Logo: Solidarity South Pacific

Action chronology

2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1997 | 1996 | 1992 | 1991

This is a record of previous actions. See the Actions page or news page for the latest ones.

Over the last decade there have regularly been solidarity actions with Pacific groups. Timber depots and government offices have been occupied. A day of action forced the closure of the Australian embassy and the RTZ mining giant's HQ was invaded for Bougainville. Corporate offices have been occupied across the UK in support of the Papuan OPM's armed resistance to Indonesian genocide/ecocide. Occasional medical parcels have found their way around the world.

Here we have listed some of the more exciting or notable incidents, but really this is just the tip of the iceberg. Most solidarity work involves less exciting but nevertheless important organising. Pushing visa applications for third world radicals, sending medical aid, harassing foreign police stations that are holding friends, embassy pickets, endless rounds of talks and video shows. Once we even had to fly to the UN with one day's notice!

These solidarity actions have been sporadic thanks not to the inactivity of those involved but rather the overactivity! Supporting pacific indigenous peoples is just one commitment in a plethora. Most of the people who have carried out the actions below were/are simultaneously involved in anti-road direct action, community organising, GM actions and the like. It's all one struggle, one fight.

[This is a first version and will be added to, so if we have missed something, please email us.]

2004

  • March
    • 1st: activists disrupt BP meeting on the Tangguh Liquified Natural Gas project in West Papua, a supremely dodgy development in which BP has a controlling stake (and in which British Gas also has a large holding.) London Rising Tide held aloft their "Oil fuels climate chaos" banner, which had been modified to read "NGOs fuel climate chaos".
    • Second SSP Newsletter released. Approximate distribution: 3,000 plus those downloaded from the Web.

  • April
    • 7th:

      Demonstrations of solidarity were held in London, Sydney, Washington DC and the Hague following the refusal to vote by 60% of West Papuans. In London, ex-patriots had to to go the Indonesian embassy to place their votes - activists got there first and Indonesians were given leaflets informing them of the boycott and the embassy was surrounded by banners proclaiming 'solidarity with the OPM' on one of its most public days.


    • 14th:

      Spanish activists demonstrate outside Canadian embassy in Barcelona. in solidarity with the struggles against Canadian mining companies in Canatuan and Mindoro, Philippines, and recognising that the Canadian government is actively supporting these companies. A banner was hung across the entrance of the building, so people had to bend down to enter, leaflets were given out and posters fly-posted with information about the shooting of 4 people by TVI Pacific's army and Crew's claim that the president had given permission to reopen the mine.


  • July
    • 5th:

      Twenty people held a demonstration at the Indonesian embassy in London in solidarity with West Papua. We have heard that many West Papuans were refusing to vote in the Indonesian presidential elections and we were demonstrating in support of those boycotting the vote.

      As all the expat Indonesians turned up to vote they were confronted with banners reading 'Free West Papua' and 'Solidarity with the OPM'. Many stopped to talk and they were handed leaflets which read:

      "SOLIDARITY WITH THE WEST PAPUAN ELECTION BOYCOTT!!"


    • 6th:

      8 of us did a "lightning demo" against CDC in London - a banner said "PLANTATIONS ARE CORPORATE COLONIALISM AND ECOCIDE", and the doors were chained together - at the request of environmentalists in PNG. CDC is a Government body that funds projects that turn land and subsistence cultures into profit for global industry. It is the main force behind oil palm expansion in PNG


    • Manobo tribal patrols funded to equip them to defend threatened forests in the Philippines.

2003

  • January 29th: The Papua New Guinea High Commission was picketed the day PNG intended to launch attacks on West Papuan refugees and OPM camps.

  • March 24th: Around 200 campaigners demod outside BP's AGM at the Royal Festival Hall, London. Infiltrators in suits shouted, threw liquid stench and caused a disturbance.

  • April: First SSP Newsletter released. Approximate distribution: 3,000 plus those downloaded from the Web.

