Cambodia: Road blocked, protester freed

People gather outside the Preah Vihear Provincial Hall yesterday afternoon to demand the release of a community representative who was picked up by the authorities and detained.  ADHOC

People gather outside the Preah Vihear Provincial Hall yesterday afternoon to demand the release of a community representative who was picked up by the authorities and detained.

5 Jan –

A community representative for villagers embroiled in two separate land disputes in Preah Vihear province was detained by police yesterday morning but released hours later after protesters blocked the road in front of the provincial hall with 10 two-wheeled tractors.

About 100 victims of two land disputes in the province’s Tbeng Meanchey and Rovieng districts have teamed up since December 28 to protest every day in front of the Preah Vihear Provincial Hall.

According to Lor Chan, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, 48-year-old Vong Sok Khengly, a representative for villagers in the Rovieng case, was arrested at 8am yesterday while he went to buy food at the market, but was freed at 2:15pm.

“The authorities arrested him, which is intimidation against the people who are just protesting peacefully for their rights without using axes or machetes or rifles to confront the authorities,” he said.

In reaction, protesters assembled the tractors and blocked the road. However, Preah Vihear Provincial Deputy Governor Su Serie said the authorities just detained the man to “educate him” for taking part in the protest outside the provincial hall.

“It was not an arrest, we just called him in for questioning since he disturbed officials during their meeting,” he said.

The situation de-escalated, however, after authorities promised to inspect the land dispute in Tbeng Meanchey today, pledging to look over the border and have the courts issue an order resolving the situation. Authorities have not yet addressed the land dispute in Rovieng, however.

Following the agreement, protesters left for their homes, though Adhoc’s Lor Chan said that they would resume their protests if a speedy resolution was not found.

According to San Reb, a local man who helps coordinate the villagers’ actions, the Rovieng district villagers are protesting against two companies that promised to build a road but have instead logged their forest since 2014.

Meanwhile, the villagers from Tbeng Meanchey district are protesting two Chinese companies, Lan Feng and Rui Feng, for allegedly clearing their lands.

Nuon Mun, who lives in Tbeng Meanchey’s Brame commune, said the villagers had kept urging authorities to solve the land dispute without success, characterising Sok Khengly’s brief arrest as “unjust”.

“He had been protesting since the 28th [of December], but the provincial authorities arrested him at the market after I sent him there to buy some food,” she said.

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Lake Horowhenua: Maori Protesters Occupy Sailing Club

15 Sept – On his way back from terminating the Maori occupation of Kaitaia Airport, Police Superintendent Wallace Haumaha was diverted to Lake Horowhenua to deal with another Maori occupation.

Last Sunday, more than twenty Mua-Upoko owners took possession of the former Sailing Club building overlooking this privately-owned lake.

Superintendent Haumaha warned these owners he could arrest them and lock them all up in jail, but was prepared to let the status quo remain while he conducted some investigations.

However, former Horowhenua District Councillor Anne Hunt was on hand to show Superintendent Haumaha copies of various court judgements including one from the Supreme Court confirming that the clubs were unlawfully occupying buildings that belong to Mua-Upoko.

She also pointed out that the Crimes Act justifies owners entering their own buildings during the daytime for the purpose of taking possession thereof.

Mrs Hunt says she is concerned that the police still assume that Lake Horowhenua is the subject of a Treaty claim.

“This is far from the truth”, she says. “A certificate of title was issued in 1899 for the bed of the lake and all the land surrounding it. It was then declared ‘inalienable’ by the Appellate Court.”

Nevertheless, Parliament passed a law in 1905 letting the public use this privately-owned lake free of charge.

Mrs Hunt says research commissioned by the Waitangi Tribunal confirms her suspicion that the Crown never bothered to consult the owners first, and as far as she is concerned, that is “theft by statute”. The owners have never received any compensation for the use of their lake.

Both the Rowing and Sailing Clubs had erected clubrooms on this freehold land without bothering to get permission from the owners first. The Court has already confirmed that as fixtures, these buildings now belong to the Mua-Upoko owners.

The other Domain building is occupied by members of the Horowhenua Rowing Club, who refuse to vacate the building even though their licence to occupy expired in 2007.

The Court of Appeal has since established that the Reserves Act prohibits any attempt to extend this lease even on a month-by-month basis.

Last Sunday, the owners recorded footage of the rowers trespassing on a waahi tapu site to launch their boats. Judge Atkins had warned them not to do so, and had summoned Police Inspector Mark Harrison to an in-Chambers hearing to put in place protocols to prevent further culturally-offensive behaviour.

Cr Jo Mason testified in court that rowers urinated in this area because there are no toilets in the building.

Mrs Hunt says that many of the owners believe they have been forced to tolerate this situation long enough. As 30 October marks 110 years since the Horowhenua Lake Act was passed, the owners are preparing to take back control of their own property and decide who can use their own facilities.

Plans are in place to set up a waka ama club this weekend, and negotiations will continue this week to decide what happens to the northern building at the Domain.

