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Lest We Forget the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels

Today marks a hundred years since the youthfully optimistic Australian and New Zealand soldiers sailed to their own versions of hell in World War One. Today we honor the service people that fought, died and returned home in each war since. Today, we get up before the sun and listen to the same bugle we have listened to on the 25th of April every year for as long as we can remember. Recite the same poem. Lest We forget. However, as the people of West Papua, our pacific neighbours, lose their lives, their freedom, their villages and their ways of life much older than the ANZAC tradition – lest we forget what they did for our Aussie battlers in the guerrilla warfare of World War Two. Lest the Australian Government forget, ignore and allow them to perish. The grueling Kokoda Track that hosted an international battle, irrelevant to the people of the island, also hosted heroic rescues by the tanned skinned, afroed Papuan people. Transporting the injured through dense jungle, not one left behind. Grand feats of rescue to which so many owe their lives. Lest the people of today’s Australia, forget the people of today’s West Papua. A genocide, social destruction, media silencing at the hands of Indonesia. A relentless battle for freedom by the West Papuans; political prisoners and soundless executions. And not a word. The Australian government turning their backs on a persecuted nation in dire need. So, as you sink VBs and burn cash in 2up today – the clink of war medals in the shadows of your blurry mind, think of who it was that brought your grandfather home. Because maybe, just maybe, you owe someone a favour. And maybe that someone is a child in West Papua who, just as you could of, lost his whole family in a silent war. Google it. Instagram something about it today. Tell your next door neighbour or the guy across the bar from you as the afternoon turns to night. This is something worth talking about. #freewestpapua

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