  • Early Summer: a number of timber merchants stocking Papuan and Filipino timber had their windows smashed and graffiti sprayed everywhere.

  • October:
    • 24th: Thirteen people picketed RTZ offices in London for two hours, haranguing top corporate staff after they came back from their lunch break, in solidarity to Papuan resistance to the Freeport / RTZ mine. That evening activists had their ground floor windows smashed, a day later RTZ's were smashed... Three days later, 300 people from the Alliance of Papuan Students and DeMMaK (Koteka Tribal Assembly) demonstrated outside Jakarta Freeport offices.
    • Delivery of Medical Aid packs

      to West Papuans and to the MDF no-go zone in Central Bougainville, to supplement tribal medicine when indigenous peoples are wounded by the military or suffer malaria when they have been forced down from the mountains.

Photo: Many items of medical equipment - syringes, dressings, stethoscopes etc. - laid out on a table
  • November: 8th. A demonstration held at the Head Quarters of the New Tribes Mission in Lancaster - missionaries intending to "plant a church in every uncontacted tribal village by 2025", and very active in the South Pacific. Local village leafleted, to mixed reception - though some villagers did invite us back to give a talk!

2002

  • July: Solidarity South Pacific launched. Start of Philippines Solidarity Group and Papua Human Rights Observer Campaign.
  • Sept/Oct:
    • Week of action: 9 - 18 Oct (!)

      Paint Bombs!
      Toyota are responsible for logging in occupied West Papua, a position that marks them out as clear enemies both of nature and of the tribal people whose land is logged. During the week of action their offices in Redhill were visited and the entire front covered in red paint.

      Embassy Occupation
      On the Wednesday the Indonesian embassy was forcibly entered by people who then locked themselves to radiators. Meanwhile a climber scaled the front of the building and took down the Indonesian flag. This was in protest against Indonesia's continued occupation of West Papua, which has so far claimed over 100,000 lives, and which the OPM (Free West Papua Movement) are resisting with only bows and arrows and a few old guns. The occupation lasted until the police arrived and arrested people. There's more on the OPM pages.

      Blockade
      On Thursday, Anglesey Aluminiums on Holy Island, Anglesey, was blockaded for nearly 6 hours. A broken down van and a tripod were used to block the entrances causing long tail backs. Anglesey Aluminiums are a subsidiary of Rio Tinto. The action was in solidarity with the OPM. More on the Anglesey Aluminiums blockade...

      Missionaries Raided
      A protest against the New Tribes Mission turned militant on the Friday resulting in sensitive documents, floppy discs and computer hard drives being stolen from their Headquarters. Keyboards, locks and computers were also damaged. A timed device was left in the toilets which later opened a valve on the water supply, causing flood damage overnight!

      The New Tribes Mission exist to convert tribal people to fundamentalist Christianity and are currently active in The Philippines and West Papua, as well as much of the rest of the world. Their airlines search for tribes and fly in the missionaries, then, according to eyewitness accounts from West Papua, fly business men, corporate products and the military. They are the vanguard of cultural invasion.

      Natural History Museum Protest
      British Gas were protested against during their appearance at the Natural History Museum, on Friday 18th, as sponsors of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year award. British Gas are involved in the extraction of Liquid Natural Gas in occupied West Papua.

      Any company thinking of investing in genocide or destruction in these areas should know that they will become a target for similar action.

  • Nov:
    • 26th: BP's stall at the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) conference was covered in fake blood in support of Papuans whose lives are being destroyed by BP, and in protest against the Baku pipeline. More on the BP stall trashing...

2001

  • February: West Papua Action Update No. 2 distributed. Estimated 9,000 readership plus those on the Web.
  • Summer: British solidarity fundraising pays for the publishing of a number of books on the Papuan struggle in Indonesia.
  • September: At the request of Papuans a campaign is launched against Conoco / Jet petrol who had been carrying out exploratory work in the Lorentz biosphere reserve. Thanks to anti-development resistance by Papuans, Conoco pull out.

