Back in April Schnews reported that West Papuans were planning a mass boycott of the Indonesian parliamentary elections. On the day of the elections West Papuans burnt down polling stations, sank a boat carrying ballot papers and almost unanimously refused to vote. This represented one of the biggest acts of resistance against Indonesian occupation by the West Papuan people for some time. And surprisingly there was little retaliation from the police or military. This may have been in part due to a swathe of simultaneous solidarity demonstrations at Indonesian embassies around the world including London.
Now on July 5th Indonesians are going to be forced back to the polls for a Presidential election. Faced with the prospect of having to vote for the likes of General Wiranto who famously ordered massacres across East Timor, West Papuans are preparing to defy the election again. It is important to show the Indonesian authorities that we are watching and try to prevent a brutal backlash so there will be a demonstration at the Indonesian embassy in London.
The April demonstration successfully disrupted one of the embassies proudest and most public days of the year as every ex-pat Indonesian who turned up to vote was greeted with huge “Free West Papua” banners and leaflets explaining why we were there. This time lets have an even bigger presence. Meet midday, 5th July, Green Park tube or later at the embassy on Grosvenor square.