the Morning Star - despite the threat of arrest and murder. In previous years, the Indonesian military and police have responded with increased violent oppression around this day, arresting and killing those they perceive as pro-independence activists. West Papua Independence Day is marked by solidarity events around the world, including here in Aotearoa New Zealand.
* Auckland, 1 December, 12.30pm for 1pm
Morning Star flag raising for West Papua: We invite all those who have one heart for a Free West Papua to join us to raise the Morning Star flag on Tuesday 1st of December 2020, on what should be West Papuan Independence day. Meet at the Aotea Square Queen Street entrance, under the wharenui carving, from 12.30pm for a prompt 1pm start. Organised by Oceania Interrupted and West Papua Action Auckland, please RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/655802831765168/
* Wellington, 1 December, 12.45pm for 1pm
Papua solidarity gathering at parliament: You are
invited to join the annual gathering at parliament to fly
the Morning Star flag in solidarity with the people of West
Papua on 1 December, at 12.45pm for 1pm. Organised by Peace
Movement Aotearoa, please RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/411720896507368
* Christchurch, 1 December, 5pm and 6.30pm
West Papua's National Day
‘Morning Star’ flag raising and Peace mass:
Join us at the Bridge of Remembrance, Cashel St West, at 5pm
for the Morning Star flag raising, followed by a Mass for
Peace in West Papua / He Miha Rangimārie mo Papua i te Uru
at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Manchester Street, at 6.30pm.
Organised by West Papua Action - Canterbury, a poster
advertising the Peace Mass is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/papua-mass,1dec2020.pdf
* Dunedin, 1 December, 12 noon
Morning Star flag raising: Join us to raise the Morning Star flag on the Otago Museum Reserve at 12 noon, organised by West Papua Support Dunedin.