Friday, December 30, 2011

A Wave of Protest Against Police Brutality Echoes in Many Cities.

A wave of protest against the police brutality that resulted in several deaths in Sape, Bima, West Nusa Tenggara has been emerging in several cities over the past few days. These actions are in solidarity with those involved in events which have taken place across Indonesia, and in Bima in particular.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Repression at Sape Port, Bima: Eight People Dead

The occupation of Sape port by thousands of residents of Lambu district, Bima regency, West Nusa Tenggara has been repressed and forcibly dispersed by the police. The action, which had continued for five days, was being carried out by local people in opposition to the operations of PT Sumber Mineral Nusantara.

The forced dispersal started in the night and continued into the early morning of Friday 24th December 2011. Information suggests that hundreds of people were wounded as a result of the clash, eight people are dead and ten people have been arrested by the police. Most of the people who were attacked ran away towards the mountain and many are still in hiding.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Worldwide Solidarity with Aceh Punks

64 young people were arrested at a punk concert in Banda Aceh on Saturday December 11th. A few days later they were taken to a police training school, where their hair was ritually shaved, their clothes and possessions were taken from them, they were forced to pray, and the Acehnese authorities stated that they would be held for 10 days for 're-education'. Actions in support of the punks have taken place across Indonesia but also around the world as punk communities have responded to the news, after mainstream media outlets broadcast pictures of the mass detention.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bringing Papua's Problems to the Streets of Makassar

On December 10th, an action was organised in Makassar to commemorate International Human Rights Day, an appropriate moment to highlight the violence, state and corporate aggression and the discrimination faced by Papuans. A giant banner 7 metres x 4 metres was unfurled across a banner. Very many people took notice of this action, both because of the size of the banner, and also because the Papuan issue has lately become extremely sensitive in Indonesia.

The conflict in West Papua has intensified greatly in the last half-year. In the few days following the solidarity action in Makassar, news has emerged of a major military offensive in Paniai region where 26 villages have been razed and the inhabitants of 130 more have been forcibly evicted or have fled (see West Papua Media Alerts report). Papuan resistance movements also continue to grow and consolidate, but full information about the situation often does not penetrate the rest of Indonesia, and acts of solidarity are not so common. Below is the contents of the leaflet which the group JEJAK prepared for the action.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Action at Indo Mines AGM, Perth, Australia

November 30th 2011 was the annual general meeting of Indo Mines, the Australian company which plans to mine a huge section of the Javanese coast at Kulon Progo. A local group from Perth, in solidarity with the ongoing farmers' struggle, visited the meeting to remind shareholders that any investment in Indo Mines is inherently risky, for the simple reason that the entire coastal community will resist any attempt the company makes to commence its operations.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

West Papua at Boiling Point: Strike at Freeport Mine

Workers at Freeport McMoran's Grasberg mine in West Papua, one of the world's biggest copper and gold mines, have been on strike since September 15th. Their immediate demand is a large wage increases to bring their salary into line with what the company pays its workers in other countries. The conflict has raged over the past six weeks with unremitting action and brutal repression, bringing the company to its knees at a time when Papua is in turmoil generally.

ATM Attacked in Yogyakarta. Two Still Held in Prison

On the night of the 6th-7th October, an ATM machine from BRI bank in Sleman, Yogyakarta was attacked with Molotov cocktails. An explosion was heard in the area, which police attributed to the effects of the heat on the screen. Three people were arrested in connection to the incident, and two are still in prison on suspicion of having carried out the attack.

The mainstream media widely reported what happened, and debated whether the action was an act of terrorism or a novel method of trying to steal the money inside the machine. Maybe it wasn't exactly either. National newspaper Kompas published the contents of a leaflet left on the scene which clearly explains some of the author's perspectives on capitalism, the state, and their solidarity with struggles taking place around Indonesia right now, as well as what terrorism really means:

News from Kulon Progo: Hunger Strike and Action + Free Tukijo

The resistance of Kulon Progo Farmers on Java's South Coast continues, fighting the mining plans of PT Jogja Magasa Iron and their Australian financers, Indo Mines. One of their community, Tukijo, is currently in prison, condemned to three years to satisfy the vengeful whims of the corporation. Their latest action was to occupy the provincial council building, after a 12-day hunger strike carried out by several community members and student activists in solidarity with their struggle.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How the Papuan people Continue to Unite in Resistance: Victor Yeimo Interview

[This Interview with Papuan activist Victor Yeimo was published on the Kontinum website, because of a feeling that little information and perspectives from the Papuan struggle is available in Indonesia, and so people outside Papua are not aware of the what is actually going on there. The original, in Indonesian, can be found at]

We see Papua's problems as coming from a combination of problems with the state and corporations, military violence, ecological damage, genocide and extinction of indigenous cultures. The Papuan issue is also a national issue for Indonesia, and one which is not yet resolved. Many indigenous people are killed and tortured in order to legitimise the destruction of Papua's natural riches by the world's giant companies together with their closest partners: government.

Constitutional reasons, together with the logic of national unity and a narrow nationalist view of 'Indonesianness' are used to legitimise repression and oppression of the Papuan people and their land.

