West Papuan revolutionaries burned down an Indonesian colonial government building in Wamena on September 23, as the insurrection in West Papua gained new momentum.
In the capital of Papua province, Jayapura, three West Papuans were killed by Indonesian occupation forces, and one Indonesian soldier was fatally stabbed in a successful act of revolutionary justice.
The violence was sparked by police, attacking West Papuan university students who recently returned to West Papua from cities in other parts of Indonesia, and had converged at Jayapura’s University of Cenderawasih for a solidarity action.
Around 2000 students have returned home early from study in mainly Javanese cities where racist attacks on Papuans last month prompted widespread protests in the Papuan provinces and also raised fears for the students’ safety.
318 people were arrested on September 23. Since the beginning of the West Papua uprising last month, at least 40 West Papuans in Jayapura alone have been named as suspects, including those charged with treason.
Meanwhile, in the Highlands city of Wamena, police murdered 16 West Papuans after high school students took to the streets in protest against racism.
Revolutionaries responded by setting up flaming barricades and torching several buildings, including a government building, shops, and the airport, as police and military were unable to contain the growing insurrection.
Tensions were already high in both Wamena and Jayapura, where large mobilisations took place in August as part of a growing uprising against racism and Indonesia’s colonial occupation of West Papua.
The protests grew into large-scale insurrection in various Papuan towns, as barricades were set up, colonial buildings torched, and prisoners escaped to freedom. The brutal Indonesian colonial regime has arrested dozens of West Papuans and shut down the internet throughout the colonized territory.
At least 35,000 West Papuans have been forced from their homes as colonial forces have attempted to suppress the revolutionary movement.
An additional 6000 Indonesian police and military personnel were deployed to West Papua by early September.
West Papuan guerrillas have been fighting against the Indonesian police and military in West Papua for decades in a popular insurgent struggle to free West Papua from colonization. As the colonial regime continues to commit atrocities and the insurrection grows, intnternational revolutionaries should act in solidarity with the West Papuan people.