2000

  • January: Picket of an investment fair compered by the head of the Indonesian army and industry ministers in a hotel in Hyde Park. 25 Papuan-masked activists block entrance with banner proclaiming: 'invest in genocide and we will target you'. Pictures of action attributed to OPM SG appear in Indonesian newspapers. (see pics and story)
  • March: Papua Euro-tour. OPM SG facilitate a 17-meeting, 7-country, one month speaking tour by a west Papuan tribesman. England, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland.
  • June: British activist travels with Papuans to the first Papuan Peoples Congress.

1999

  • July: Launch of Brighton solidarity group for the West Papuan Resistance - OPM (Organisasi Papua Merdeka) Support Group (Brighton)
  • September: National speaking tour brings West Papuan tribal spokesman to 9 towns.
  • October: Three simultaneous actions across the UK in solidarity with West Papua. Two RTZ offices invaded in Bristol (against RTZ involvement in the Freeport mine), ARCO office invaded in Guildford (over involvement in Tangguh gas project) and British Gas in Manchester (also over Tangguh). See West Papua Action Update.
  • November: West Papua Action Update launched to give a voice to the tribal resistance. Estimated readership 6,000 plus unknown number on the Web.

1997

  • March: Papua New Guinea hires British/South African mercenaries, to be sent in to Bougainville to fight against the BRA. In response a picket is held outside the PNG embassy. One activist hangs himself with a noose on scaffolding outside. Passers by assume he is a mannequin, until he squirms! (hidden inside his coat is a chest harness that allows him to hang safely).

1996

  • June: Activists from across the country descend on the British Aerospace factory at Warton near Manchester. This is the factory that produces military Hawk jet planes that are sold on to countries that use them to murder people, more often than not in brutal repression of internal resistance to the government.

    After an elaborate misinformation campaign that not only fooled Welsh police into closing down the RAF base in Anglesey where Indonesian pilots are trained, but also managed to divert police from Manchester, around 80 to 100 people who had attended the EF! gathering arrived at a site next to the base and split up into affinity groups of five to ten people. The groups then dispersed and spread out around the perimeter of the factory. Most groups entered the base either by scaling the fence or using the conveniently placed holes that happened to be there after a midnight excursion by persons unknown. The people that entered the factory faced security and two vans of local riot cops who seemed even more incompetent than usual. One of the cops was so careless with his personal radio that it happened to fall into somebody's pocket and then after a most amusing listen it had the misfortune to fall into a drain! (EF! Action Update No.29)

    The flags of East Timor and West Papua were taken to the action - the East Timorese flag being flown from a flag pole outside the base. During the EF! gathering a further solidarity action was organised:


  • July: 80 gather on the Embankment to "besiege the Australian embassy" over its war against the people and land of Bougainville. The embassy closes all day in fear of the action, instead the activists jump across town on the tube - shaking off police teams - and invade the offices of the Bougainville miners RTZ. The offices are paint bombed and three are arrested for conspiracy.

1992

  • February: Liverpool EF! mobilise 400 to take part in two days of dock actions against the import of rainforest timber from Malaysia and Indonesia.
  • March: Malaysian airlines office occupied.
  • May: Oxford EF! organise invasion of tropical timber merchant Timbmet. 200 people take part.

1991

  • July: Two British EF!ers who had flown to Sarawak to support Penan tribal logging blockades are jailed in Malaysia for two months. A handful of EF!ers drop banners about rainforest destruction outside the G7 meeting in London.
  • October: Lea Valley EF! occupy Malaysian Tourist Office in Solidarity with Penan on trial.
  • November: Banner Drop from top of Australian Embassy to bring attention to australian rainforest destruction.
  • December: Dock action by 150 people at Tilbury against import of sarawak timber.