Death At Freeport Demonstration

A disturbing update from the strike by Freeport workers in Papua, Reuters is reporting that one protester was killed during a clash with police.  I will post more updates as I see them.  Here is part of the Reuters report:

A clash between striking workers and police near Freeport McMoRan’s Indonesian copper mine killed one protestor and injured others, complicating a pay dispute that appears far from being resolved.

The demonstration by the miners, over access to their barracks, was the biggest clash at Freeport Indonesia in four year and raised tensions at the company’s Grasberg copper mine, the world’s second biggest, where production has been disrupted since workers went on strike in mid-September.

Disgruntled Grasberg workers protested after being barred from collecting belongings from barracks at Gorong Gorong, where buses take workers to the remote mountain mine.  Police fired warning shots, and one worker later died in hospital from a gunshot wound to the chest, said union official Virgo Solossa. Local police chief Denny Siregar said eight workers were injured, while seven policemen were wounded by miners throwing stones.

Mine workers burned four trailers after their colleague was killed, according to local television footage seen by Reuters.

“The situation has now cooled down,” said Siregar, adding he had now assigned 500-600 police to deal with thousands of workers involved in the demonstration.  Siregar said police had allowed some of the workers to camp outside Gorong Gorong to try and calm the situation.


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