Treaties, lies and the Morning Star Flag

Treaties, lies and the Morning Star Flag

“The West Papuans have become the victims of Australia’s regional foreign policy arrangements that prop up the anti-refugee policies of Operation Sovereign Borders.” Ian Rintoul, Refugee Action Coalition. Fifty-two years ago on this day, the Morning Star flag otherwise known and Bintang Kejora, was first raised in West Papua, (formerly known as West New Guinea and to Indonesia, Irian Jaya), marking the unofficial independence of the small province as the ...

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Never a number

Never a number

On the ground floor of the Art Gallery of NSW I saw one of the most moving pieces of sculpture I can remember visiting. It did not surpass the sublime La Pieta, Michaelangelo’s masterpiece of sorrow and loss, but its impact was every bit as forceful. In the dimmed light of the large room, a single exhibit comprising twenty evenly spaced figures in ranks spoke such volume that I was ...

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West Papua - time we were #idlenomore

West Papua – time we were #idlenomore

“We recognize international law …” Every country that is a member of the United Nations recognizes international law, Bob, at least as far as it serves their purposes. It seems to me that every nation also ignores any aspect of international law that puts some aspect of their own commercial or national value at risk. Every nation has at its heart not the rest of humanity, but it’s own nationalistic ...

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Promises and passages - it's all an illusion

Promises and passages – it’s all an illusion

  Promises and passage, that what’s they were sold. A truth not realized, the loss of all that was family and home. The South Sea Islanders who came to Australia in the 1800s and early 1900s were referred to as Kanakas. Many were kidnapped by ‘blackbirders’. As the descendents of Anglo-Celtic migrants, those sugar-cane farmers in Queensland may well have listened and danced to tunes such as Sharon Shannon’s jig ...

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The Medusa – the price we all pay for political corruption

The Medusa – the price we all pay for political corruption

Let us venture to advance another truth, a truth useful to the Minister himself. There exists among the officers of the Marine, an intractable esprit de corps, a pretended point of honour, equally false and arrogant, which leads them to consider as an insult to the whole navy, the discovery of one guilty individual. This inadmissible principle, which is useful only to insignificance, to intrigue, to people the least worthy ...

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West Papua: Remembering 51 years of oppression

West Papua: Remembering 51 years of oppression

Dusk is falling across Melbourne and West Papua, but not over the dreams of the Papuan people. Today, remembering 51 years of oppression having been denied the right to self-determination, the West Papuan people gathered in Melbourne to celebrate their national day and raise awareness of the human rights abuses the people of West Papua still endure since the departure of the Dutch colonial governors. And on this day of ...

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A process of truth and judgement

A process of truth and judgement

Judgement is our oldest belief, our most habitual holding-true or holding un-true, an assertion or denial, a certainty that something is thus not otherwise, a belief that here we really “know” – what is it that is believed true in all judgements? Friedrich Nietzsche – The Will To Power (trans. Walter Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale) P. 288 “Truth”: this, according to my way of thinking, does not necessarily denote the ...

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Dialogue and spin: genocide on Australia’s doorstep, the West Papuan story

Dialogue and spin: genocide on Australia’s doorstep, the West Papuan story

Athenians: For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretences — either of how we have a right to our empire because we overthrew the Mede , or are now attacking you because of wrong that you have done us — and make a long speech which would not be believed; and in return we hope that you, instead of thinking to influence us by saying that you did ...

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The War on Terror and democracy’s faustian bargain

The War on Terror and democracy’s faustian bargain

FAUSTUS: Ah, Faustus. Now hast thou but one bare hour to live, And then thou must be damn’d perpetually! Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven, That time may cease, and midnight never come; Fair Nature’s eye, rise, rise again, and make Perpetual day; or let this hour be but A year, a month, a week, a natural day, That Faustus may repent and save his soul! O lente, lente ...

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Kristallnacht: Why human rights is everyone’s business

Kristallnacht: Why human rights is everyone’s business

Tell me who you are, what you stand for what you mean Tell me what the lines and whirls upon your hand do mean Show me plain the markings of the Jew, the black, the slave Then march in regiment formation ‘til the end of time and days. Mix not the seed of black with white or brown with yellow tones Lest men become confused and think that each is ...

