Dikhy Sasra, Jakarta – Around 100 people who said they were students originating from West Papua demonstrated in front of the United States Embassy on Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan in Central Jakarta on Thursday July 5. Some of the demonstrators wore traditional clothing and T-shirts with pictures of the Morning Star.
As of 12.24pm the action was still continuing with protesters giving speeches calling for justice saying that they felt colonised by Indonesia. “We ask for justice, we are colonised”, they shouted.
A number of banners were also unfurled with messages such as “Stop killing the Papuan people”. They also brought posters and photographs of military operations in Papua and voiced their demands for a referendum.
Interestingly, three of the protesters appeared wearing T-shirts with the picture of the Morning Star. The symbol of the Morning Star is often referred to as the symbol of the Free Papua Organisation. However it is also used as a traditional West Papuan symbol.
Although the action did not disrupt the flow of traffic it was closely guarded by police. (asy/nrl)
In a separate article on the same day, Detik.com reported that following the display of the Morning Star in West Papua, Tanah Abang sectoral police launched a sweep for native Papuans living at the Papua Mess on Jl. Jl KH Mas Mansyur in Central Jakarta. The sweep of some 40 households began at 12noon but not one Morning Star flag or other types Free Papua Organisation paraphernalia were found. Tanah Abang sectoral police chief Joni Iskandar confirmed that police were conducting a sweep of the area. “We found absolutely nothing, so we didn’t arrest any residents”, said Iskandar when contacted by Detik.com.
[Translated by James Balowski.]