Showing posts from October, 2011

Timeline of Events Surrounding The Freeport Miners' Strike and The Third Papuan People's Congress

SEPT 15:

8,000 (about 70%) of workers of PT Freeport Indonesia, the Indonesian unit of US mining giant Freeport-McMoRan, launched a planned month-long strike at the Grasberg mining facilities in Timika, demanding salaries equivalent to what the Phoenix, Arizona-based company pays in other countries — a raise from between $2.10-$3.50/hour to as high as $17-$43/hour.

The strike is costing the Indonesian State up to $6.7 million in losses per day. The losses for Freeport-Mcmoran are estimated somewhere in the range of $19-30 million per day. By Freeport’s own estimation the impact of the strike to aggregate daily production is 3 million pounds of copper and 5000 ounces of gold for each day of the work stoppage. Several attempts to negotiate met with failure.

OCT 10:

Tensions rose as Freeport tried moving replacement workers into the mine workers’ barracks. Indonesian security forces opened fire on striking workers. Mine worker Petrus Ayamiseba was shot and killed. Six other workers were a…

A Prayer For Overcoming Indifference

I watch the news, GOD. I observe it all from a comfortable distance. I see people suffering, and I don't lift a finger to help them. I condemn injustice but I do nothing to fight against it. I am pained by the faces of starving child, but I am not moved enough to try to save them. I step over homeless people in the street, I walk past out-stretched hands, I avert my eyes, I close my eyes.

Forgive me, GOD, for remaining aloof while others are in need of my assistance.

Wake me up, GOD; ignite my passion, fill me with outrage. Remind me that I am responsible enough for Your world. Don't allow me to stand idly by. Inspire me to act. teach me to believe that I can repair some corner of this world.

When I despair, fill me with hope. When I doubt my strength, fill me with faith. When I am weary, renew my spirit. When I lose direction, show me the way back to meaning, back to compassion. back to You. Amen.
Naomi Levy

Revolution and Mindset

What do we mean by the Revolution? The battles and wars? The skirmishes? The street protests? The petitions?

I do not consider them part of the Revolution; it is only the inevitable effect and dire or worthwhile consequence of it. At times, the engagement swamps the propaganda, the wildfire burns the defenders, and stimulates the passions of those believing and aggressively fighting their Cause.

The revolution must be in the minds of the people. Not just a thought of jumping in the bandwagon, or synergies with the popularised culture of resistance. The people, the individual, must believe in what they do, and act upon them. 

In that essence, only then we have a Revolution.

The flood of politics & ego hampers Thailand's relief work

I am very concerned about the impact of the floods, not just in Bangkok but the other provinces of Thailand. There seems to be a coordination gap between their federal government and the related province administration. I don't really care about the politics behind the scenes but I do worry about the impact towards marginalised people, specially those made vulnerable due to the lack of unity and coordination of humanitarian aid. I worry about the homeless, the streetkids, the families living in the slums, the refugee and the migrant worker.

Thailand is no stranger to natural disasters, much less the ever-increasing floods. Though its simplistic for me to say that governments and NGOs should work collectively to prevent such occurrence, in reality it's not an easy feat... Nothing is ever easy in a flood-stricken situation. I'm well aware of natural disasters and the politics behind them, along with war-torn countries, filled with strife and mayhem. I have done my tours of …



by westpapuamedia

This is raw footage of Wednesday's attack by the Indonesian military and police on the Third Papuan People's Congress in Jayapura. The footage shows people dancing, soldiers closing in, and gun shots. The video was shot by several observers. The last sequence was shot while the camera person was hiding from gunfire. Police have now confirmed that five people were killed in the attack - human rights groups say it was more.

by Numbay Media — via our partners

Thailand: Fighting Mother Nature (video)

The flooding has already killed 320 people, with 9 million others affected. Will the people learn from this experience? Can their country manage natural disasters in a more efficient and effective way next year?

West Papua: Resistance & Revolution against a brutal colonist

The police chief who is responsible for atrocities in occupied West Papua, Adj. Sr. Comr. Imam Setiawan, said that he would 'finish' those who support subversion.

“Whoever supports separatism or subversion activity, I will do the same as yesterday [forcefully dissolve the 3rd Papua People’s Congress]. I’ll finish [them],” he said.

