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Papuan students at May Day rally in Yogya call for independence

Java Post - May 1, 2018

Budi Warsito – The commemoration of Labour Day or May Day in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta was marked with a demonstration centred at the zero kilometre point in the centre of the city.

Among the hundreds of protesters at the action, there were also students from the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) who used the rally to call West Papuan independence.

In addition to giving speeches, the demonstrators also brought Papuan paraphernalia such the symbol of the Morning Star flag which they wore to articulate their demands.

"Between Indonesia and Papua there is a different history. Papua shouldn't have to beg from Indonesia. We students from Papua are demanding that Indonesia open up space for democratic dialogue", Papuan student Opik said during a break in the action on Tuesday May 1.

Opik said that after decades of being part of Indonesia, the Papuan people still feel that they do not have a decent level of prosperity. According to Opik, despite the government's infrastructure development program, it has still not brought prosperity to Papua.

"Just come and visit Papua, at the moment one person in Papua is slaughtered every day. Indonesia must give economic, political and cultural independence to Papua", he said.

In addition to using May Day to call for independence, the protesters also demanded better welfare security for workers. "We are demanding the abolition of outsourcing and contract labour systems", said action coordinator Lutfi Mubarok. (dho/JPC)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Ikut Peringati May Day di Jogja, Mahasiswa Papua Minta Merdeka.]

Source: https://www.jawapos.com/read/2018/05/01/208900/ikut-peringati-may-day-di-jogja-mahasiswa-papua-minta-merdeka..

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