Friday, February 3, 2012

West Papua Report Feb 2012

Read full report here 

Summary: The trial of five Papuans who led a peaceful demonstration in October 2011 demanding Papuans' right to self determination has begun. There has been no prosecution of security forces who brutally attacked that demonstration, killing at least three peaceful demonstrators and beating scores more. The U.S. State Department called on the Indonesian authorities to ensure due process for those indicted and urged that Indonesia respect its international legal obligations related to the trial. Human Rights Watch, for its part, called for the release of the five Papuans who are being tried under an archaic "subversion" provision of the criminal code. WPAT presents an exclusive report on efforts by the Indonesian special forces, Kopassus, to organize a propaganda campaign on West Papua. The campaign targets the U.S. and other governments for purportedly seeking to exert influence there. In its annual report, Human Rights Watch describes a worsening environment for human rights in West Papua. Reporters without Borders, in another global review, notes the growing threat to journalists in West Papua. The Asian Human Rights Commission reports on new Indonesian security force torture of Papuan civilians. The Indonesian government is colluding with Interpol in an effort to arrest prominent Papuan dissident Benny Wenda. Indonesian joins a number of repressive regimes attempting to use Interpol to silence critics. Jakarta has announced plans for a massive road building scheme in West Papua which will facilitate developers access to virgin forest areas. A revealing report by the Jakarta Globe explores the prevalence of illiteracy among Papuan children, even in urban areas, and notes the central government's persistent failure to provide educational services to Papuans. The Government has again announced plans to create a new Papuan province, a step which will further divert funds from essential services for Papuans.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Occupy Freeport Friday Feb 3

Statement for Phoenix Occupy Freeport DemonstrationFriday, February 3, 2012

Freeport's Grasburg mine in West Papua
The East Timor and Indonesian Action Network (ETAN), in conjunction with the Industrial Workers of the World and Occupy Phoenix will be protesting the Freeport-McMoRan Corporation at their headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday, February 3, from 4-6 p.m. We are acting in solidarity with the people of West Papua to bring attention to Freeport's egregious human, labor, and environmental rights problems.  

In New York, ETAN will hold an Occupy Freeport event Friday from from 6-7:30 p.m., 60 Wall Street Atrium in Manhattan an important meeting place for OccupyWallStreet.

From the statement issued in support of these events:
We believe that Freeport-McMoRan must be held accountable for its atrocious record. We also believe that Freeport should listen to its West Papuan workers' demands for better working conditions and pay, and should be required to clean up the grave environmental damage it has caused in West Papua. While Freeport is not responsible for all of the political turmoil in West Papua, we are convinced that its actions are making the situation worse. Token payments to West Papuans and increased royalties to the central government are not substitutes for genuine control by Papuans over their resources.
Read the full statement here

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sign Petition: Stop the anti-union attacks in Dili

Sign the petition:

Stop the anti-union attacks: Support Mandiri bank workersMandiri Bank, the largest in Indonesia, has operated since 2003 in Timor-Leste's capital, Dili. Mandiri is one of small number who operate in the growing finance sector. They, alongside others including Australia's  ANZ, have enjoyed a growth in business in the years since their arrival.

Similarly, a small but dedicated trade union movement have started the task of organising workers following Timor's independence.

Serikat Pekerja Bank Mandiri Timor-Leste (SP-BMTL), or the Mandiri Bank Workers' Union (MBWU), was established in 2006 and represents 41 of the 42 workers employed by Mandiri in their Dili office. However, in recent months bank workers have faced a severe pushback in their right to conduct union activities in the workplace.

On November 30, 2011 Joaquim Gonzaga was dismissed by General Manager, Mr. Mohamad Yani, following an ongoing dispute regarding Yani's attempt to by-pass collective decision making processes that had been in place at the bank since 2003 and instead appoint a friend to a newly created position at the bank.

Attempts made by the union to reach a settlement in the dispute backfired when Helder Barreto (also chair of the union) was also sacked for attempting to organise a meeting between bank management and the MBWU's larger affiliate, the General Workers Union of Timor-Leste (GWU).

In response to the seconding dismissal, staff led a protest and demanded that the bank reinstate both workers. This protest failed, and the vice-chair of the union, Leonardo Bele Bau Amaral, became the third casualty when he was also dumped by the bank for organising the staff protest.

According to the Constitution of Timor-Leste, "Dismissal without just cause or on political, religious and ideological grounds is prohibited." Furthermore, Section 51 stipulates that "every worker has the right to resort to strike, the exercise of which shall be regulated by law."

The MBWU has continued to engage in peaceful and legal industrial action to protest the decision made by Mandiri management, but still Joaquim, Helder, and Leonardo are still without their jobs.

It is essential that workers' rights are defended wherever they are attacked. Express your support and solidarity with the union movement of Timor-Leste and say to Mandiri Bank: NO to union busting, YES to workers' rights.

Sign this petition, and support Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA's partnerships with social justice and humanitarian development organisations by joining our Global Justice Partner program.

Information from APHEDA.