MAC: Mines and Communities

Indonesia - Jakarta

Published by MAC on 2003-10-08

Indonesia - Jakarta

Information from: Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence Canada

October 8, 2003 - Concerned citizens demonstrated in front of the Canadian Embassy, located in the World Trade Centre in central Jakarta, to express the anger of Indonesians that Canadian mining giant Inco has exploited their environment and people for their profits.

Several protesters with signs and banners protesting the devastation of Inco, sang, chanted and distributed information to passersby. Speeches denouncing the track record of Inco from the Indonesian Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) and Friends of the Earth Indonesia (Walhi) called for the expulsion of Inco from Indonesia. A theatrical presentation, with one activist representing Inco, and several others representing communities in Indonesia, New Caledonia, Guatemala, and Canada acted out the struggles over land, human rights and justice.

“Inco must beg for forgiveness from the communities, the people who have been victimized by their operations, pay compensation for the land they have stolen from the people and clean up the disaster they have left behind in the environment,” says Chalid Muhammad, the director of the Indonesian Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM).

Today’s protest coincides with the World Unites Against Inco movement, which saw people take to the streets in two other cities in Sulawesi, which is home to the Inco mine site. Naomi Manata of the Karunsie Dongi indigenous community in Soroako, who is fighting for compensation and cleanup for the traditional lands that Inco seized for its operations. “We were forced off our land by PT INCO, and they now must give it back and rehabilitate the environment that they destroyed”.

Yesterday, 250 marched through the streets of Palu brandishing messages such as “Inco Go to Hell”, to protest Inco, transnational companies, the complacency of the Megawati government, and the militarization of their communities because of mining.
In Morowali, 500 people held a noisy demonstration, and called on the local government to take action to address the needs of the people.

Information from: Jennifer Foulds
Communications Director
Environmental Defence Canada
Tel: (416) 323-9521 ext. 232
Fax: (416) 323-9301

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