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March for West Papuan independence
Jakarta Globe - December 4, 2017
Marchers brought posters and sang traditional West Papuan songs in defiance what the demonstrators see as a foreign occupation of the territory.
"We're not Indonesian, we're the Morning Star, the Morning Star, you've just said red and white," demonstrators chanted, referring to West Papua's historical flag.
Marchers, members of the Papuan Student Alliance and the People's Front of Indonesia for West Papua, also demanded that the Indonesian government force US-based mining giant Freeport McMoran to shut down operations in the province.
The demonstration came on the eve of West Papua's first declaration of independence on Dec. 1, 1961.
"The relationship between Papua and Indonesia is like an illegal marriage," said one activist.
"We are different from Indonesia, it's been a long time. You are white, we are black, your hair is straight, we are curly, we are brothers or you just want our own natural wealth," an orator shouted in front of a police officer.
"After Dec. 1, 1961, [former president] Soekarno declared the Trikora 19 days later in Yogyakarta to seize West Papua and dissolve the country," said Surya Anta, spokesman for the People's Front of Indonesia for West Papua.
In fact, Trikora was the name given to the Indonesian military operation to invade and annex the Dutch territory of New Guinea, which lasted nine months.
Demonstrators planned to march to Freeport's offices in Kuningan, South Jakarta, but were stopped by police in front of the Megaria cinema in the center of the city.
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