Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Papua's Burden: Chronology of Repression 2010.

In West Papua, the culture of violent repression of social movements continues in a way where it seems that little has changed since the Suharto era of 1965-1998. Here we present a short summary of some of the incidents which happened during 2010, with the aim of illustrating the spectrum  of tactics which the state uses to ensure continuing chaos and control. Killings are common, but repression also takes the forms of arrests and interrogation, forming front organisations with the aim of disruption, attacking demonstrations, banning books, banning foreign journalists and NGOs, harassing Papua journalists, cruel treatment of prisoners, excessive prison sentences, village burnings and sweeping operations which force the people to flee in terror.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Fire of Resistance Burns Bright in Polongbangkeng.

On a small hill beneath a big tree, dozens of people have been waiting since morning. Their look is serious as they observe from afar and wait to see what will happen.

Their attention is focussed on Block D of state plantation company PT Perkebunan Nusantara PTPN XIV, at a distance of around 200 meters from the tree. That particular piece of land was seized from its owners, the community of Polongbangkeng, Takelar, South Sulawesi, 28 years ago, and they are still trying to take it back.

“If they try to work the land, we will block them”, explains a farmer who was participating in the watch last Saturday (13/11). Using his machete, he points out various places, to the west, south-east and south. At each of these points there are also other teams of people, keeping lookout from different angles. Guerrilla tactics in practice.