Mood: don't ask
Topic: human rights
The Big Media is rightly reporting terrible fatal unravelling of democracy in Kenya reinforcing the significance of a strong Australian Electoral Commission here in Australia Nov 24 federal election. Thank God for strong institutions who do their job. The unsung heroes of peace and stability. But we have major human rights concerns closer to home too:
What makes rebel leftists in Mindanao, Phillipines demand a 'revolutionary tax' and then bomb and destroy a mine majority owned by Xstrata? Is it cynicism learnt from their corporate capitalist masters, looking for their cut of the action, or do they have a social justice case?
It starts to look alot more than ideology or greed when in relation to the same controversy a local Catholic bishop is reportedly motivated to "lead some opposition to mine development, warning of environmental damage"?
Rebels raid gold mine | The Australian 3rd Jan 2008
[full copy cut and paste above]
Perhaps because it's happened before:
Xstrata is a quite a controversial mining multinational in recent Australian history too with its attempt to takeover uranium miner WMC which failed in 2005. Some interesting reference material about that here:
Big Media here:
Following little media here
Xstrata was deemed not fit to own WMC by most thinking Australians but it seems they are good enough to manage the environment in the Phillipines? Doubtful. They also dominate coal mining in NSW Hunter Valley, an activity that should be banned sooner rather than later if we want any world at all ie dangerous greenhouse gases:
Similarly what makes this dysfunction in PNG happen as reported in the same story tucked away in The Australian yesterday and no other press on our doorstep involving major Australian based companies?:
* A MAN has been killed in a gun battle between police and illegal miners near Barrick's giant Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea.
According to Enga Province Police Commander Michael Chare, the man was among a number of armed illegal miners searching for gold at the mine and was shot after the group opened fire, sparking a five-minute gun battle.
Hundreds of illegal miners risk injury and death each night to descend steep cliffs into the Porgera open pit to hunt for gold.
Additional reporting: Reuters, AAP [bold added]
in Rebels raid gold mine | The Australian p17 3rd Jan 2008
Let's not forget charming cyanide miner Barrick Gold on the home front too which is sucking the water table dry and vandalising Lake Cowal as here:
activist school educators 31 Jan to 14th Feb 2005 The cyanide mine at Lake Cowal as deep as Centrepoint Tower in Sydney
As much as the Big Media and corporate Australia want to quarantine such human rights, economic justice and environmental sustainability issues from local domestic press the reality is likely very connected. One imagines for instance many many willfully ignorant superannuation and other share market investors with their piece of the action in Xstrata, Glencore, and Barrick in their various corporate manifestations. The question becomes morally, what's the the difference between those shareholders and the gun toting leftists? Different tools?