Spoken like a fucking mass-murderer. Genocide. 

He said the Papua People’s Congress had not been conducted according to the permit request, so he was forced to shut down the event. 

A gathering of the indigenous lawful owners of West Papua, and they deserved to be shot and tortured and terrorized? What fucking bullshit is that???

“So, if there is anyone supporting such movements, I’m ready to die and finish them,” he said. “This is my duty.”

Oh yes, do wish it so as those who brutalize, rape and murder the West Papuans deserve a befitting end to their occupation and their practice of slavery. There is no democracy in Papua. There is only the presence of a …

Our Hope of Evolution

If we must all agree, all work together, we're no better than a machine. If an individual can't work in solidarity with his fellows, it's his duty to work alone. His duty and his right. We have been denying people that right. We've been saying, more and more often, you must work with the others, you must accept the rule of the majority. 

But any rule is tyranny. The duty of the individual is to accept no rule, to be the initiator of his own acts, to be responsible. Only if he does so will the society live, and change, and adapt, and survive. We are not subjects of a State founded upon law, but members of a society founded upon revolution. Revolution is our obligation: our hope of evolution.

-- Ursula K. Le Guin

Human Rights Doesn't Exist in West Papua

Someone mentioned to me last night that the United States has been a "global leader" for quite some time, in promoting human rights; this is despite its own brutality in enforcing its own brand of the New World Order. What a joke. What human rights?
While West Papua, shredded by the hypocritical cocktail of global complacency and ignorance, remains at the lowest pits of attention. Human rights doesn't exist in West Papua. You'll only find: Genocide.    

You'll find the the outcomes of the U.S' partnership withIndonesia's Government: 

Komnas HAM calls for harshest possible punishment
Indonesian Human Rights Abuses in West Papua: Application of the Law of Genocide to the History of Indonesian Control
West Papuan rebels struggle for freedom
Forgotten Bird of Paradise
Hillary says U.S.will play ball with torturers in West Papua

More News and Advocacy on Twitter: 
@PurePapua  @akrockefeller  @westpapuamedia 

Black Elk - The World That is Behind This One

"Crazy Horse dreamed and went into the world where there is nothing but the spirits of all things. That is the real world that is behind this one, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that one."
-- Black Elk --

IRIN Asia | THAILAND: New drug crackdown raises concerns

CHIANG MAI, 18 October 2011 (IRIN) - Thailand's new government has unveiled plans for an ambitious crackdown on drugs, with an emphasis on rehabilitation and compassion.

Officially announced on 3 October, the policy includes placing some 400,000 drug addicts in rehabilitation programmes within the year, as well as arresting some 10,000 known dealers.

But while the planned focus on rehabilitation is seen as a step forward in a country where nearly 3,000 people were killed during the 2003 controversial war on drugs, human rights groups and activists remain sceptical.

"An ambitious and worrying target has been set to 'rehabilitate' 400,000 drug users within one year," says Human Rights Watch (HRW) spokesman Sunnai Pasuk.

"Concerns remain about the potential arbitrary arrests and detention of drug users in compulsory drug 'rehabilitation' centres, mostly run by the military and Interior Ministry, where 'treatment' is based on military-style physical …

Abuse alleged at Canberra-funded rehab centre

BANGKOK: Australia and other Western nations have donated to a supposed drugs treatment centre in Laos where hundreds of detainees, including children, are held against their will and are beaten and brutalised, Human Rights Watch says.

Rights Not Rescue

Sex workers are subjected to widespread human rights abuses, including police violence and unequal access to health care, in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. Despite enormous challenges, they are organizing to protect their rights and demand an end to violence and discrimination.

A report published by the Open Society Institute, Rights Not Rescue, is based on a series of interviews and focus groups with sex workers and advocates throughout the three countries.

In this animated short film, sex workers who participated in the research tell their personal stories and collectively call for hope and change.

Border Realms: A Ghostly Ruin in Thailand’s South (Photos)

Source: South Thailand

Chilean girls stage 'occupation' of their own school in education rights protest

For five months, girls demanding free university education for all have defied police to occupy their state school

Sleeping on a tiled classroom floor, sharing cigarettes and always on the lookout for police raids, the students of Carmela Carvajal primary and secondary school are living a revolution.

