Monday, December 31, 2012

Kaleidoscope of Agrarian Conflicts 2012: A portrait of how the people's voices and rights are ignored.

Agrarian or resource conflicts are getting serious. Unclear land-use planning (including the designation of forest areas), along with the government's attitude which seems to allow these conflicts to happen, are only making the situation worse. Companies come in to inhabited lands, or land owned by local or indigenous people. Conflicts arise between the people, or between the people and the company or the state. More often than not, it's the people that lose out.

Points of friction keep on arising. Resource conflicts causing loss of life and property have continued all year long. Data from Walhi indicates that in 2011 there were 8307 agrarian conflicts, and 4302 cases that had been resolved.

Most conflicts occurred in West Sumatra with 883 cases, South Sulawesi with 780, West Java 749, Central Java 532, Bali 515, East Java 400, East Nusa Tenggara 335, North Sumatra 331, Banten 324 and East Kalimantan 242 cases. Here's just a small selection of the agrarian conflicts that occurred this year.

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Chronology of PT Minersave's (Freeport's) Entry into Intan Jaya Regency, West Papua.

This article from KOMISI, a group of students from Intan Jaya in West Papua (in co-operation with the Suara Papua website), recounts how the Freeport mining company, through its subsidaries, established exploration activities in remote Intan Jaya regency over twenty years ago with the help of a western missionary. Currently, as local politicians grant permissions for further exploration work without a mandate or the consent of the communities that live there, the students make a clear demand that the company leaves their land, knowing the pattern of conflict that is bound to emerge otherwise.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bangka Islanders Seize Mining Company's Ship

PT Mikro Metal Perdana's iron ore mining activities continue to be met with resistance from the Bangka islanders of Likupang District, North Minahasa Regency, North Sulawesi. Their latest act of resistance was to sequester a ship belonging to the company, which has loaded with machines which would be used for mining. The action commenced on August 4th and was still continuing when this article was written on August 12th. The people are resolute that they will not end their action until mining activities are decisively halted.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Six years on, and still fighting Lapindo

Recently, 3000 victims of the mud volcano created by the Lapindo company's drilling operations, whose homes were in the affected area, once again demonstrated their feelings outside the East Java Governor's office in Surabaya. They were asking the provincial government to lend money to PT Minarak Lapindo Jaya so the company would be able to pay the compensation money it owed. The demonstrators came from places inside the designated affected zone, for example Renokenongo, Siring, Jatirejo and Glagah Arum villages in Porong district, and Kedungbendo and Ketapang in Tanggulangin District.

They Fight for the Forest

The Iban Dayaks from Semunying had always lived simply alongside their natural environment. Then in 2005 an oil palm plantation company appeared, wanting to take over the ancestral forest that had been the backbone of people's livelihoods for generations.

One year previously the company had obtained permission from the regency government for a 20,000 hectare plantation in Jagoi Babang district. Included in the permit area were 1,420 hectares of land for which the Iban Dayaks were the customary landowners. At first, PT Ledo Lestari, a subsidiary company of Duta Palma Nusantara Group, only built a road which passed close to the ancestral forest. But as time passed, they continued to take more of the land, taking space from the people without permission and eventually clearing their ancestral forest.

Anti-Mine Awareness in East Nusa Tenggara

In the last five years the East Nusa Tenggara Provincial Government has taken a very accomodating attitude to mining development. Many mining permissions have been issued by the provincial and regency governments, for minerals such as iron sand, gold, iron ore, uranium, copper etc. Since entering the era of regional autonomy, NTT is increasingly tormented by the mining industry.

The development of the mining industry in East Nusa Tenggara is indeed astonishing. Since 2007, extractive industries have commenced activities in all parts of the island chain. The number of mining claims submitted to Kupang Regency alone stretches to 80 companies, most of which are already operational. In South Central Timor Regency 176 claims have been submitted, in North Central Timor 139 and in Belu Regency, 89 mining companies are operational. Meanwhile there are also the mines which have already been open for a long time, such as the gold mines in East Sumba, Central Sumba, Lembata, Manggarai Barat, Alor and East Flores, or the iron sand mining in East Manggarai, Sikka and Lembata. Several of these mines are even located in conservation forest.

