Thousands of West Papuans take to the streets to Welcome Freedom Flotilla

There are very real threats made to First Nations individuals and their friends who are standing up for the West Papuan peoples. Please remain informed and explain the issue to your friends and neighbors as Australia's racist mainstream media is not covering this important human rights issue right on our doorstep.

This morning the Freedom Flotilla to West People received communications from protest rallies organisers in West Papua yesterday, with reports indicating further celebratory activities are planned today for the coming arrival of the flotilla.

Organisers of the gathering in Manokwari estimated that 2500 people attended the event which included a public street march, music, dancing, prayers and speakers addressing the crowd, many wearing the West Papuan Morning Star flag, despite their risking arrest or worse for doing so.

Banners included statements of support for the Freedom Flotilla with one showing images of Jacob Rumbiak and Uncle Kevin Buzzacott, and reading "The 7 Traditional Regions of Papuan Land Welcome and Support the Convoy for Peace and Justice"

The Freedom Flotilla also received confirmation of the second celebratory protest action in Fak Fak, West Papua in support the coming arrival of the Freedom Flotilla, where hundreds of supporters gathered under the name of the Festival of Peace and Justice for the West Papuan people.

This morning we have received photos from The Cultural Movement of Indigenous Papuans (Gerakan Masyarakat Pribumi Papua) GEMPA (a clever acronym which means 'earthquake'), organisers of the Fak Fak event.

Participants carried placards, posters and banners proclaiming, "Welcome to the Ambassadors of Freedom", "Melanesian Women's Solidarity Group Welcomes the Freedom Flotilla for Peace and Justice", "Republic of West Papua", and images including the Freedom Flotilla logo, the Original Nations Passports and the Morning Star flag.

One moving photograph of a protestor with a large tear and commentary stated, "I am certain that my tears now will one time become tears of joy for my land and people - Papua .

More photos of both solidarity events are now available at www.freedomflotillawestpapua.org

media@freedomflotillawestpapua.org
Contact: Ruben Blake 0414091706