It began early one morning in May, when dozens of teenage girls emerged from the predawn darkness and scaled the spiked iron fence around Chile's most prestigious girl's school. They used classroom chairs to barricade themselves inside and settled in. Five months later, the occupation shows no signs of dying and the students are still fighting for their goal: free university education for all.

A tour of the school is a trip into the wired reality of a generation that boasts the communication tools that feisty young rebels of history never dreamed of. When police forces move closer, the students use restricted Facebook chat sessions to mobilise. Within minutes, they are able to ra…

Begging For Survival In Saigon

After 11 years of begging on the streets of Ho Chi Minh city, 14-year-old Sok Sang still relies on body language and a cheerful smile as he wanders through markets from daybreak till nightfall seeking change from adults. He has picked up just a few phrases of Vietnamese, like “please give a little bit of money” and “do you want to buy a lottery ticket?”

The second phrase he learned about two years ago when police began cracking down on beggars because tourists found them disturbing. Beggars in Ho Chi Minh, including hundreds of Cambodian children, switched to selling lottery tickets to avoid being rounded up, detained and sent back to the parched fields of Svay Rieng province, where most of them were born.

Sok Sang left his home in Svay Rieng province’s Kampong Rou district with his older brother when he was three. He remembers almost nothing about it: not even his mother’s face. But even though he cannot remember what she looks like, he says he and his brother need to earn enough to …

A Quick Take on Activism Courtesy of A Wandering Mind

The volatility of the far-right, and far-left, behavior, the unpredictable and troublesome emotions of activists. Activism is a lot like the turbulence on an damaged bright red airplane, spinning uncontrollably, nose-dive towards a rocky valley: terrifying, gut-wrenching and feeling the sense of hopelessness. Is there a good side to activism? Yes to the people we serve but good things are usually brief, or almost non-existent for the hard core activists. Society treats an activist with distrust or more commonly associated with the need to practice the "shut-the-fuck-up" approach on the increasingly anxious activist. Some have associated activists with rapid-tongue lawyers or intimidating criminals, with immense annoyance and hostile prejudice. Or are activists oblivious, self-serving people, obsessed with self glory? And what are the goals of leftist and rightist activists? Or is there such a thing as an ultra-activists? Hmmm...

But are we not supposed to be fighting for a C…

KENYA-SOMALIA: A day in the life of a refugee

DADAAB, 7 October 2011 (IRIN) - Moulid Iftin Hujale has spent 14 of his 24 years in the world's largest refugee complex, Dadaab, in eastern Kenya, close to his home country, Somalia. As well as working with an NGO in the complex's Ifo camp, Hujale is a writer and freelance journalist. In this second instalment of his account of life in Dadaab, he reflects further on the quotidian reality of camp life and the tantalizing opportunity of escape offered by a scholarship:
Source: KENYA-SOMALIA: A day in the life of a refugee

Ex-monk burns to death in latest outbreak of Tibetan unrest

Fate of second man unknown as self-immolation death rate in Sichuan province rises to seven in two and a half years

Two more young men, believed to be former monks, have set fire to themselves in the latest self-immolations in a troubled Tibetan area of western China, exiles and campaign groups have said.

Choepel, 19, and Khayang, 18, are thought to be from the Kirti monastery in Aba, Sichuan province, known as Ngaba to Tibetans. Choepel is believed to have died at the scene while the condition and whereabouts of Khayang are unknown, Free Tibet said.

The public security bureau in Aba denied any knowledge of an incident. "Nothing like that happened here. I am not aware of the situation," a spokeswoman told Reuters, despite claims that police officers had helped extinguish the flames and beaten the men as they took them to hospital.

Until 2009 experts knew of only one Tibetan self-immolation, by a lay person living overseas. But today's death was the second at Kirti withi…

Ethiopia’s ‘bulldozer’ government arrests 100 tribal people over dam

A girl from Ethiopia's Mursi tribe, which faces intimidation from Ethiopia's security forces
© Magda Rakita/ Survival Survival has received reports that around one hundred Ethiopian tribespeople have been arrested and jailed for opposing Ethiopia’s controversial Gibe III dam.

Plans for the dam and irrigated land plantations nearby are gathering pace, along with rising repression and intimidation to any opposition.

