An organization calling itself Lasksar Tambang (the Mining Militia) held a demonstration in Yogyakarta calling for the nationalization of the Freeport mine in Papua. Originally reported in Kedaulatan Rakyat, the IndoLeft News Service has provided an English translation:
Scores of demonstrators from the People’s Mining Militia held a free-speech forum in front of the Gedung Agung Presidential Palace in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on Thursday October 13. They were demanding the return of the nation’s sovereignty through the nationalisation of the foreign mining industry, in particular PT Freeport Indonesia, under the control of the people.
The speaker at the action, Kuswanto, revealed that PT Freeport, which mines the largest copper deposit in the world, also mines the largest deposit of gold, silver and other materials in the world, and this has never been declared openly. Freeport not only oppresses the people of West Papua, but has also damages the environment, which is the source of the people’s livelihood.
“PT Freeport disposes of its waste in the Ajkwa river, which flows into the Arafura coastal sea and contaminates the waters and threatens living creatures. Not only that, Freeport has also committed an inhuman act resulting in the death of a worker because they were demanding a wage rise”, he said.
The People’s Mining Militia strongly condemns the brutal actions by security forces, both the police and the military, which resulted in the death of a Freeport worker and injured six others. They also called for the immediate arrest, trial and jailing of the perpetrators and an end to militaristic acts at PT Freeport and in other parts in West Papua.
“We also fully support the strike by PT Freeport workers to demand their rights and a [decent] standard of living. Return the nation’s sovereignty through the nationalisation of foreign mining industries under the control of the people. We also call on all Indonesian people to unite, take over and manage for themselves all strategic assets for the sake of the people’s welfare”, he asserted.