Sunday, April 18, 2010

ABOUT CORPORATIONS, THE STATE AND THEIR CASUALTIES. : An interview with one who is still fighting

[translated from the book "Mengapa Kapitalisme Menyebalkan, Katalis 2010. The case of Lapindo Brantas is well known in Indonesia, but maybe readers in other places need a short explaination: Lapindo Brantas was drilling for gas near Porong in East Java. This (almost certainly) was the cause of a new mud volcano which sprang up near the drilling site and continues to flood hot mud over an area of several square kilometers, inundating several villages and affecting many others. The case is particularly notorious because Lapindo Brantas is part of the Bakrie Group, one of Indonesia's largest corporations, who's head is Aburizal Bakrie, Cabinet Minister and head of the Golkar party.]

According to you, Cak Ir [1], what benefits have come to the people due to the presence of corporations in your area?

Basically the people have been deceived by the corporations. Persuaded to believe that there would be a better life, guarantees of work, they would have more money, things would be more modern and more pleasant. In Besuki[2] the first time the people were deceived was when a toll road was being built. Building this road was promoted to the people as a highway that local people would be able to access, and the people felt that they would obtain lots of benefits from this new road. The road would be more pleasant to use if it was asphalted, they thought. But as it turned out, local people could not access the new road that was built . Once the road was completed, luxury cars would flash by, and the local people can't join in - all they can become is spectators. Industry has also started to squeeze its way onto farming land. The first factory to be built was by Pertamina.