Papua's remarkable highland peaks. Below the mist is the Grasberg mine carved out of the mountains. This is the traditional lands of the Amungme people. According to legend these mountains are the sacred home of their ancestral grandmother who guards the balance of nature. Freeport has been accused of disturbing this natural balance.
In an unprecedented action, thousands of workers from a giant US-run mine in Indonesia's remote Papua province have staged a protest demanding better wages and welfare.
The workers come from the Grasberg gold and copper mine high up in the mountainous interior (see photo above). They demonstrated outside the Indonesian headquarters of Freeport-McMoRan, which is in the lowlands about 70 kilometres downstream from the minesite. News reports say the protest was peaceful , but the thousands of demonstrators were flanked by Indonesian police at all times.
The workers have been gathering in Timika from surrounding villages and towns demanding to speak with a
The firm has disputed the claims.
Members of the Amungme people who live downstream from the Freeport mine project. In 2000 I reported on a mine spill which wiped out part of the Amungme village of Banti. You can read about this story and the struggles of Papua's people in my book Running Amok