A policeman reportedly told one indigenous community that the government was, ‘like a bulldozer, and anyone opposing its development projects will be crushed like a person standing in front of a bulldozer.’

Ethiopia is leasing out large tracts of tribal lands in the South Omo region to foreign and state run companies for the growth of sugar cane, crops and biofuel plantations. These will be fed by water from the dam.

But a climate of fear is growing in the region as opposition to these leases is being brutally suppressed by the country’s secret police and mi…

Brazilian tribe’s ‘unequalled’ suicide rate highlighted on World Mental Heath Day

Brazilian tribe’s ‘unequalled’ suicide rate highlighted on World Mental Heath Day:

Guarani family from Brazil sit next to a coffin
© Joaó Ripper/SurvivalOn World Mental Health Day (October 10) Survival International has warned of the fatal and lasting consequences land loss can have on indigenous peoples.

An epidemic of suicide unique in South America has beset one tribe in Brazil – "the Guarani":/tribes/guarani. More than 625 Guarani have taken their lives since 1981, the youngest just 9 years old.

The tribe has seen virtually all its land stolen in recent decades by farmers and cattle ranchers.

According to the World Health Organization, ‘indigenous peoples often have elevated suicide rates compared with the general population in their countries. Depending on the place and age group, the suicide rate can be over 100/100,000 per year, and two, three or more times higher than the general population.’

Guarani Indians evicted from their land, now camping by a highway.


10 Years On, Afghanistan Defined by Poverty, Conflict

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the United States-led invasion of Afghanistan. But a decade and many billions of dollars later, Afghanistan is still desperately poor and battling a worsening insurgency.

Out of sight and out of the minds of millions of Americans, the war is the most prolonged conflict the United States has been engaged in since Vietnam. President Barack Obama said it was the longest in US history. 

Bangkokians worried by rising cost of living: survey

Most Bangkokians are worried by the rising cost of living, an opinion survey has found.

The survey was conducted by Bangkok University on the occasion of World Mental Health Day, which falls on October 10. The pollster interviewed 1,189 Bangkok residents, who are at least 18 years old, from September 30 to October 3. 

The survey found that most or 35.7 per cent of respondents cited the rising cost of living as their biggest worry during the past two months after the Yingluck government took office. The cost of living was followed by traffic problem (8.3 per cent), debt (7.9 per cent) and flooding (6.4 per cent) as biggest worry. And 6.3 per cent of respondents said they worried that they would not receive Bt300 daily minimum wage or Bt15,000 salary as promised by the government.

513,860 people suffer from flood-related disease - Thailand

Health officials in Bangkok, Saraburi, Nakhon Sawan, and Pitsanulok are urged to monitor the outbreak of flood related diseases in the lower northern region and central region.
Public health ministry has reported that about 513,860 people are suffering from flood related disease. The number of new cases has increased to 20,000 each day. About 3,104 cases were under stress and 4,435 people were suffering from depression. About 574 were at risk from committing suicide.


Heroin and crack cocaine use in decline

Experts say turning point had been reached in England's heroin epidemic, with fall particularly sharp among the under 30s
Young people in England are turning their backs on the most dangerous illegal drugs for the first time in 30 years, according to the head of the national treatment agency.
New figures show that the total number of drug users entering treatment for heroin or crack cocaine has fallen by 10,000 over the past two years.

The official data shows that the fall in heroin use is particularly sharp among under 30s with the number of 18-24 year olds in treatment more than halving and the 25-29 age group almost matching this fall.
Drug treatment experts say that they are "cautiously optimistic" that the heroin epidemic which has gripped Britain since the 1980s may have finally passed its high water mark.

THAILAND: International community urged on impunity of "drug war" killers — Asian Human Rights Commission

(Hong Kong, October 6, 2011) The killers of thousands of persons during the "war on drugs" conducted in Thailand from 2003 to 2005 continue to enjoy impunity for their crimes over six years on, a relative of one teenage victim of extrajudicial killing said at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva on Monday.
Mrs. Pikul Phromchan told delegates participating in an event convened by non-governmental organizations FORUM-ASIA, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) at the UN, two days before the Universal Periodic Review of Thailand's compliance with human rights instruments, that police in the northeastern province of Kalasin killed her nephew, Mr. Kiettisak Thitboonkrong "in order to hide the pernicious nature of the police officers and the weak judicial process" in her country. "There was no framework within the drug suppression policy to prevent base and amoral state officials from using violence,&q…

MYANMAR: Blocked dam project raises hopes

YANGON, 5 October 2011 (IRIN) - Environmentalists and activists hope Myanmar will keep its promise to suspend construction of a controversial hydroelectric dam in the northern Kachin State, despite calls by the Chinese government for talks over the decision.

