Solidarity actions around the country slam Deiyai shooting, militarism

Arah Juang – August 10, 2017
Papuan students hold candle lit vigil in Bandung - August 7, 2017 (Tribune)
Papuan students hold candle lit vigil in Bandung - August 7, 2017 (Tribune)

Indonesian youth and Papuan students have protested in several cities condemning the fatal shootings in Deiyai, West Papua. The Deiyai shootings occurred on August 1 when a joint unit of Mobile Brigade (Brimob) paramilitary police shot into a crowed of civilians in Oneibo village, South Tigi, Deiyai. One person was killed and scores were injured.

Solidarity actions

Thousands of people demonstrated in the West Papua capital of Jayapura in an action which was initiated by the Cendrawasi University (Uncen) Student Executive Council (BEM) and supported by BEMs throughout Jayapura.

Meanwhile activists in Manokwari organised a 1,000 candles action for Wednesday evening. The action was initiated by the Papua Youth and Student Alliance, the West Papua Indonesian Youth National Committee (KNPI), the Doberai District III Papua Traditional Council (DAP), the West Papua Traditional Society Foundation and the University of Papua (Unipa) BEM. A candle lit vigil was also held in the Oneibo village.

In Jakarta, the United Student and People’s Front Against Militarism (FPRAN) launched a mass action at the Indonesian police headquarters (Mabes Polri). That evening, the protest was continued with a candle lit vigil in front of the State Palace.

Meanwhile in Manado, a protest action was launched at the North Sulawesi Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) building.

In the Central Java city of Yogyakarta, scores of protesters from the FPRAN held a march through the Jl. Malioboro shopping district ending at the Zero Kilometre point in front of the central post office.

In addition to shouting slogans and giving speeches, the rally was enlivened by a theatrical action depicting the brutality of the Indonesian military against the people of Papua. The theatrical action portrayed three Papuans tied by their necks and dragged along the ground by two soldiers.

Police responded to the rally with an excessive mobilisation of force and again cooperated with the reactionary group Paksi Katon [which sees itself as a guardian of Javanese culture and the Yogyakarta sultanate -- JB] to intimidate the protesters.

In the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya, police used the tactic of laying siege to the Papuan student dormitory in order to prevent any solidarity actions from being organised.

The siege started with an early-morning parade in front of the dormitory with police then prohibiting any solidarity actions on the grounds that a counter rally was being held by a certain social organisation. In fact it is common for the police to cooperate with, protect and use reactionary groups to attack Papuan protest actions.

Meanwhile in the Central Java provincial capital of Semarang, an action was launched at the Central Java police headquarters. In the West Java capital of Bandung, an action was held at the Bandung Indah Plaza (BIP) shopping centre.

A rally was also held in Gorontalo, North Sulawesi, with protesters using a pedicab as the command vehicle in a march on the Gorontalo City DPRD and bringing posters with messages condemning human rights violations in Papua. The rally was coordinated by the Papuan Central Highlands Indonesian Student Association (AMPTPI) and the West Papua National Committee (KNPB).

A solidarity action was also held at the Mandala spots stadium in Jayapura during a football match between the Persipura soccer club and Bali United. Thousands of spectators lit candles as a symbol of solidarity with the victims of the Deiyai shooting.

More than 56 Papuan youths and students from the FPRAN demonstrated in the East Java city of Malang where they held a march from the Gajayana Stadium to the Malang City Halla condemning the Deiyai shooting, human rights violations and militarism in Indonesia.

The protest brought together a number of different groups including the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP), the Papua Student Alliance (AMP), the Indonesian Cultural Society Union (SeBUMI), the Tan Malaka Community, the Nabire-Paniai-Dogiyai-Deiyai Youth and Student Association (Ipmanapandodei) and the Malang, Jayawijaya, Yahukimo, Puncak Jaya, Tambrauw, Central Mamberamo, Puncak Papua and Timika Youth and Student Associations.

One speaker said, “... militarism oppresses Papua in the interests of capitalism. As a consequence human rights violations, killings, abductions, abuse and rapes continue to happen”.

Action spokesperson Yustus said that many Indonesian capitalist media outlets cover up the human rights violations and oppression in Papua. International journalists still do not have full access to Papua. To this day there has never been democracy in Papua.

A speaker from SeBUMI declared that this kind of oppression makes him ashamed to be part of the Indonesian nation. This is a real crime for a nation which won the struggle against Dutch colonialism then colonizes Papua.

Meanwhile Leon Kastayudha from the Political Congress of the Working People’s Organisation of Struggle (KPO-PRP) stated that those who shoot the Papuan people are the same people who shoot farmers, evict the urban poor and repress Indonesian workers – namely the military and police that serve the interests of capitalism.

“The Indonesian people must support the struggle for West Papuan national liberation until it is victorious. Because such a victory will strengthen internationalism – solidarity between the oppressed people’s of the world so that the Indonesian people are not easily manipulated and played off against each other by racist sentiments. Such a victory will further accelerate the social divisions along class lines, accelerate the division between the oppressed and oppressors. Such a victory will also weaken the power of militarism and the oppressors in Indonesia who have benefited from the colonialism, oppression and exploitation of West Papua. The oppressed people of Indonesia have more similarities with the people of West Papua than their oppressors of the same nation and religion.”

Another young person slammed into the oppressive regime. “The Babinet-Babinet [Cabinet, a play on the word babi or pig] of President Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla busies itself with increasing the number of capitalist development projects by pushing aside the people and causing ever more rights violations against the Papuan people”.

Meanwhile a speaker from the AMP stated, “... although the TNI [Indonesian military] and police also recruit Papuan people, this is only to polish their image”. There has been no positive impact for Papua, they said demanding that, “The government must withdraw all TNI and Indonesian police that are in Papua”.


In a statement the FPRAN said, “... the Indonesian military has strengthened its domination and repression by building military bases in Papua”.

The construction of military bases include, among others, an Air Force base and Brimob command headquarters in Yahukimo, Type C Air Force bases in Wamena, Nabire and Merauke, additional territorial commands in Sorong and Manokwari, a Navy base in Sorong and military training centres in Fak-Fak and Kalimara.

Militaristic developments such as this, according to the demonstrators, are intended to safeguard the flow of capital so that capitalism is more stable and strong as well as strengthen the structure of repression against the Papuan people’s resistance that is oppressed by Indonesian colonialism as an agent of capitalism.

The FPRAN is demanding that Indonesia be held liable for the humanitarian tragedy in Deiyai, that those responsible for the killings be arrested and tried, the closure of PT Dewa and other companies behind these crimes in Papua, a halt to new Air Force and Brimob bases in Yahukimo, an Air Force bases in Jayawijaya and military training base in Kaimana, the withdrawal of all organic and non-organic troops from Papua and the fullest possible press freedom and freedom of expression. (lk, imk)

Arah Juang is the official website of the Political Congress of the Working People’s Organisation of Struggle (KPO-PRP).

[Abridged translation by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Aksi Solidaritas Mengecam Penembakan Deiyai di Berbagai Kota.]