Indonesia: Chronology of Resistance in Rembang City, Jawa Tengah: Street and community conflict against military & police in struggle against the construction of a cement factory

This is a news report from one of our comrades in Rembang City, Jawa Tengah. Via 325

People in Rembang City in Jawa Tengah, Indonesia make a protest because the company PT. Semen Indonesia will build a factory in Rembang City. Why the farmers and people protest to that capitalism is because Jaringan Masyarakat peduli Pegunungan Kendeng (JMPPK) and Semarang Caver Association [farming and local community groups in Rembang City] found 109 springs, fountains or wells, as well as 49 caves and 4 underground rivers that make a great amount of pure water there.

And this is different news from Analisa Dampak Lingkungan (AMDAL) which is an organisation, or an ‘Non-Government Organisation’ that is a bullshit organisation that belongs to the government and PT. Semen Indonesia. They say they only found 20 fountains.

If PT. Semen Indonesia still make their factory and cement production in Rembang City, it will destroy nature and the water supply in Rembang City, because that water is directly produced from Watuputih mountain.

That’s why we must boycott PT. Semen Indonesia and AMDAL.

Feed the fire… burn baby burn….!!!! Continue reading “Indonesia: Chronology of Resistance in Rembang City, Jawa Tengah: Street and community conflict against military & police in struggle against the construction of a cement factory”

PNG: Deadly clashes between locals & the world’s biggest gold mining company

Papua New Guinea Mine Watch, 8 December: Violent clashes have once again erupted between local people, police and company security guards at the giant Porgera gold and silver mine in Papua New Guinea’s highlands, operated and largely owned by the Canadian corporation Barrick Gold – the world’s biggest gold mining company.

Green Left Weekly has been informed by a Porgera-based human rights group called the Akali Tange Association that major riots broke out following the December 2 fatal shooting of four local people by company security guards and members of the notorious PNG Police Mobile Task Force. One security guard was also killed.

On December 3 local people massed in their thousands around Porgera station, forced the mine to curtail its operations and clashed with paramilitary police.

One more local was reported to have been shot dead in the afternoon hours of that day when the angry crowd marched towards Paiam town.

“According to eyewitnesses the victim received bullet wounds on the head. The shooting occurred at Pogema bridge.

“Police blocked marching crowd from advancing towards Paiam when the confrontation triggered of shooting. Soon after, the raging mobs returned towards Porgera in rampage and anything on their way was destroyed. Continue reading “PNG: Deadly clashes between locals & the world’s biggest gold mining company”

Kyrgyzstan: crowd attacks Australian gold miner’s office

18 October: A crowd of about 200 people on Friday attacked the local office of Z-Explorer, an Australian company developing a gold field in southern Kyrgyzstan, in what appeared to be another violent conflict over the privatisation of the country’s resources.

A subsidiary of Australian-listed Manas Resources, Z-Explorer discovered the Shambesai deposit in 2008 and in 2012 it received a licence to develop the field, which holds estimated gold reserves of 8.8 tonnes. A bulldozer on its way to the deposit on Friday was met by an angry crowd, Jyldyz Akmatova, public affairs officer for Z-Explorer, said from the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek. Continue reading “Kyrgyzstan: crowd attacks Australian gold miner’s office”

West Papua: a growing movement against plantations

A Growing Movement Against Plantations in West Papua

“We, the indigenous people of Yowied Village reject corporations coming on to our land in Tubang District for the following reasons:
there is not so much land around Yowied Village.
Our lives are dependent on what our environment can provide.
Where will the future generations go?”

The sign is tied with coconut leaves, a signal that it is a ‘sasih’ marker, a traditional means to forbid passage. Similar signs can be seen in almost all villages in the area. They are backed up by an agreement between all villages in the area that no-one should give up their land, under pain of death. It’s a desperate first act of defiance to a modern world they know has no place for them. A plantations mega-project has been imposed on Merauke, West Papua, and 2.5 million hectares of forest, grassland and swamps – the ancestral lands of the Malind people – are being targeted for oil palm, industrial timber and sugar cane. Continue reading “West Papua: a growing movement against plantations”

Indonesia: Kulon Progo Farmer Tukijo Freed From Prison

Hidup Biasa, October 3: Tukijo finally walked free from Yogyakarta prison this morning, to be welcomed by his family, farmers from Kulon Progo and supporters of their struggle. There was no holding back the emotion as his friends hugged him in turn – a pointless and vindictive ordeal was over at last.

Tukijo is one of the thousands of farmers along the Kulon Progo coast who are defending their land from an Australian mining company in partnership with the local feudal leader. He was snatched from his fields by police in May 2011 and sentenced to three years in prison for doing nothing more than telling a company worker to get off the land.

After nearly two and a half years in prison, Tukijo will now be able to return to his farm to plant chillis and watermelons once again, as the land has not yet been taken over by Indomines for its iron sand mine. Whether due to it’s tumbling share price, a fall in demand for iron from China or the farmers’ determined resistance, the mining company’s plans have been put back again and again. Continue reading “Indonesia: Kulon Progo Farmer Tukijo Freed From Prison”