A protesting peasant has been shot dead by police in Indonesia.
Peasants have protested for a long time against the gold mine in Toribulu, Kasimbar, and South Tinombo sub-districts, Parigi Moutong district, Central province of the Sulawesi island. The gold mine belongs to the PT Trio Kencana company. 15.000 ha of land have been expropriated from the peasants. This decision was made by the govenor of the province, H. Longki Djanggola of the Gerindra Party. The Kencana company is partly owned by Goan Umbas, who is part of the Regional Advisory Board of the Gerindra Party for central Sulawesi province. So the mining entrepreneurs that profited from this state land grab were members of the same party as the governeur that issued them.
While the land that was robbed is the livelyhood of the people, the the toxic chemicals used in gold mining have the potential to create a major impact on people’s health and agricultural productivity as well as fishery. Thus the peasants rightfully demand: The concession for the mine should be revoked entirely, the land should be given back to the peasants.
On the 12th of February, the governor promised to meet with the protesters to hear their demands. When he did not come, the peasants made a multiple-hour blockade of the Trans Sulawesi Road. The police cleared the street of the protesting masses with sharp ammonition. Dozens were Injured, 59 other protesters were arbitrarily arrested. A 21 year-old man named Aldi was shot.
This is an brutal, but very common display of the bureaucratic-landlord state violence against the justified peasant‘s protests against imperialist plundering of their land and resources. Many cases like this happen in Indonesia, a semi-feudal semi-colonial country.
Worldwide, the mass protests against land grabbing and imperialist expropriation of land have increased drastically. The justified rebellions of the Indonesian people is no exception, and this is a direct threat to the rule of imperialism. The protesting peasants will learn from cases like this not to fall for the democratic mask of the old state which is melted into one with the ruling bureaucratic-landlord-ruling classes.