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Indonesia, Papua & Timor, Refugee issues

Vote for boats: freedom flotilla’s refugee message

West_Papua-6833New Matilda, 9 September: On Election Day, West Papuan activists spread a message of hope and freedom in Melbourne to raise awareness of the Freedom Flotilla, writes Jenny Denton.

“Why are we making boats?” four-year-old Lamech asks his mum.

“Because your dad and I came here on a boat,” she tells him as she wrestles with a double page of Saturday’s Age and a sheet of origami instructions. He seems satisfied with the answer and races off, paper-boat hat on head, clutching a model of a Sea Shepherd pirate ship someone has brought along.

A small group of supporters of the Freedom Flotilla to West Papua set up their banner at the St Mark’s church polling booth in Fitzroy on Saturday afternoon to fold boats, pose for photos and hand out pamphlets to any voters drawn by the “Free West Papua” message.   


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