Pro-independence protests in Jayapura against New York Agreement end in clashes

Sindo News – August 15, 2017
Papuans protest against New York agreement in Jayapura - August 15, 2015 (Sindo News)
Papuans protest against New York agreement in Jayapura - August 15, 2015 (Sindo News)

Chanry Andrew Suripatty, Jayapura – A peaceful rally by thousands of protesters from the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) in Waena Abepura, Jayapura, rejecting the August 15, 1962 New York Agreement and demanding the right to self-determination Papua has ended in a clash.

Based on information on the ground the clash occurred after police tried to forcibly disband the rally because it did not have a permit.

The clash began when pro-independence demonstrators under the coordination of the KNPB held a march to the Waena traffic lights and the Papua Regional House of Representatives (DPRD). The rally was closely guarded by five police trucks.

When they arrived at the Waena 1 state housing company (Perumnas) in Abepura, prior to reaching the Waena traffic lights, police directed the protesters to return to the Waena low-cost apartments (rusunawa) on the grounds that the rally was disrupting street activities.

Police then tried to return protesters to the rusunawa by forcing them into police trucks. The demonstrators resisted by blockading the road and setting fire to wood.

The KNPB protesters and hundreds of sympathisers then continued the action with a sit in on the road. A short time later police again attempted to force them into police trucks.

The demonstrators however once again resisted resulting in a clash, with police beating protesters who responded by throwing stones and other items.

Meanwhile protesters on Jl. Pertigaan blockaded the road with trees, wood, stones and broken bottles and set fire to tyres in front of the Mimika dormitory. Protesters also tried to set fire to a small shop owned by a migrant in order to cause a riot.

The police then forcibly disbanded the rally, chasing down KNPB protesters and clearing the road. The KNPB protesters however continued to resist attacking the police by throwing stones and other items at officers trying to clear the street. (san)

[Abridged translation by James Balowski. The original title of the article was Demo Tolak Perjanjian New York 15 Agustus 1962 Berujung Bentrok.]