On 5 June 2015, a Candlelight Vigil was held at the Sydney Town Hall with 70 people gathered together. Alpius Meage, a West Papuan Activist from Free West Papua Campaign Perth Australia opened in prayer in his Dani/Lani language. Senator Lee Rhiannon lighted the candle and we observed a minute of silence for the 500,000 West Papuans who have died under the brutality of the Indonesian Government and Military. Alpius then gently sang his own Freedom song, a song crying out for the freedom of West Papua. He also shared about the struggle of his people for their independence and their right to self-determination.
Speakers and performers also include:
- Senator Lee Rhiannon
Here is his Speech.
- Paul Madden, FWP Campaign Perth leader and Free West Papua Political Party
- Mal Fruean, the
Chair of the NSW Council for Pacific Communities.
- Josie Vendramini, a
writer, activist and a passionate supporter of West Papua
- Janina Ruta, a West Papua activist
- Alison Bevege, journalist and long time supporter of
- Nick Chesterfield, a human rights journalist
- Pacific Island spoken word artist, Sea Rakaisau
and supporters, Lu-yie, Robert and Olivia.
The crowd was inspired and moved. An extra special moment occurred at the closing when someone in the crowd got a phone call from West Papua just as Alpius Meage began to sing the Freedom Song of West Papua on his ukulele. We all joined in spontaneously and most people hearing the song for the first time picking up the words. The people in West Papua heard their song from downtown Sydney!
Thank you to everyone who came, the speakers, performers and to all the people who have supported this vigil.