Punks For West Papua Australia Opens Chapter In ‘Angry Manchester’, UK At Sonder Festival 2018

 

Screen Shot 2018-09-30 at 15.59.07 

Punks For West Papua Australia Opens Chapter In ‘Angry Manchester’, UK At Sonder Festival 2018 

With 67 people arrested in West Papua this week for peacefully supporting Vanuatu’s appearance at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York – all were released due to the intense international pressure placed on Indonesia.

“Indonesia is not going to continue getting away with the slaughter of the indigenous rightful owners of West Papuan land” says Ash Brennan co-founder of Punks For 4 West Papua, Australia.

“Pernicious resource extraction in West Papua has also been hazardous to the environment and a major propellent of Climate Change”.

“But the world is now watching” he says.

Punks For West Papua Australia was first launched in 2016 as the brainchild of Jody Bartolo from Diggers With Attitude to tip the tables on Indonesia. The Australian punk rock community turned this event into a no-holds barred Australian wide benefit, involving over 50 bands in seven cities around the country, making Punks For West Papua the biggest, and no doubt, loudest punk rock showcase in the nation’s history. “Australian punk is loud, very loud” says Brennan.

Now it’s making history launching a Punks For West Papua chapter in Manchester, United Kingdom at the Sonder Festival held between 27th September and 30th September 2018. Bands such as The Whinachi Tribe, who are going out to the US next year with The Charlatans will be wearing the wristbands, the Manchester scene offering many notable musicians, actors, presenters, DJs and passionate activists who are all adopting the Punks For West Papua wristbands during and beyond the four day festival. UK based Australian artist Nat G is also an ambassador.

Sonder Festival Organiser Jo Lowes says: “We are proudly backing the launch of Punks For West Papua in Manchester which will unite punks from way back with a new generation of artists with the punk spirit”.

West Papua, with a population of 3,500,000 is in the western part of the island of New Guinea and borders with Papua New Guinea in the East.

According to Punks For West Papua Manchester co-founder, Gary Hilton of Gas Music: “The little known Melanesian country, West Papua, has been subject to a media blackout for 25 years. But with 500,000 indigenous people murdered to make way for Indonesian gold and natural resource looters – time’s up”.

John Robb, owner of Louder Than War and former Punk with The Membranes, launched in 1977, says: “Punk rock was always more than three chords. It was a force of empowerment and an energy of hope. It always thought it could change the world. Maybe it’s now finally making that change”.

Adding to international pressure will be the deafening sound of two million drumbeats accumulated online as part of Punks For West Papua’s website launching at the end of October 2018. According to Gary Hilton: “The deafening noise of 2 million drums will beat at the door of the United Nations until they finally acknowledge that a grave injustice has been committed against the people of West Papua and needs to be put right”.

Then on the 1st December 2018 we’ll unveil the plans to smash the world record for the largest group of drummers playing the same beat at the same time set in 2009 with 589 drummers at the Birmingham National Indoor Arena.

The United Liberation Movement For West Papua (ULMWP) Chairman, Benny Wenda, is currently attending the UNGA with Australian Human Rights Lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, of Doughty Street Chambers to support the Vanuatu government addressing the general debate on Friday this week (Sep 28, 2018).

Wenda is empowered and emboldened with the launch of the Punks For West Papua campaign in Manchester. Benny Wenda says: “Music has always played a crucial role in the struggle for Independence in West Papua. All Papuans are musicians and it is part of life to sing. The Punks for West Papua movement in Australia and now Manchester is fantastic! It’s helping the world to wake up.”

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has done nothing to end West Papuan human rights abuses since becoming President in July 2014. In fact, the heavy metal fanatic has amplified the problem. According to Amnesty International human rights atrocities are getting worse, not better in West Papua.

“Music is a weapon” says Hilton. “The angry drum beat for West Papuan freedom will be heard by the Indonesian Government and the UN ‘Louder Than War’” he says.

Further information:

Punks 4 West Papua Australia Trailer

https://vimeo.com/167078538

Amnesty International Report:

https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/ASA2181982018ENGLISH.PDF

Benny Wenda, Chairman of the United Liberation Movement For West Papua (ULMWP) Statement from X – September 21, 2018

https://www.freewestpapua.org/2018/09/21/benny-wenda-releases-statement-warning-of-danger-to-west-papuans-during-unga-session/

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Sonder Festival Facebook Page

https://en-gb.facebook.com/SonderFestival/

Free West Papua Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/freewestpapua/

COMING UP:

31st October 2018

PunksForWestPapua Drumming Website.

This will collect the 2 million drum beats of a nation online.

1st December 2018

Global Flag Raising Day

The Bread Shed in Manchester.

https://www.bread-shed.co.uk/manchester

 

 

 

 

TAGS:

#Vanuatu  #UNGA2018

 

 

HANDLES:

@UNHumanRights

 

 

MATERIALS:

Punks 4 West Papua Australia Trailer

https://vimeo.com/167078538

 

Amnesty International Report:

https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/ASA2181982018ENGLISH.PDF

 

Benny Wenda, Chairman of the United Liberation Movement For West Papua (ULMWP) Statement from X – September 21, 2018

https://www.freewestpapua.org/2018/09/21/benny-wenda-releases-statement-warning-of-danger-to-west-papuans-during-unga-session/

 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA:

 

Sonder Festival Facebook Page

https://en-gb.facebook.com/SonderFestival/

 

Free West Papua Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/freewestpapua/

 

 

COMING UP:

 

31st October 2018

PunksForWestPapua Drumming Website.

This will collect the 2 million drum beats of a nation online.

 

1st December 2018

Global Flag Raising Day

The Bread Shed in Manchester.

https://www.bread-shed.co.uk/manchester

 

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