Monday, August 19, 2013

West Papua Freedom Flotilla: Indigenous Solidarity Knows no Borders

Two hundred years after Europeans first set foot in Australia, indigenous Australians are a tiny minority in their own land, forgotten in reservations while western culture has grown rich from the land they conquered.

The indigenous movement in Australia has not disappeared however, and is aware that on the other side of the Torres Strait, their history is being replayed in West Papua. Indigenous Papuans are also being economically and culturally marginalised, their forests and mountains ravaged, set against a background of half a century of military violence.

The Freedom Flotilla to West Papua is an initiative of indigenous and white Australians, Torres Straits Islanders and West Papuan refugees, who are trying to make the link between the struggles on their respective islands. On 17th August they launched two boats from Cairns, headed for Merauke in West Papua.