Papuans protest against racial discrimination at the National Monument complex in Jakarta on Thursday. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

"I Am Not a Monkey": Papuans Protest Against Racial Discrimination

BY :YUDHA BASKORO

AUGUST 22, 2019

A large group of Papuans marched on the streets near the National Monument complex in Central Jakarta on Thursday, demanding that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo put an end to racial discrimination against Papuans.

Last weekend, hundreds of Papuan students were arrested in Semarang, Malang and Surabaya for demonstrating against the 1962 New York Agreement that handed over West Papua from the Dutch to Indonesia.

In Surabaya, a mob surrounded a Papuan students' dormitory, effectively holding them hostage, as security officers looked on.

Videos spread on social media showing some of the mob shouting "Monkey!" at the Papuan students inside the compound.

Riots broke out in Manokwari, where protesters set fire to the Regional House of Representatives building, Sorong and Timika on Monday as Papuans protested the incidents in the three Javanese cities. 

Many of the protesters on Thursday brought posters with the slogan "I'm Not a Monkey."

They demanded Jokowi pay more attention to human rights in Papua and not just let multinational companies exploit its natural resources.

Papua is home to the Grasberg copper and gold mine, the world's largest gold mine and the third largest copper mine, operated by Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of US-owned Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold.

Police and army personnel stood guard aound the National Monument on Thursday as protesters marched, made spaeeches and sang songs, including Papuan folk songs and "Morning Star," the anthem of the free Papua movement. The road in front of the State Palace was closed and traffic was diverted to Jalan Juanda.

A man carries a placard that said Im not a monkey during protest in front of State Palace, Central Jakarta on Thursday (22/08). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Mobs had called Papuan students "monkey" in Surabaya last week. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Protesters form a circle and sing songs in the Papuan language during protest in front of State Palace, Central Jakarta on Thursday (22/08). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Protesters form a circle to sing songs. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A woman paints her face with West Papua flag during protest in front of State Palace, Central Jakarta on Thursday (22/08). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
 A protested paints her face with the West Papua flag, the Morning Star. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A man steps on a poster that written stop racism, we are not monkey. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
The poster on the ground says "Stop Racism, We Are Not Monkeys." (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Papuan in Jakarta held a protest in National Monument complex, Central Jakarta on Thursday (22/08). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
The protesters march from the Gambir train station to the National Monument. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Protester cries when her friend gives oration about discrimination case in Surabaya (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A protester cries as she listens to a speech. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Indonesian police stand on guard around the National Monument to escort the long march. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Police officers at the National Monument. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A police negotiates with protesters before they held a long march to State Palace, Central Jakarta on Thursday (22/08). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A police officer negotiates with the demonstrators. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Protesters shout to immediately stop discrimination against Papuans during protest in National Monument complex, Central Jakarta on Thursday (22/08). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
The protesters shout slogans to end racial discrimination against Papuans. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Protester wear a necklace and other accesories related to West Papua during long march on Thursday (22/08). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A Morning Star flag worn by one of the protesters. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

 

 

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