Free West Papua campaign march

  • 10 August 2007
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A very important anniversary in the story of West Papua's long journey to Freedom will fall in exactly 1 week from now. Wednesday 15th August will be the 45th anniversary of the signing of the New York Agreement between the Dutch and Indonesian governments in 1962. The Free West Papa Campaign (UK) intends to mark this important date with a March for Justice for West Papua through the streetsof London.


As many of you will know, this international treaty handed the administration of West Papua (not sovereignty) from the Netherlands to Indonesia, via a short period of UN administration. To see the full text of the New York Agreement, see:

Under the terms of the treaty (Article 18) all adult Papuans had the right to participate in an act of self-determination to be carried out in accordance with international practice : to permit the inhabitants to decide (a) whether they wish to remain with Indonesia; or (b) whether they wish to sever their ties with Indonesia.
Instead, in what is one of the world's worst ever betrayals of an entire country's right to exist, in 1969 Indonesia selected just 1022 West Papuans and, in the words of no less than the UK Government itself coerced them to vote in favour of rule by Indonesia. The whole process was cruelly named the "Act of Free Choice". Papuans call it the "Act of NO Choice".

Ever since 1963, when the first Indonesian soldier set foot on West Papuan's soil under the terms of the New York Agreement, the Indonesian occupiers began the murder, torture, rape, racist abuse, intimidation and imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of innocent Indigenous West Papuan women, men and children.
And during the 44 years of Indonesia'ss brutal occupation of West Papua, the rest of the so-called "international community", including the UK, Netherlands, US and Australian governments, have deliberately chosen to look the other way.

So, on the 45th anniversary of the signing of the New York Agreement, we at FWPC (UK) intend to wake up the sleeping consciences of our own British Government and other Western governments by demanding action NOW to allow all adult West Papuans to vote in a free and fair, UN guaranteed independence referendum in accordance with the terms of the 1962 New York Agreement.

The 15th August March for Justice will involve Benny Wenda, leader of theWest Papuan independence movement in the UK, delivering petitions to the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown at 10, Downing Street, to the Ambassadors of the Netherlands and the USA and to the Australian High Commissioner. The March will end with a demonstration outside the Indonesian Embassy.