Machinations behind Thai military moves

Machinations behind Thai military moves:

A dispute between Thailand's Yingluck Shinawatra-led government and senior military officials over a long-awaited appointment of the new army chief of staff has thrown a shadow over what was ultimately to be an amicable reshuffle. The real test will be her brother Thaksin's possible return in the next few months, since the appointments essentially leave an institution still largely controlled by his political opponents. - John Cole and Steve Sciaccitano (Oct 5, '11)...


The loyalties of the army should be for the people. The balance of power between the loyalty to the institution/monarchy or to the government/politicians doesn't solve the fundamental concern of why the military would eventually be used against the Thai people.   

Military Getting Away With Murder, Activists Claim

Human rights lawyers are using the occasion of the Indonesian Military’s 66th anniversary today to highlight what they say is the need to reform the institution’s “untouchable” legal status.

The latest case of military inaction over the murder of a civilian by one of its own has again illustrated what is a longstanding problem, they say. 

It has been four months since a member of the Indonesian Military (TNI) was accused of killing Pardamean Tampubolon, the manager of a cafe in Cibubur, East Jakarta. Yet there have been few if any steps taken to prosecute the case. 

“[Military Police] have only identified one suspect, Chandra Sakti of the 17th Infantry Brigade, even though the victim was attacked by more than one person that night,” Saibun M., from the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI), said on Tuesday. 

The investigation by the military has not been transparent, he said, and the family has yet to receive any information on developments in the case. 

“Meanwhile there…

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. 

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

- Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear.

Incubator of Poverty and Injustice

We see poverty every fucking day. Poverty going on a rampage. Affecting millions of people. Everywhere. Families affected, lives are lost, starvation going amok and the 'ignorance' of those who can still afford a luxurious meal at a fine-dining restaurant.

Ignorance breeds a sense of complacency. It gives birth to an abomination. This abomination born through minutes of hell, reeks with contempt for those who are not privileged, and for those not complying with their standards of social order. The social order of those with and without food. A fucked social order.

The rising prices of food affects accessibility, we all know that. Yet we are content with the wastage. People seems to have a fetish wicked goal to waste food while many are unable to taste it. We take food and clean drinking water for granted. And why is that? Are we just satisfied to live a lifestyle befitting the bourgeois while others suffer? Seems so. Don't really fucking understand their bizarre logic.


A future prison provides educational opportunity for Pakistan’s flood-displaced children

A future prison provides educational opportunity for Pakistan’s flood-displaced children:

THATTA DISTRICT, SINDH, Pakistan, 26 September 2011 - Inside the high walls of a prison near Thatta city, children displaced by Pakistan’s recent monsoon floods are enjoying the opportunity to return to class. A prison may seem a surprising place for a relief camp, but this jail is only partially completed, and the large empty, flat space inside the walls make for an ideal location to set up row upon row of tents.

Source: Pakistan

The maze of complexities ~ Travelling in Bangkok

Been in Bangkok for the past two weeks, and I have seen the towering buildings, the shrines, the beautiful temples, and the confusing corporate rat race that makes the city a monument of ultra-capitalism and overzealous success.

But despite it all, I am impressed with the sheer survival skills of the average Thai and the migrant (refugees included) workforce that makes the lifeblood of this metropolis. Thais are hard-working, possessing unbelievable entrepreneurial experience, living in a climate torn by a widening gap between the rich (elites) and the poor. The alleged corruption is unbelievable, which is enhanced by the bureaucratic nightmare of systems and aimless procedures.

Capitalism is brutal here. The poor, many living in the slums or inmigrating from rural areas, are at the mercy of the rich and fight a daily struggle to survive. The welfare system is almost chaotic, breeding little benefits. But my admiration goes to them, especially the street vendors. I admire their…