Monday, June 25, 2012

How a New Law on Social Conflict Supports State Repression

Indonesia in recent years has hosted several intense and bloody conflicts, which can explode very quickly. Especially after the fall of Suharto's regime in 1998, conflicts broke out between Christians and Muslims in Central Sulawesi and Maluku, and between native Dayak people and migrants in parts of Kalimantan. Those conflicts, which are characterised as clashes between different religious, ethnic, racial or other groups, is the subject of a new law which was ratified in April 2012. But conflicts often are not so simple, and often involve manipulation by people in power or with some kind of vested interest. The following article, translated from the Kontinum website, is an analysis of how this law is likely to be used in cases where corporate interests are the root cause of conflict, how such 'horizontal' conflicts can be deliberately created, and how conflict resolution is likely to produce a result in the company's favour.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Call for Solidarity with the Malalayang Traditional Fisherfolk's Struggle Against Coastal Reclamation in Manado

Coastal Reclamation, a megaproject that began in the early 1990s, continues along the length of Manado Bay. New land is being created in the sea to host big business, such as the establishment of new shopping palaces, the mushrooming of the banking industry, and assorted entertainment spots for the weary workers. The area of new land created in the reclamation zone stretches to thousands of hectares, spread over several major developments.

During the course of this development, there has been sporadic resistance from traditional fisherfolk along the Manado coast. Then in 2009, fisherfolk resisting in different parts of the bay began discussions to create a network of communication and started to show direct solidarity each time a group of fisherfolk was faced with conflict.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Anarchists and Traditional Fisherfolk Resist Land Reclamation: Two People Taken by Police.

[a note from NEGASI: Since 2009, the resistance to coastal reclaimation in Manado Bay has escalated. On the front line of these actions are the traditional fisherfolk from different communities along Manado Bay. After the actions of fisherfolk from Sario Tumpaan and people from Kalasey beach, now the fisherfolk of Malalayang II are also showing their resolve to resist.]

4 May 2012

At around 08.00 am, fisherfolk received news that mounds of earth on a piece of land owned by a doctor called Awalui were being moved towards the shoreline. Fisherfolk that gathered at the site realized that hired thugs and police from the Malalayang station had been stationed there to guard the work.

Philippines: Solidarity Action For Eat and Billy

A paint bomb attack against the Indonesian Embassy happened May 24, 2012 in the vicinity of Makati, Philippines. Around 1am a group of people started to throw a black paint to the wall and inside the perimeter of the said embassy. After that they left leaflets on the scene stating
source: 325

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Eat and Billy Sentenced to One Year and Eight Months

Billy Augustan and Reyhart Rumbayan (Eat) have been sentenced to one year and eight months in prison for an attack with molotov cocktails on a bank ATM in Yogyakarta on the 7th October 2011. The sentence includes the seven months they have already spent in prison awaiting trial.

Messages of support for Eat and Billy can be sent to blackhammer (at) and will be taken into the prison. Letters can be sent to:
Billy Augustan & Reyhard Rumbayan
Lembaga Pemasyarakatan (LAPAS) Kelas IIB Sleman
Jalan Bedingin, Sumberhadi,
Mlati, Sleman,
Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Two actions against coastal reclamation in Manado.

In recent years, much of Manado's shoreline has been turned into a commercial strip of shopping malls and entertainment venues, 'reclaiming' the coastline by building out into the sea. Apart from destroying the marine environment, where coral still grows even on the city's shore, the habitat loss also threatens the livelihoods of traditional fisherfolk, displaced by the new leisure and tourism economy. Here are reports from two recent uncompromising actions to reject the latest of these developments.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hidayat is Free

At the second sitting of Hidayat's trial, on 16th April 2012, the court decided to set him free after taking into account the time he had already spent inside. The hearing, which started late and continued for almost one hour, was attended by his friends, lover and his mother.

Hidayat, who had been charged with article 170 of the Indonesian penal code, was sentenced to the time he had already served and set free after consideration of his need to continue his studies, as well as his health, which had been deteriorating in prison. After the defence presented its case orally, the judge rapped his gavel to declare his judgement. Hidayat's mother burst into tears after hearing the decision

The editors of Kokemi blog hope that the fire that burns in our hearts is not dampened by the fear of the Wanted Persons List and the threat of prison - many of our comrades are still in prison and solidarity will continue as long as is necessary, until the prisons lie in ruins.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Billy Falls Ill in Prison : Support Needed Urgently

We are asking for donations and solidarity for a member of our community.

