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    A girl at the Sydney Rally tells all

Rallying for the Papuans

a photo report

Within a week of the 43 Papuans arriving near Weipa in Queensland, Australians voted with their feet and rallies were held in several states. Below are photos from the rallies in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin.

And of course in the rallies the Morning Star, West Papua's flag of Independence, provided a central focus and an essential feature at the rallies. According to Chris Richards of New Internationalist:

Until 1 December 1999, the Indonesians treated the raising of the Morning Star as an act of treason. Jails all over the country held Papuans imprisoned (some for up to 25 years) for raising their flag. The security forces surprised everyone by announcing that the raising of the flag would be permitted on 1 December 1999. In an emotional and peaceful ceremony, the capital city of Jayapura became 'Papuan owned' for a day. People throughout the country excitedly began preparations for the grant of independence that they thought would necessarily follow."

Related pages

23 April 2006: TAPOL Human Rights Bulletin 181 (West Papua) - It seems that since December 2005 things are starting to escalate around West Papua, so it's not surprising that TAPOL dedicates a large section of this December Bulletin to the issues in Papua.

10 April 2006: Pieter J Drooglever, An Act of Free Choice? - the Papuans of Western New Guinea and the limitations of the right to self determination. An English summary of the Dutch Government-commissioned report into the handover of Irian Jaya to the UN under the New York Agreement in 1962 and the Indonesian - and stacked - Referendum of 1969.

31 March 2006: The Secret War Against The Defenseless People Of West Papua - "If the history of human rights is not the history of great power's impunity, the UN must return to West Papua, as it did finally to East Timor." Essays and writings by John Pilger, Clinton Fernandes and Marni Cordell.

31 January 2006: Free West Papua, Let Them Stay! - A forum in Fremantle about the West Papuan asylum seekers and their reasons for the trip from Merauke to Weipa in Queensland with Senator Kerry Nettle, advocate Kaye Bernard, Project SafeCom's Jack Smit and Australian West Papua Association supporter Ned Byrne.

22 January 2006: Inside the Grasberg Mine: an exasperating New York Times key feature investigation on West Papua's Freeport Mine. Published in December 2005, the article is already found on dozens of locations on the internet, and perhaps it's a study that will break the stranglehold on a situation that's both environmentally unsustainable, politically corrupt and an abhorrence in terms of human rights and ecological responsibility.

The Morning Star, the flag of West Papua21 January 2006: Raise the Flag and Cry Merdeka - The first traditional Papuan boat, a canoe with outriggers, arrived on Australian shores this week from West Papua. The heat is on the Howard government especially because the Indonesian government allegedly embarked upon "revenge attacks" against family members of those who made the journey. This is a background briefing on the issues at stake.

On Christmas Island -
and the Darwin Rally

Click the thumbnails to open the pictures

Celebrating Visas on Christmas Island
A Visa feast on Christmas Island
Celebrating Visas on Christmas Island
A Visa feast on Christmas Island
Celebrating Visas on Christmas Island
A Visa feast on Christmas Island
Christmas Island detention in staff housing
Staff housing on Christmas Island
Christmas Island detention in staff housing
Papuan children on Christmas Island
Perth Forum
Flyer for Perth Forum
Darwin Rally
Darwin Rally One
Darwin Rally
Darwin Rally Two

Melbourne Rally

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Melbourne Rally
Traditional Papua dancers with Greens' Kerry Nettle
Melbourne Rally
Melbourne
Melbourne Rally
Pamela Curr and Freddie Steen holding picture of the canoe
Melbourne Rally
Melbourne
Melbourne Rally
Melbourne

Melbourne: slideshow

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Sydney Rally

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Sydney Rally
Greens Senator
Kerry Nettle
Sydney Rally
Max Goudkamp (RAC)
Sydney Rally
Sydney
Sydney Rally
Sydney
Sydney Rally
Sydney
Sydney Rally
Sydney
Sydney Rally
Sydney
Sydney Rally
Sydney
Sydney Rally
Sydney
Sydney Rally
Sydney
2008-2012
2005-2012
Project SafeCom