Coronation Hotel rocks for West Papuans

A SERIES of concerts around the globe to assist the persecuted people of West Papua is being held on Saturday with the Coronation Hotel in West Ipswich playing its part.

The Coro' will host at least nine bands from 4pm until midnight with all proceeds from the concert to go to the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), with the musicians' performance fees all being donated to the cause.

The Ipswich event is part of a giant three-day sequence of Rockin' For West Papua global peace concerts held in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain and England.

More than 100 artists will be performing at the 25-plus gigs in Australia alone across all genres of music .

It is estimated that 500,000 West Papuans have been murdered during Indonesia's 50-year-plus occupation.

Just flying their own flag can see West Papuans jailed for 15-years.

The QT spoke to the Coro's Nina Florence and Ken Weaver, both musicians themselves, about the event.

The Coronation Hotel has held two concert events for the people in West Papua which have both been a success.

"We are not on our own this time,” Ms Florence said.

"We are all part of a big community that is looking to earn money for those who really do need help and whose lives are in danger.

"We are particularly interested in social justice.”

Mr Weaver said the Coro would also multi-track record the artists who appear.

"Which we will then send to a documentary film maker as well, because it is a film maker that has organised this particular (event),” Mr Weaver said.

"That way they will have good quality recordings of the bands' performances that might end up being part of a future documentary.

"We have raised money for asylum seekers here and we like to find ways of giving back to the community.

"The (West Papua) issue has been kept out of the mainstream media, so it is good to see it in there.”

Newton-based brewer Young Henrys is also on board for the Coro' gig and is providing reduced priced beer while patrons can also make a contribution on the day.

In the last fortnight a ULMWP petition was handed over at the UN General Assembly in New York.

The petition, calling for a vote for self determination, was smuggled from village to village to be signed by an unprecedented 1.8 million people, 95.77% being indigenous West Papuans and the remainder Indonesian settlers.

Indigenous West Papuans risked arrest and their lives to sign the petition.

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