As many of you know Billy Anjing was detained last year by the police for a political action. He is still being held and is currently on trial.

Last June Billy was in a motor accident. He was admitted to the hospital with a fractured skull and concussion. He left the hospital after 3 days because of misdiagnosis and poor medical treatment. After leaving the hospital he saw a specialist who stated he appeared to be alright but to IMMEDIATELY seek medical attention from a specialist if he was to have any symptoms or pain later.

For 2-3 weeks now, Billy has complained of frequent and severe headaches. He is also experiencing blurred vision and extreme pressure build-up, and his neck loses circulation (kesemutan) from time to time. Due to these symptoms he’s having great difficulty sleeping, writing, reading and seeing, and they seem to be getting rapidly worse as time goes by.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sending Email to Prisoners.

Now it is possible to send emails to three people imprisoned in Indonesia for their resistance. Friends and families will print those emails and bring them to the prison when they go to visit. As prison is a very isolating experience, receiving messages of support, even from people you don't know, can make a big difference. All three prisoners will be able to read your letters if you write in English, but it may be difficult for them to reply directly - obviously they have no computers in their cells!

Eat and Billy
are two anarchists arrested for burning an ATM machine belonging to BRI bank in Jogjakarta, Java on 7th October 2011. Their trial is currently in progress. Email for either or both of them can be sent to blackhammer(at)

Hidayat (Yaya) was arrested on 26th December 2011 on a demonstration in Makassar, Sulawesi. The demonstration was in response to the brutal police repression of a port blockade in Bima, Sumbawa island, where the police had killed at least three people a few days before. Yaya is accused of damaging a police outpost, and is currently awaiting trial. You can write to him at swatantra(at)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

West Papuan Community Ecological Struggles.

On the sidelines of the Papuan People's struggle for self-determination, at a local level Papuan communities continue to resist the logging and mining industries that are destroying their forests. Here are two stories of recent community resistance from areas close to the Papuan capital Jayapura, translated from the Alliance for Democracy in Papua website

Seeing their forest destroyed, Arso Villagers Burn Five Logging Camps.

Annoyed by hearing the sound of chainsaws almost every day, and in addition the reports of villagers who regularly enter the forest telling of finding loggers' camps there, around 20 people from Arso, both young and old, agreed to check the forest for themselves.

Tablasupa Nickel Mining's Drilling Rig Burned, Three Imprisoned

On the morning of 8th February 2012, local people from kampung Tablasupa, near to the Papuan capital Jayapura, burned a drilling rig belonging to the mining company PT Tablasupa Nikel Mining. The action was connected to an ongoing conflict between local people and the company, which plans to mine nickel on 9629 hectares of land, and is currently carrying out exploration activities. Although the company has been given a permit by the local Jayapura Bupati's office, the people of Tablasupa feel that their rights as the holders of customary rights over the land have not been respected.

Two weeks after the machine was burnt, on February 20th, police arrested three villagers. Saul Sorontouw, Lambertus Seibo and Kanisius Kromisian. They have been charged under article 170 of the Indonesian penal code, and are being held in Jayapura police headquarters. While in prison Saul Sorontouw has been ill with gout, which has caused swellings in his knees. On February 28th police demanded statements from another six villagers, but they were allowed to go home that evening.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Letter from Hidayat (Yaya), In Prison in Makassar

Dear comrades,

From the bottom of my heart and an ardent yearning to be with you, I wanted to write this short letter in order to let all my friends know that “a fire still burns in our hearts that cannot be extinguished”

Being in this place is not something I wished for, but also it should not be a cause for regret. We are aware and we understand that rebellion against the State is vital, but it also entails risks. If anarchists attack something that others hold sacred, then those people will not be able to tolerate anarchism. That is what underlies all our fears. Whenever someone opposes and seeks to destroy something we hold sacred, of course we will resist with all our strength.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

For Indonesia Without the FPI

Last February 11th, thousands of Dayak people converged on the town of Palangkaraya, demonstrating against the Islamic Defender's Front (Front Pembela Islam, FPI) which was coming to set up a branch in the Central Kalimantan province. Hundreds then stormed the runway, so that the FPI's leaders who had come from Jakarta for the ceremony could not get off the plane. Inspired by this action, a few days later people gathered for a rally in central Jakarta inviting people to imagine 'Indonesia without the FPI'.