But amidst a climate of repression that doesn't seem to subside, the Papuan people struggle on, ever-bravely. To get to know the situation and viewpoint of the resistance movement in Papua, Kontinum interviewed Victor Yeimo, spokesperson of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), one of the people's organisations that continues the active struggle in the land of Papua:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Papuan Prisoner News: Buchtar Tabuni Freed, Filep Karma Refuses Remission

Each Indonesian Independence day, 17th August, a number of prisoners are granted remission as part of the celebrations. This year, the list included high-profile Papuan political prisoners Buchtar Tabuni and Filep Karma. This is a highly provocative act to Papuan activists, who equate the Indonesian presence in their land with continued repression.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


A discussion with a Padarincang citizen, who fights Aqua-Danone

The resistance of the people of Padarincang has forced the Frenchmultinational,Danone, to abandon their plans to build a bottled water factory in the area, at least for now. Ovi, a student from the area, tells the story of the community's struggle, explaining how self-organisation, with no formal leadership structure, has contributed to their success.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Solidarity with Kulon Progo farmers in London

On the afternoon of Thursday the 21st of April 2011 we visited the Indonesian Embassy in London, UK to deliver a letter to the Indonesian Government in Jakarta. This was done in solidarity with the people of Kulon Progo, whose lives and land are threatened by the Iron Sands Mining Project being carried out by the Australian Mining Company PT Indomine and the Indonesian State.

People of Wera Resist Iron Sand Mining Corporations.

[For the past few years, people around Bima, the eastern part of the island of Sumbawa, have been forced to resist companies who seek to mine the metal-rich volcanic sands around the islands coasts. This article, focussing on Wera district, describes some of the impacts of mining being felt by communities and a few of the direct actions the people take when those who claim to be their representatives let them down. The actions mentioned here are only reflect a small fraction of the resistance and repression experienced in this ongoing conflict zone]

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

News from the Social War in Sulawesi

In recent weeks several acts of uncompromising solidarity with people's struggles around the Indonesian State have taken place on the island of Sulawesi,, from one end to another, in the cities of Makassar and Manado. Here is a short chronology of some ignited passions:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

700 Special Police Force arrive at Kulon Progo

The people of Kulon Progo call for your international solidarity as they resist corporate greed and ecological destruction, please spread this information and act. More info + links to follow.

Thursday Morning, 24 February, mining corporation wants to re-open its office and operational sites which already been closed and destroyed by the peasants December last year. Failed.

Monday, 28 February, media noted that Jogja Magasa Iron and some Japanese investors failed to come.

Wednesday, 2 March, 9 cars with heavy arms police guard came to the pilot project for only 10 minutes.

Yesterday Morning, 7 March, 31 Police truck, 700 special police force (called Mobile Brigade), water cannon, detention car, police dogs, tear-gas, and heavy weapons came to the village…

Kulon Progo Self-organised Struggle Against Neoliberal Megaproject

Saturday, March 5, 2011

To Rediscover our own History is to Unearth Hope.

People on the left consider the anti-authoritarian movement, and especially the anarchists, as something that is childish or just imitating the west, the creation of people that do not yet understand their own identity. Their reasoning is straightforward, because there is no anti-authoritarian history in Indonesia. Indonesian society, we are told, is a feudal society that is not capable of acting without a command structure and an elite leadership; the actions that are glorified by adherents of anti-authoritarianism always refer to Western states. That’s because, they say, anti-authoritarianism and anarchism are absolutely irrelevant in the Indonesian context.

But let’s take a look just how these people on the left have only one talent: to lie.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Latest News from Kulon Progo Solidarity Network

[this letter gives an analysis of the struggle in Kulon Progo in terms of the recent national debate about the status of the Sultanate of Jogja within Indonesia, as well as an update on the farmers' struggle including some recent actions and the attempts of local NGOs to cause divisions in the autonomous struggle]

Dear Comrades,
We are small loose collective (informal) in Yogyakarta, located in central Java, a region considered as “special territory” inside the democratic state due to its historical role as a Kingdom of Java, and for the same reason, some of the old feudal rules still preserved inside the so called democratic state.

Since 2007 we have involved in creating solidarity with the peasant struggle in Kulon Progo which located inside Yogyakarta region. The struggle was about resisting iron mining which ARE a joint cooperation of Australian Kimberly Diamond (Indomines) and its local “puppet” branch company named “Jogja Magasa Iron (Mining)”. Jogja Magasa Iron are owned by the Sultan of Yogyakarta’s (Sri Sultan Hamengkubowono X) daughter, GKR Pembayun.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Letter from Papuan Political Prisoner Buchtar Tabuni


Police Isolation Cell, 18 January, 2011

Police-General Bekto Suprapto,

With respect,

With regard to my detention in a police isolation cell for almost two months, I wish to raise the following problems with the Chief of Police in Papua:

1. Will the police in Papua explain what my status is, whether I am a detainee (tapol) or a convicted political prisoner (narapidana). If I am being held as a detainee in connection with the riot that occurred in Abepura Prison on 3 December 2010, I ask to be given an arrest warrant by the police for the period that I have been held in a police isolation cell . And whether what I myself did together with Filep Karma at the time of the riot was not in fact an attempt to calm things down while trying to be a link between the prison officers and the prisoners who were involved in the riot. If my status is that of a narapidana, I hereby ask to be transferred to Abepura Prison Class IIA. This is because being held in an isolation cell by the police in Papua has had the following very damaging consequences for me:

Go Down to the Woods Today: a Small Portrait of Indonesian Bureaucracy

Bureaucrats are killjoys the world over. Such as the other day in Bengo-Bengo near to Makassar. Our plan was to camp in the forest for a few days. We stopped at the outpost of the guard who works there just to check the way to the waterfall we wanted to visit. Unexpectedly (although not entirely surprisingly) he tells us there is a new arrangement where any group wishing to enter the forest, owned by a local university Universitas Hasanuddin must obtain a letter of permission from the university's forestry department first, accompanied by a payment of 200,000 rupiah.

We suppose that there is no reason for this bureaucracy other than the typical practice of public officials, in this case university staff, aiming to add a little extra to their salary. This small-scale corruption is so widespread in Indonesia that it almost becomes seen as legitimate, always taking advantage of positions of authority to impose an extra charge here and there. The final legitimacy, of course, comes from our obedience if we choose the easy life and pay up.