Near the corner of Liberty & Broadway,
Saturday, November 5th, 2011
3:00 – 3:30 pm
Two weeks ago thousands of people peacefully gathered in West Papua to demand their independence from Indonesia. Some 500 Indonesian police and military personnel surrounded the gathering with a cordon of armored cars and began firing assault weapons as the delegates started to disperse. During this crack-down by the security forces, at least three people were killed and dozens were injured. Witnesses report numerous gunshot wounds. Scores of demonstrators were beaten and pistol whipped. Three hundred people were detained, in a move that the President of Indonesia justified by reference to the NYPD mass arrests of Occupy Wall Street protestors. Most of these detainees were released. Forkorus Yaboisembut, the newly elected president of the Democratic Republic of West Papua, and four other West Papuan leaders are still in jail under charges of “treason” and “incitement.” At the same moment, a massive labor protest in West Papua, inspired by the Arab Spring and acting in solidarity with occupy movements around the globe, has shut down mining operations at Freeport McMoRan—the largest gold mine in the world. Come watch videos of the recent crackdowns by Indonesian security forces and learn about an indigenous movement that is struggling for freedom in an era dominated by the predatory forces of capital.
Octovianus Mote, indigenous West Papuan leader, former Jayapura bureau chief of Kompas daily newspaper, and former Visiting Fellow at Yale University’s Genocide Studies Program.
Dr. Eben Kirksey, CUNY Graduate Center, author of Freedom in Entangled Worlds: West Papua and the Global Architecture of Power (forthcoming March 2012)