2017 International Civil Society Week

Indigenous peoples make up the majority in most Pacific Islands. Yet, colonial and imperialist exploitation has led to them being national minorities in their own lands.

By the turn of the century, in spite of various reforms and international mechanisms that have been introduced to protect indigenous rights, environmental plunder and colonial inequalities still persisted. Environmental, social, and economic challenges brought about by capitalistic greed have inhibited the indigenous peoples’ access to basic human rights such as quality education, health services, housing, and sustainable livelihood. In response to the growing oppression, several independence and indigenous rights movements have risen in the region and until now, indigenous peoples and nations of the Pacific continue their struggle for independent nationhood.

IPMSDL, in collaboration with Dewan Adat Papua and Merdeka (West Papua Support Committee), brings you a plenary session on Self-Determination and Liberation in the Pacific, happening on December 6, 2017 as part of the 2017 International Civil Society Week in Suva, Fiji co-hosted by CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation and Piango.

Register now!

On the Violent Dispersal of the August 15, 2017 rallies in Indonesia

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) denounces the violent dispersal of Papuans who rallied for their self-determination and liberation in Indonesia on the 55th year commemoration of the 1968 New York Agreement.

Indonesian police arrested and injured hundreds of rallyists on 15 August 2017 in several of the country’s cities where the protests took place. The demonstrations, which were also held in United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Australia, called for a legitimate UN-administered referendum that would decide West Papua’s independence from Indonesia.

Nonetheless, IPMSDL lauds the militant display of the Papuan peoples to assert for West Papua’s independence. The Movement also congratulates the participation and leadership of the Papuan youth and students in the Indonesia protests. Oppressive states would easily wield repression against peoples’ resistance, denying them their basic rights including freedom of expression and assembly – much like in Indonesia, in order for the government to maintain its hold over West Papua. In today’s trying times, such daring actions give hope to the marginalized and other Indigenous Peoples worldwide to advance their respective struggles brought about by imperialist greed and domination.

We believe the interest and welfare of the Papuan peoples will never be of precedence if West Papua remains its colonized status. Thus, the Movement commits its fervent support West Papua’s struggle and just assertion for self-determination and liberation versus Indonesia’s national oppression and colonization.

MERDEKA FOR WEST PAPUA!
STRUGGLE FOR THE PAPUAN PEOPLES’ SELF-DETERMINATION AND LIBERATION!
LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!

We Stand With Standing Rock! Stop Attacking Water Protectors!

A Joint Statement by
International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL)
Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP)
International Organization for Self Determination and Equality (IOSDE)
23 November 2016

On the night of November 20, 2016, over 400 Water Protectors gathered on a bridge near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, United States and were violently dispersed by police forces in the name of the corporate-owned Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The security forces were in riot gear and used water cannons, concussion grenades, rubber bullets, tear gas and sound cannons against the Water Protectors, who were weaponless and praying, singing and seeking to create access to and through the bridge in order to ensure connection to a nearby town for supplies, support and health care.

In this horrific incident, police forces indiscriminately aimed water cannons at everyone on the site, and targeted people’s heads and legs with their bullets. Tear gas was also used against the Water Protectors. Around 300 were injured and 26 had to be hospitalized, including one arm amputation case, one for cardiac arrest, and another for seizures. Because of the near-freezing temperature in the area, the water from the cannons used by the police caused early signs of hypothermia. Police also illegally detained 16 protesters one day after the incident.

Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, has continued construction of the USD 3.7 billion project despite a request from the US government to temporarily cease construction. The US Army Corps of Engineers, with capacity to implement this request into order, has in fact done nothing to stop ETP from continuing construction. The 1,170-mile pipeline will threaten the water supplies and waterways, and continue to desecrate Native American burial grounds and sacred sites. ETP has already landgrabbed from private US landowners as well as Native Americans in the course of construction. At least 500 activists and supporters have been slapped with trumped-up charges for resisting the project.

The International Indigenous Peoples’ Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL), the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), and the International Organization for Self Determination and Equality (IOSDE) condemn in the strongest possible terms this violent dispersal of Water Protectors by government security forces. Instead of protecting its own people against plunder, environmental degradation and human rights violations, the US government has chosen to side with big corporations such as ETP. It has done nothing to uphold its international obligations to protect human rights, and its continued support of the DPAL construction clearly shows its bias to protect corporate interests and outright disregard of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and other oppressed groups not only in its own country but in the whole world.

We from the IPMSDL, AIPP and IOSDE strongly reiterate our solidarity with the Sioux peoples in their fight against corporate encroachment, plunder and militarization of their ancestral lands. We continue to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux peoples and all Indigenous Peoples in the world in our common struggle for self determination, the defense of our lands, territories and resources, and the protection of our cultural heritage. Global attention and actions are urgently needed to resolve the historical injustices committed against Indigenous Peoples, which is the source of many of the conflicts around the world.

Reference:

Ms. Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator, IPMSDL, info@ipmsdl.org, ipmsdl@gmail.com
Ms. Joan Carling, Secretary General, AIPP, aippmail@aippnet.org
Ms. India Reed Bowers, Director, IOSDE, info@iosde.org

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