Oris Riswan, Bandung – There was a different aspect to a workers protest action at the governor’s office in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung on Thursday May 1. Amongst the hundreds of protesting workers, there was a group of students calling themselves the Papua Student Alliance (AMP).
Unlike the workers who were demanding welfare improvements, the students demanded the freedom and right to self-determination for the Papuan people because they have been living in the midst of violence and backwardness. “To this day Indonesia is still pursuing a colonialist policy towards the Papuan people”, said action coordinator Wenas.
This exploitation the group said has brought no positive impact for the Papuan people. What has in fact happened instead is the people have become victims of violence and other negative actions. “We demand an end to exploitative activities by companies there”, he said.
During the action, the protesters brought several large banners, one of which had the message “The right to self-determination, the democratic solution for the Papuan people”. They also brought several photographs of victims of violence in Papua. The group demonstrated for less then an hour then left the location peacefully. (ton)
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service.]