It takes bravery to challenge this powerful and violent organisation that for 13 years has been manipulating religious sentiment into a fearsome street-fighting movement of the extreme right. Few public figures will declare against them, and local and national government almost always seems to capitulate when faced with the threat that the FPI will mobilise against them. Laws and governmental decisions increasingly seem designed to appease the religious right, and their strength grows steadily.

To give some background of where this organisation came from, we have translated a special edition of Catatan Kaki, a newsletter from students at Hasanuddin University in Makassar about the FPI, published in May 2011. It explains FPI's emergence in post-Suharto Indonesia, focussing especially on the role that organisation played in the military's efforts to maintain power. There is also a chronology which is not a complete list of the FPI's violent actions, but gives some indication of the sort of things they get up to. As it was originally written for an Indonesian audience, Catatan Kaki refers to several incidents and groups involved in Indonesia's recent history which might be unfamiliar people reading this in English, but we've tried to make the translation as clear as possible.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hidayat, Locked Inside the Prison 'Red Zone'

This news that follows is just one story of how horrible life in prison is. Even worse than that, of being already locked up inside one prison and then finding another prison inside that one. This is what our comrade Hidayat is suffering right now, isolated under lock and key in a place that is known as the Red Cell, a miniature prison 2m by 1m, darkened and subject to the prison guards' stifling intimidation and terror.

From what we have heard, Hidayat has been confined in this claustrophobic space for five days. Apart from reports that he is frequently intimidated and beaten, Hidayat has never received the whole packages of food and drink that visitors bring him. And what pains us the most, his visitor access has been limited. No-one has been allowed to meet with him.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bima Bupati's Office and Election Commission Burned Down, 53 Prisoners Freed.

The people of Bima are still in revolt after the brutal repression of the occupation of Sape port in December 2011 where several people were shot dead by police while taking part in an action against Arc Exploration, an Australian mining company. Although local government had said they would revoke the mining companies permit after the killings, local people continued to struggle for the permit to be cancelled permanently, and for all held in prison from last December to be freed.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Javan Farmers' Declaration

Farmers' groups from throughout the island of Java came together last December to hear about each others struggles and share their experiences. Several of the groups are resisting different company's plans to mine iron sands along the whole southern coast of Java. Others have fought cement companies in Central Java and the mud volcano which has been erupting in East Java for five years since the Bakrie company started drilling for gas in the area. This was an important event, because the farmers involved are building their own networks, without the need for mediation by any NGO.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Update on the Two Imprisoned Combatants in Yogyakarta

We have received another piece of bad news about the case of the two social combatants which have been imprisoned in Yogyakarta since 7th October 2011. They are being held in connection to an arson attack in which the ATM machine of a capitalist network, the Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), was burnt.

The two combatants, Reyhart Rumbayan (Eat) and Billy Augustan (Billy) are participants in an insurrectionist group called 'Long Live Tortuga Cell - FAI Indonesia.

According to information that we've received, the police have extended their period of imprisonment up until the 5th January 2012, but the reality is the two are still inside and have not been released. This means that the two insurrectionists have now been locked behind prison bars for 93 days and counting.

Secondly, the likelihood is that they will be charged with criminal accusations which have a maximum sentence of nine years in prison. They are both charged under article 187 (clause 1 part E and clause 2 part E) and article 170 of the Indonesian criminal code.

It is likely that their trial will take place this month, January 2012. However we still don't know the date of their trial for sure. Because of this, we request help and solidarity in various forms from all who read this news.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hidayat in Prison in Makassar after Demonstration

Makassar Police Headquarters have finally charged our comrade Hidayat, who is accused of damaging Police outposts during a demonstration supporting the people of Bima. According to the police, Hidayat's status has been changed to 'accused' because they have sufficiently strong evidence to justify this higher level. They also claim to have video and photo evidence.

Hidayat participated in a solidarity action that took place in Makassar on 26th December 2011 against the brutal police clearance of the anti-mining protest in Bima, where thousands of people had occupied Sape port. From what we have managed to find out, he was arrested secretively in the crowds between Jalan Gunung Bawakaraeng and Karebosi Link.