A Warm UK Government Welcome to a War Criminal?

People in West Papua send solidarity photo for the 'Arrest President SBY' campaign. Photo Credit: Free West Papua Campaign
SPEAKers in Edinburgh have been long-term supporters of the Free West Papua Campaign. Tom Kirby gives us an update of the UK's ongoing complicity in this oppression, and highlights a demo taking place in Edinburgh tonight:



Yesterday Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono started his UK state visit, with an entourage of political and business leaders. He stayed at Buckingham Palace last night and the Queen is giving him a knighthood!

Meanwhile, today people in West Papua have sent a photo (above) in support of a campaign to have him arrested for war crimes in East Timor and West Papua. He has imposed a media blackout on West Papua and sent military and special forces to brutally clamp down on peaceful protestors. Thousands have died during his time as president.

Such is the complex world of competing narratives we live in!

There was a demo yesterday at Downing Street which looked good with lots of groups represented.


Tomorrow is our chance!

Meet 6pm Bristol Square for initial speeches.

Then we'll walk down Royal Mile to Parliament, accompanied by some drummers.

At parliament there will be more short speeches, and a silent candlelit vigil to remember the victims of human rights abuses. 

The joint message of the demo is to call on the Scottish Government to support the right of Self Determination by nations who are currently under military occupation.

We will be joined by friends from Edinburgh Uni societies: Free Tibet, Amnesty International, Students for Justice in Palestine, and Kashmir Solidarity Movement, so should have a good number!



1. That the military oppression in West Papua would end immediately, and that there would ultimately be peace and justice for the people of this region

2. For the Indonesian President, that he would listen to the many grievances of these victims

3. For the demo in Edniburgh tonight, and for all campaigners working in solidarity with the people of West Papua

4. Use this prayer for West Papua written by Hannah Kitchen recently


1. Try and attend the demo tonight!

2. Get more involved with the Free West Papua Campaign - 'like' them on Facebook (and 'like' us if you haven't already!), and email andy@speak.org.uk if you want to be on their mailing list

3. SPEAK have produced campaigns cards about this issue in the past - if you have ideas for SPEAK future campaigns thenn why not come to Flower Model in Bradford - 17th & 18th November!