Benny Wenda wrote this statement yesterday after a Pacific Solidarity movement for West Papua was declared at the Free West Papua Campaign protest in London
“We are launching a major campaign today, starting here in the United Kingdom. From now on we are calling on all our Melanesian and Pan-Pacific brothers and sisters to unite hand in hand to bring West Papua back to the Pacific family.
West Papua has lived under Indonesia for over 50 years and nearly half of the population of West Papuans has already been killed. We as West Papuan Melanesians want to survive, to be safe and to be free in our own country and therefore we cannot continue to live with Indonesia where we are not safe and where there is only killing and imprisonment for us. We do not want us West Papuan Melanesians to be wiped out from the face of the Earth. Therefore now is the time to bring West Papua back home before it is too late, back to our roots and back to our family within the Melanesian Spearhead Group and as part of the wider Pacific Family.
A new time must come for West Papua, one where we no longer suffer silently under Indonesia’s state brutality but where we reach out to our fellow Melanesians and Pacific islanders as wantoks and family members to support us as one Pan-Pacific people, from Raja Ampat to Rapa Nui.
We are asking all our Pan-Pacific people across the Ocean to support us in our struggle for freedom and our first steps to nationhood by joining the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). Please tell your friends and family about the suffering of your fellow Pacific islanders in West Papua. Please help us by bringing together supporters and lobbying governments to support West Papua, the stolen child of Melanesia; to return to the wider Pacific family at last.
I know that we Pacific islanders are strong. We are held together with the unbreakable bonds of our family connections and we are capable of uniting our Ocean Continent in driving out oppression and exploitation.
We are campaigning day and night so that we as Melanesians, as Pan-Pacific islanders, will come together in liberating West Papua once and for all. We are campaigning for this, we are praying for this and we believe deep in our hearts that this will be so.
Let us be proud and say together with
the spirits of our ancestors “We are One Pan-Pacific People and we will always stand strong together with one another for the freedom of our region!”