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The limits of Shiva’s dance: West Papua, Australia’s role in genocide

The limits of Shiva’s dance: West Papua, Australia’s role in genocide

Nataraja dances, his right foot supported by a crouching figure, his left foot elegantly raised. Of his four arms, one swings downwards, pointing to the raised foot; another with palm held up signals, “Do not fear!” In his other hands he holds aloft a drum and a flame. The river Ganga sits in his hair. A Cobra uncoils from his lower right forearm, and the crescent moon and a skull ...

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300,000 dead West Papuan’s: a fair price for our golems?

300,000 dead West Papuan’s: a fair price for our golems?

Sydney: city of mystery, city of marvels. Sydney: its foreshores once teeming with Gadigal; now a captive city pregnant with memories, enveloped by memories of a Gadigal Atlantis. The traditional Gadigal are all but gone, however their presence remains. Though brutally murdered, their legend survives. By telling their tale, we resurrect their Atlantis. By reviving their legends, we awaken their spirits. Their souls haunt the city still. Their presence pervades ...

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Beware there be Jinn in the forests: Indonesia and West Papua, a clash of cultures

Beware there be Jinn in the forests: Indonesia and West Papua, a clash of cultures

Last weekend I took a stroll through the Mesopotamia exhibition at the Melbourne Museum. While reading the commentary attached to a number of the artefacts I realised, in a profound way, that what we call civilization is actually a reaction to and against nature. Some cultures, those we choose to call ‘primitive’, ‘savage’ or ‘uncivilized’ attempt to live in harmony with nature, or at least attempt to develop a rapport ...

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Portia’s Lament: Western greed and the death of the indigenous cultures of West Papua

Portia’s Lament: Western greed and the death of the indigenous cultures of West Papua

Fragments from the Alfoxden Notebook There he would stand In the still covert of some rock, Or gaze upon the moon until its light Fell like a strain of music on his soul And seemed to sink into his very heart. Why is it we feel So little for each other, but for this, That we with nature have no sympathy, Or with such things as we have no ...

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Vice-regal corruption: Australia and the UNSC

Vice-regal corruption: Australia and the UNSC

The Samoan Government has announced that Australian Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, will visit the country next week as part of a Pacific tour that also includes Nauru, Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia. Ms Bryce will address Samoa’s parliament and call on Samoa’s head of state, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi. Her two days in Samoa has also been scheduled for a visit to SENESE, a school for people ...

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West Papua and the United Nations

West Papua and the United Nations

July of 1969 was a big month. Whilst the ‘civilized’ world was focused on the deployment of three men to the moon, Indonesia was finalizing steps to wrest control of the territory of West Papua from the United Nations, the former Dutch protectorate. I do not say wrest lightly, for it was in the so-called Act of Free Choice that in fact the people of West Papua were robbed of ...

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Arma virumque cano

Arma virumque cano

The more classically minded among Blak and Black’s readers will recognise the title of this post as being the opening words of Virgil’s epic poem The Aeneid, “… sing of arms and of a man.” Arms and the man I sing, who first from the coasts of Troy, exiled by fate, came to Italy and Lavine shores; much buffeted on sea and land by violence from above, through cruel Juno’s ...

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Silence no longer so golden

Silence no longer so golden

Complicity takes many forms, as discussed in posts by both Bakchos and me. Many believe that silent complicity is the least culpable, but to my mind if the silence enables the perpetrator of the wrongdoing to continue causing harm, then the silence is of a gross kind. An example of such silent complicity allowing continuing harm is described by Steven Miles generating discussion in both the Lancet and via his ...

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Copper and gold: the blood diamonds of West Papua

Copper and gold: the blood diamonds of West Papua

Invaded by Indonesia in 1961, West Papua is the crisis on Australia’s doorstep. The conflict generated by the usurpation of the former Dutch protectorate is not recognized as anything other than a separatist movement by those in power in the international community, but it is so very much more. Since the Act of No Choice in 1969 in which 1025 West Papuans voted under extreme duress unanimously in favour of ...

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The Jayapura Five: Our choices and actions do affect the lives of others

The Jayapura Five: Our choices and actions do affect the lives of others

Little fly, Thy summer’s play My thoughtless hand Has brushed away. Am not I A fly like thee? Or art not thou A man like me? For I dance And drink and sing, Till some blind hand Shall brush my wing. If thought is life And strength and breath, And the want Of thought is death, Then am I A happy fly, If I live, Or if I die. William ...

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