The series of “Rockin’ for West Papua” events are extended up to the end of this year. The Free West Papua movement, which was criticized for the killings of 17 innocent construction workers in West Papua earlier this month, doesn’t seem to be bothered with the current resentment coming from international audience.
The musicians from this Rockin’ the Mic for West Papua did not spend any moment to express condolences for those workers who were killed by the armed terrorist group of Egianus Kogoya, leader of Free West Papua military wing organization (OPM). The leader of Free West Papua international office (ULMWP), Benny Wenda, denied that OPM was capable of doing such evil deeds.
The Free West Papua movement is going to hold another party at a bar in London on December 15th, this time adopting a hip-hop theme. There will be DJs and local hip-hop stars who are going to “Rock the Mic” for West Papua.
The bar is called The Empire Bar, London, where they will be selling tickets and Free West Papua merchandises ranging from US$10 to US$20 (in British Pounds). This kind of fundraising movement has been running for the entire year, since the very birth of Free West Papua Campaign page on Facebook.
This campaign of sympathy looks oddly unsettling, since there is little to no explanation on what is really going on in West Papua. The leader of United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Benny Wenda (who currently lives in the UK) advertised his movement as “non-violent”, and that “Music is our weapon”. In this case, he was not right.
There has been no transparency regarding where are the money from Rockin’ for West Papua going into, but we have to be aware that it is not going anywhere good. The Free West Papua movement has a military wing organization called OPM (translated into “West Papuan Liberation Army”), and they have admitted to being responsible of the killings of many innocent Papuans every year.
Going from bad to worse, they tried to appear innocent when they had attacked commercial aircrafts, non-Papuans, Indonesian Military, road construction workers, and took hostages of innocent people. In October this year, the same military group held 18 teachers and medical staff as hostages, and ended up sexually assaulting the women.
These facts are not being spoken of in any of those Rockin’ for West Papua events. Psychologically, music is a very effective tool of propaganda. The art of sound in music activates certain parts in our amygdala, which triggers instant empathy towards the content of the lyrics, and towards those who are performing. Ranging from national governments to football clubs, they all employ musicians to create the same nuances using specific anthems, and that is why we have to be critical towards them all, including the Free West Papua movement.