Logo: Solidarity South Pacific

Freeport CEO home demo

Taken from an Indymedia action report. He hid out somewhere else while we protested at his house...

Activists Hold Demonstration at Freeport-McMoRan CEO's Home

Sunday, Apr. 24, 2005 at 10:28 PM

Photo: Demonstrators at house holding placards

At 10am on April 22, 2005, activists with the West Papua Solidarity Group held a protest at Freeport-McMoRan CEO Richard Adkerson's French Quarter home. The demonstration called attention to Freeport-McMoRan's use of Indonesian military personnel, known for their human rights abuses, to guard it's Grasberg Mine in West Papua, Indonesia.

According to estimates by human rights groups, Indonesian military personnel in West Papua have killed some 100,000 people since Indonesia invaded and seized the territory in 1965. Attention was also called to the environmental impact the mining is having in the pristine rainforests where it is located. The ecological diversity in the environments that comprise West Papua is largely unexplored, and encompasses as much as 7% of all the world's plant and animal life. Activists said the mine's tailings and runoff are poisoning groundwater and creating large swathes of smothered forest, buried under silt Freeport dumps into local river systems. If the mine were located in the USA, the mining practices employed by Freeport-McMoRan would be illegal.

Photo: Demonstrators outside house holding placards

Some 20 activists made the case that the combined impact of Freeport-McMoRan's funding of Indonesia's military and its environmental impact in the region add up to nothing less than genocide, the systematic killing of an entire race or cultural group. This is being accomplished by the Indonesian military with Freeport's monetary contributions, and also through Freeport's destruction of the environment, which is what indigenous West Papuan peoples rely on for the maintenance of their ways of life. Activists also pointed out the importance of this culture to the world as there are over 250 distinct languages spoken in West Papua, each language comprising a specific cultural group and way of life. The atrocities waged by the Indonesian government and funded by Freeport-McMoRan's mining operations are causing an acute deterioration of these vital cultures.

Activists banged pots and pans, shook noisemakers, and held signs for over 2 hours outside Richard Adkerson's 1217 Burgundy St. residence. They also passed out over 150 leaflets explaining Freeport-McMoRan's mining operation and it's effects, as well as a flyers with questions neighbors could ask Mr. Adkerson about West Papua and Freeport.

Mr. Adkerson's neighbors seemed supportive and curious about our literature and even signed up to receive further announcements from West Papua Solidarity Group. Mr. Adkerson was not home at the time, and could not be reached for comment by us.

Placard: A Rich Murderer Lives Here. Papua merdeka!
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