Free West Papua! A video introduction to a struggle for self-determination

Act of Free Choice (directed by Mark Worth)

The so-called ``Act of Free Choice'' was a sham referendum held in 1969 to decide whether Indonesia should govern West Papua. The small sample of indigenous West Papuans selected to vote were threatened with physical voilence if they voted against the Indonesian regime. Of course, they ``voted'' to remain part of Indonesia.

To this day, on the basis of this UN-sanctioned farce, Indonesia holds West Papua. This short film by the late Mark Worth (1958-2004) was a precursor to his outstanding documentary Land of the Morning Star and succinctly outlines the political history of West Papua. Act of Free Choice is the title of David Bridie's debut solo album and although the song "Act of Free Choice" was played live at Bridie's shows, it was omitted from the album for "textural" reasons (in other words, it didn't fit with the other tracks). It later appeared on the five-track Act of Free Choice EP.

For latest developments (and more background) in the struggle for a free West Papua, visit the Australia West Papua Association website at and Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific at See also Green Left Weekly's West Papua archive.

Raising West Papua (2003)

This film begins where Act of Free Choice left off, then adds more detail of the struggle. A video that gives a background to the situation in West Papua, reminding the viewer that despite human rights abuses by the Indonesian Government, the Papuan people continue to struggle for independence. This video was produced in 2003 to raise awareness about the condition in West Papua. It uses interviews from people based in Melbourne, combined with archival footage from a variety of sources to tell the story. When this film was made, Australia was still ruled by the conservative government of Prime Minister John Howard and foreign minister Alexander Downer. Howard's government was defeated by the Australian Labor Party led by Kevin Rudd in late 2007. It remains to be seen if the new government alters support for Indonesian occupation of West Papua.

`West Papua' -- George Telek

Telek is a legendary singer in Papua New Guinea. "West Papua" expresses a yearning of people on both sides of the Papua New Guinea border for the West Papuan people to be free from Indonesian rule. This recording was produced by David Bridie. Footage is taken from Land of the Morning Star, made by Mark Worth. This video (plus others) appears on the CD/DVD re-release of Tabaran by Not Drowning, Waving. Telek's website:

Mark Worth did good work with the available information. But that was mis-information promoted by the Corporations & governments who were profiteering from their colonization of West Papua.

The UN did NOT intervene in 1962, it was the United States government who offered $200m to the UN to sign its name to the 1962 New York Agreement. The U.S. did this because during 1961 McGeorge Bundy told John F Kennedy that America had to sacrifice West Papua by selling the people to Indonesia to buy Indonesian friendship. Bundy was able to do this because in 1960 Robert A. Lovett told JFK to appoint McGeorge Bundy as the US National Security Adviser. Lovett did this because he was a director of the Freeport corporation which had been trying to claim West Papua's gold & copper since 1959.

It's about the money, it was always about the money. Robert Lovett was using the Cold War for his own benefit, West Papua and the rest of the Australian Pacific has suffered for this, and Indonesia and the US corporations have profited by it.