December 1st is a special date for all West Papuans – the date in 1961 when the nation announced its independence from the Dutch empire and first raised the Morning Star flag.
Of course, two years later West Papua was invaded by the Indonesian military and ever since has been brutally occupied, with hundreds of thousands of Papuans killed and laws against raising the flag or talking about independence. A number of Papuan activists are in prison for raising the flag, including Filep Karma, who is currently serving 15 years for raising the Morning Star on December 1st 2004.
Activists around Papua and around the world though will be celebrating Papuan independence day on December 1st to mark the continuing struggle of Papuan people for their sovereignty and point towards a future when Papuans will again be able to freely live their own culture in their own land.
In Brisbane we will be marking the day by gathering in King George Square and raising the Morning Star flag in solidarity with Papuan people and their struggle for independence. Monday, December 1 at 11:30am. King George Square.