Indonesia: Demonstrators set fire to Bima Regent’s office; Regent revokes contested mining permit

A more detailed report of these events can be read on Hidup Biasa (translated from Barawera)

Addition: After setting fire to the office, thousands to people went to the Bima Prison. 53 people were released after the crowd threatened to burn the prison if those held since the events on December 24 were not released. Prison officers met their request. The police are reported to be looking for the ‘escapees’.  (via Negasi-negasi)

January 28: Indonesian local government officials revoked the mining permit of Australian company Arc Exploration, who were planning to build a gold mine in Bima. In December between two and eight people were killed by policeduring a port blockade against the proposed mine.

A group of residents from Lambu, Sape and Langgudu districts storm the Bima Regency office compound.

On Thursday January 26, demonstrators stormed the Bima Regency office compound before burning the office and several other buildings in the compound in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara. Their anger was driven by the local administration failing to permanently revoke the mining permit of PT Sumber Mineral Nusantara (Arc Exploration).

On Saturday, following this demonstration, Regent Ferry Zulkarnain revoked the mining permit for “security reasons.”

Protesters in Makassar burned tires on Friday during a demonstration in solidarity with the Bima protesters.

Canberra: Invasion Day

January 26: Protesters who had gathered in Canberra for the 40th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy surrounded a restaurant where Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott were, causing Gillard and Abbott to be bundled out under police guard.

January 27: Aboriginal protesters burn the Australian flag outside parliament.

On the way the demonstrators blocked one of the city’s main thoroughfares.

Despite a heavy police presence, including a number of police dogs, authorities were unable to hold an initial cordon at the edge of Parliament’s forecourt and were forced to retreat in the face of overwhelming numbers.

Prison riot: Fulham, Victoria

January 19: At around 4pm around 30 prisoners in Fulham Prison, near Sale in Gippsland, refused to return to their cells.  Up to a dozen ran at fencing and tried to scale it as tensions spilled over on several fronts. Inmates, armed with gym equipment and gardening tools, began destroying property and starting fires.

Eleven people took to the roof. Police used capsicum spray and turned on rooftop sprinklers in an attempt to get people down, but six remained at midnight, with the rest of the prison on lockdown. They were forced down at around 3am when authorities used tear gas against them. The 11 men, aged 19-23, have been transferred to Port Phillip and Barwon prisons and could face charges as police continue to investigate the riot. Continue reading “Prison riot: Fulham, Victoria”

Three comrades in prison in Indonesia

Hidayat has been charged by Makassar Police with damaging Police outposts during a demonstration supporting the people of Bima. 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. According to reports, he was arrested secretively in the crowds.

On January 16 his detention period was extended to 40 days, until February 24, 2012.

Hidayat’s health has been deteriorating. Symptoms of typhus, a disease he suffered from previously, have been returning. His friends have requested a deferment of detention so that Hidayat can receive treatment outside the prison.

From Hidup Biasa:

We ask for solidarity and support from all those in struggle and fighting their own battles against the state and capital. Pass on this information, discuss it and let the fires of your solidarity burn. We should show everyone that not one friend will be left behind.

Reyhart Rumbayan (Eat) and Billy Augustan (Billy) have been imprisoned in Yogyakarta since 7th October 2011. Continue reading “Three comrades in prison in Indonesia”

Seven more charged over April Villawood riots

January 13: Seven men charged with rioting at Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre have been refused bail.

Nine buildings were destroyed by fire during the violent protests last April.

The detainees faced Central Local Court today [January 13] after being charged overnight.

They did not apply for bail and it was formally refused.

A total of 16 men have been charged over the riots.

Indonesia: Vandalism of Police Property Spiked in 2011

Jakarta Globe:

A sharp increase in the attacks on the country’s police offices and facilities last year is an indication of the public’s growing discontent toward law enforcers, a watchdog said on Tuesday.

Indonesian Police Watch said as many as 65 police offices and facilities were either burned or vandalized by members of the public in 2011, up from 20 such incidents in 2010.

“This significant rise shows how the people have become more and more resistant toward our law enforcement officials,” said Neta S. Pane, chairman of the watchdog. Continue reading “Indonesia: Vandalism of Police Property Spiked in 2011”