Logo: Solidarity South Pacific

Background to West Papua

Around 1511, some Portuguese sailors found a big island north of Australia. It never occurred to them that it might already have a name, so they called it New Guinea. They wandered off shortly afterwards, as explorers will. In 1700 the Dutch arrived, and they weren't quite as laid back. They invaded and started plundering. The British and Germans dived in soon after, and that's how it all came to be divided up.

Map showing location of West Papua

Rich people of varying western nationalities spent the next few hundred years arguing over lines on maps, until 1969, when the OPM (Free Papua Movement) started action. This was a reaction to the 1963 invasion of West Papua by Indonesia, which stopped the independence process, Indonesia promised to give independence, but this hasn't happened. They killed some 300,000 people at least and are still killing anyone who opposes them, with help from the West, particularly the US and Britain. Despite the mass murder, tribal people continue to resist the destruction of their homeland, race and cultures.

Statement by Free Papua Movement (OPM)

Photo: West Papuan man

We are not terrorists!

We do not want modern life!

We refuse any kinds of development:
religious groups, aid agencies, and governmental organisations.

just Leave Us Alone, Please!

Historical and Political Reasons for Fighting

We were invaded by force and manipulation by Indonesia under the UN and US supervision with disastrous vested interests in their politics;

We are treated like we don't matter: mass murdered, tortured, oppressed by various ways;

We are misplaced by translocation / relocation, urbanisation and other social engineering activities carried out by the Indonesian government under the support of the World Bank and other international aid agencies and environmental organisations like ICRC and WWF;

Photo: Indonesian soldiers with guns, over the body of a dead Papuan tribesman

We are regarded as security disturbance force and terrorists even though we are fighting for our own environment, our own rights, and our own people;

Our voices are always neglected and ignored.

Logical reasons for fighting

Photo: Naked Papuan man with bone through his nose and a large spear

Fighting back is the natural way of responding to the destruction and exploitation without any concern to the human life and their environment;

Fighting back is the natural reaction to the intolerable killings, disappearances, torture, oppression, and intimidation carried out by the Indonesian government;

Fighting back is necessary in this brutal, inhuman, destructive, exploitative, ignorant and terrifying regime;

Fighting back is important for the very survival of tribal people on this planet, not by lobbying, not by persuasion, not by diplomacy, not through democracy;

Fighting back is the right thing to do against the fighting from the Indonesian army, strongly supported by 'empty' and 'meaningless' so-called democratic countries.

We will no longer be ignored.

Solidarity with the OPM!

We need to stop exploitation of natural resources by multinational corporations. We need to stop exploitation of tribal people in West Papua. We need to stop the religious organizations, governments, and NGOs/ Aid Organizations to destroy the culture of people in West Papua.

We would like to ask "the people" in the West as individuals, not as government officials or business executives. We would like to confront the whole modern civilization to support the struggle of people in West Papua as tribal people.

Photo: Masked protesters at the Indonesian Embassy
  1. Put pressure on the governments who claim to hold ethical foreign policy but still sell arms to Indonesia.
  2. Put pressure on the Java regime.
  3. Put pressure on the corporations who are destroying us and our lands.
  4. Support the people who are fighting in the jungles
  5. We all need to work together against our "Common Enemy".

...In response to the above statements by the OPM, Solidarity South Pacific are active in supporting them in many ways.

Further information

See the Resources page or "What you can do" for more information.