Protesters in Bali call for end to US investment in Papua

Source – December 10, 2007
West Papuan protest in front of US Consulate General in Denpasar (AMP)
West Papuan protest in front of US Consulate General in Denpasar (AMP)

Gede Suardana, Denpasar – The United States’ stand in refusing to reduce emissions in order to overcome global warming has received a strong reaction with hundreds of students demonstrating in Bali on Monday December 10.

The action was held in front of the US Consulate General on Jl. Teuku Umar in the provincial capital of Denpasar. The student began the protest my marching from the Bali Monument to the People’s Struggle to the US consulate. A number of Papuans wearing traditional dress also took part in the action.

During rally to the US consulate, the students sang songs of struggle, gave speeches and shouted slogans. They also brought posters condemning the US with messages such as “Don’t take My Virgin Forest” and “President Yudhoyono, Vice President Kalla don’t become US puppets”.

In a speech they condemned the US for exploiting Papua’s forests. “To date the US has only exploited our natural resources. The US’s actions have further impoverished traditional communities and little by little their natural wealth has been lost. Stop all US investment in Papua”, said Wenslaus, the coordinator of the Papua Traditional Society (MAP).

The action was tightly guarded by security personnel who watched over the protest until the action ended. By the time the protesters had left, still not one US consulate official had come out to meet with them. (gds/iy)

[Translated by James Balowski.]