Monday, January 28, 2013

Kulon Progo Farm or Die

Faced with the threat of their land being taken from them and turned into a vast iron mine, 20 kilometres long, the farmers of Kulon Progo on Java's South Coast have resisted with cries of “Bertani atau Mati!” “We farm or we die!”. Farm or die is a compilation of articles and interviews reflecting their struggle.

If you want to read or download Farm or Die as a pdf you can do that here (to read online) or here (to print). Otherwise, you can read a selection of the articles here:
  • Interview with Widodo: A chilli farmer gives his views on the will farm, the struggle, solidarity and autonomy.
  • Chronology of Struggle: Some key moments in the struggle from 2007 to 2011
  • Interview with Suratinem: In 2011 Suratinem's husband Tukijo was abducted from his field by police, and sentenced to three years in prison. Suratinem tells her story.
  • SG and PAG: At the root of the land dispute is the local sultanate, who claim the Kulon Progo land despite the farmers clearly having land title. Feudalism may exist informally in other parts of Indonesia, but only here is it protected by law. 

Kulon Progo Farm or Die: Interview with Widodo

Widodo is one of the local farmers in Kulon Progo who decided when he was young to go abroad as an immigrant worker just as many other youths from rural Indonesia. However, ever since the southern shore of Kulon Progo became verdant and began to yield healthy and abundant crops again due to the determination and hard work of local people he and many other village youth returned home to help their families continue in the ancestral tradition; self-sustained farming. Widodo has joined thousands of others under the umbrella of PPLP to continue to struggle against the lust for power and greed of capitalist mining corporations.

Kulon Progo Farm or Die: Chronology of Struggle

This is a timeline from when the farmers first learn of the plans to mine the area of Kulon Progo, located along the Southern coast of the island of Java, near Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The farmers and local citizens continue to struggle to this day against the corrupt and greedy mining that threatens to destroy their land and livelihood.

Kulon Progo Farm or Die: Interview with Suratinem

Tukijo's wife (Suratinem) has now been working their land on her own for over a year while her husband sits in prison as unjust punishment for speaking out against corporate greed and corruption. At the time of this interview, Tukijo remains unfairly imprisoned. His wife is without the daily company, presence, help and support of her husband.

Kulon Progo Farm or Die: SG and PAG, The Stowaway of Yogyakarta Special State Planning Act

All this time, arguments over Yogyakarta's Special State status has been too focused on deciding who should be the rightful Governor and Vice Governor. The issue, in my opinion, is too confined. Because the thing that more characterizes the feudalism of Special Region of Yogyakarta (Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta/DIY), is the existence of million hectares of the imperial land in this province, known as Sultanate Ground (Sultanaat Gronden/SG) and Pakualamanaat Ground(Pakualamanaat Gronden/PAG).

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Islands of Autonomy - social centres in Indonesia and the Philippines.

A collection of interviews with six autonomous spaces in Indonesia and the Philippines. The interviews were conducted at the start of 2011, and although the zine has existed for some time, it has unfortunately not been published online until now. Although in the two years that have passed, a few of these spaces have ceased to exist, hopefully it's still interesting to read people's experiences of creating autonomous communities in different contexts.

Interviews are with Institut A in Jakarta, Dandelion in Bandung, Gerbong Revolusi in Kulon Progo, Lino Nipi in Makassar, and - in the Philippines - Etniko Bandido in Manila and Kinayahan Unahon in Davao City.

Islands of Autonomy can be downloaded here.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Is Indonesia heading towards Fascism?

Some observations on the crisis and new terror laws.

A series of recent laws are highlighting a political trend in Indonesia. New laws on Dealing with Social Conflict and Intelligence are already ratified, and three other similar regulations are still in the pipeline: concerning National Security, Military Reserve Forces and Societal Organisations. Not only are these laws terrorising civil liberties and social movements, but they are also laying the basis for the growth of fascism in Indonesia.