SOLIDARITY ACTION FOR KULON PROGO FARMERS
WHEN : 10am, Monday, January 11, 2010
WHERE : Indonesian Consulate General, 72 Queens Road, Melbourne
HOW TO GET THERE : By public transport: Take tram numbers 3, 5, 6, 8, 55, 64, 67 or 72. Get off at High St. Walk towards Albert Park, turn left @ Queens Rd.
The Kulon Progo farmers in the Yogyakarta region of Indonesia have been hit by an enormous challenge to their decades of self-reliance and autonomous practice. Their land is being threatened by the prospect of being turned into an iron mine. Not only will this take away the livelihood of the farmers, but the mining project will have a massive environmental impact upon the land.
For decades, the Kulon Progo farmers have overcome obstacles that would otherwise have put a halt to their practice of living, such as daily battering by the wind and the occasional storm, and a ban on farming by the government. But their insistence on being autonomous and independent has helped their survival. Through the custom of meeting, discussing and sharing, they gradually found new strategies to grow and survive together.
That is, until the news came that, under the belly of the sand on which they thrive, there is fresh water and iron. The fresh water has revitalized the lives of the inhabitants of the region. But the iron has brought the attention of investors from mining companies.
In late 2005, PT Jogja Magasa Mining (Indonesia) in collaboration with Indo Mines Limited (Australia), made their way to the region and, with the help of the Indonesian government, imposed upon the farmers the project to mine the region’s iron ore.
Since 2005, through a strong solidarity, the Kulon Progo farmers have consistently opposed any kind of intervention into their livelihood as farmers. They have rejected offers to be waged, to work for people they have never known, and to destroy the land they have cultivated for decades.
And here in Melbourne, we would like to call each and every one of you to come out and be with us in opposing the iron mine, to show our support, and our solidarity with, the Kulon Progo farmers.
WE ARE VOCALLY SUPPORTING THE FARMERS AND PPLP*
WE ARE IN SOLIDARITY WITH THEIR STRUGGLE
* Paguyuban Petani Lahan Pantai = Association of Shoreline Farmers.