4) West Papuans protest against Indon rule
5) West Papuans Protest Against Indonesian Rule
Safrin La Batu The Jakarta Post
2) Indonesian police fire water cannon at pro-Papua demo
- Posted 01 Dec 2016 14:32
Protesters confront police using water cannons during a protest by mostly university students from the Free Papua Organization and the Papua Student Alliance in Jakarta. (Photo: AFP/BAY ISMOYO)
JAKARTA: Indonesian police Thursday (Dec 1) fired water cannon in a bid to disperse a demonstration against Jakarta's rule over the insurgency-hit eastern region of Papua, and rounded up scores of protesters.
About 150 protesters rallied in Jakarta to mark the anniversary of Papua's 1961 declaration of independence, two years before Indonesia took control of the region from former colonial ruler the Netherlands.
Insurgents have been fighting against rule from Jakarta ever since, while the central government has sought to keep a tight grip on the resource-rich region with a heavy military and police presence.
The protesters, mostly university students from the Free Papua Organisation and the Papua Student Alliance, yelled "Free Papua", facing off against hundreds of police in riot gear.
"It's enough. Our people have been killed and detained, it's enough," said protester Cheko, who only gave one name.
Four demonstrators were detained after police accused them of displaying the pro-independence "Morning Star" flag, which is banned, and most of the other protesters were later taken away in police vans, going voluntarily without any violence breaking out.
Veronica Koman, a lawyer from Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation, said the group had a team of lawyers ready to defend the protesters.
Six years after taking control of Papua, Indonesia held a referendum that it says validated its claim to the region. But the vote was widely seen as a sham, with Jakarta hand-picking 1,026 people to vote on behalf of all Papuans.
Tregular small-scale clashes between insurgents, fighting on behalf of the ethnic Melanesian population, and security forces in Papua. Activists often accuse police and the army of committing human rights abuses in the name of anti-rebel operations.
President Joko Widodo has pledged to improve livelihoods in Papua, which is one of the least developed regions of the archipelago, and has repeatedly travelled there during his two years in office.
3) Lend West Papua your voice
LICE MOVONO Thursday, December 01, 2016
Update: 12:40PM AS futile as it may seem, your voices can make a difference in the Free West Papua movement, a group of young Pacific Island activists told students today.
Speaking at the "Raise The Morning Star" gathering at the Unviersity of the South Pacific today, students who make up the Youngsolwara movement called on youths to join them.
Second year student, Elizabeth Volavola told hundreds of peers at the Free West Papua event that prayers were not enough.
"It made me emotional and it made me want to take a stand so that the flame that they ignited in the hopes of freeing West Papua - we as students will fuel that flame," Ms Volavola said.
"Not just sit back on the side on facebook and say we hope and pray that you will continue the fight. No we will stand up!"
"At the end of the day, we are connected by one ocean."
Event organiser, Joey Tau said the event was focused on using art to raise awareness on the Free West Papua movement.
The "Raise The Morning Star" event used drama, music and poetry to mark West Papua's original independence day when it first raised the Morning Star flag, the current day simple of the Free West Papua movement.
"With due respect to the explicit realities put before on social media, the (We Bleed Black and Red) campaign tries to encourage a lot of young people and their creativity. Some people have reservations about explicity - the campaign brings in another dimension to the whole movement," Tau said.
The campaigner said using a creative arts approach has created a larger following of the movement.
Dozens of West Papuan protesters calling for the region's independence have been detained after clashing with police in Jakarta.
By STEPHEN WRIGHT AND NINIEK KARMINI, ASSOCIATED PRESS JAKARTA,
Indonesia — Dec 1, 2016, 1:36 AM ET