BP Die-In in New York City
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BP Die In Planned for New York City

Brought to you by: Extinction Rebellion NYC, Earth Strike, East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN), and the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council

When: Tuesday, January 15, 6pm 
Where: Union Square, New York City 

Protest BPClimate activists and others will gather in New York's Union Square in solidarity with the Indigenous peoples of West Papua, to demand that petroleum multinational BP:  

1) End support of the Indonesian military genocide in West Papua
2) Capture the carbon released from Tangguh, a massive liquefied natural gas plant in West Papua. 

Tangguh, one of the world’s largest gas extraction plants, has an estimated worth of US$128 billion and rests on 14 trillion cubic meters of gas. Each year over 4 million tons of CO2 are released from Tangguh. Expansions now underway will double production and greenhouse gas emissions to 8 millions tons a year.

Freedom in an Entangled World - Order from ETANThe die in (actually a “snow in”) will bring attention to the white phosphorus--a banned chemical weapon--used last month by the Indonesian military in West Papua. White phosphorus burns skin and flesh, down to the bone. In December, Indonesian helicopters dropped white phosphorus on four villages in West Papua’s highlands.

BP’s private security forces - run by retired Indonesian army and police personnel - openly collaborate with the Indonesian military: BP exchanges information with Indonesia's military, and Indonesian police and military officers provide training to BP’s security. BP also provides direct payments to Indonesian military and police: since 2010, BP has paid $670,000 to the Indonesian police, and as of November 2018, BP’s accounts show $266,000 in payments to the police for joint security operations in 2016.

We demand that BP end these payments to Indonesian security forces. We also demand that BP halt production at the Tangguh liquid natural gas plant until adequate carbon capture technologies are put in place.  

Extinction Rebellion is coordinating a major direct action in New York City on January 26th (xrr.nyc).

Contacts:    

  • Dr. Eben Kirksey, (917)-225-4876, eben.kirksey (at) gmail.com

  • Karlos Edmonds, (732)-740-4863, jerseykarlos (at) gmail.com 

  • Seán ó Conghaile, (631-316-2477), connollysean66 (at)gmail.com

  • John M. Miller, (917)690-4391, john (at) etan.org

  • Earth Strike NYC, EarthStrikeNYC (at) protonmail.com

see also ETAN West Papua pages

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND

From its inception, BP's plant in West Papua has caused problems for local communities. BP has blocked access to fishing grounds, compelled the relocation of ten villages (partly through promised incentives that the company has largely failed to follow through on), polluted the surrounding environment, and released massive amounts of C02 into the atmosphere. Despite promises of lucrative employment for the indigenous peoples of West Papua, the majority of workers have been brought in from Indonesia, and locals have been denied jobs in skilled positions. This influx of high-wage workers, combined with the failure to hire locals, threatens displacement of the local population and has caused inflation in the local economy.

As members of the local indigenous population reported to the Guardian in 2008: 

“We predicted that BP and Indonesia would not care about the very survival of the Papuans on their land and their nation. We expected that BP and Indonesia would continuously destroy our forests and our trees and pollute the rivers and seas. And we feared that BP and Indonesia would bring misfortune for the Papuans by employing skilled workers from outside West Papua, claiming that we Papuans are not 'skilled workers'. I have to tell you that our worst predictions and fears have come true."[1]

Since 2008, the situation has deteriorated. A 2015 report, published by international indigenous advocacy organizations in collaboration with local Papuan organizations, details the environmental degradation of the area around BP’s gas extraction plant: “once a remote area covered with rainforest and mangrove forest, is in the process of being converted into an industrial landscape’. [5

A local human rights organization, LP3BH, reports that since the arrival of BP, there has been a marked increase in reported incidents of violence in the area. These incidents include disputes between BP employees, including security guards, either with fellow employees or with members of the surrounding communities. [4]

What’s more, BP legitimizes and funds the ongoing occupation of West Papua by Indonesia. For decades, the Indonesian state has occupied West Papua, dispossessing the indigenous population, overseeing extraction of natural resources and environmental destruction, denying its people the right to self-determination, and brutally repressing independence movements. Indonesia annexed West Papua in 1969, after the UN backed a sham referendum on independence. As the Guardian reports, “When the ballot was held in 1969, it was far from free and fair: the Indonesian military handpicked 1,026 leaders to vote on behalf of the entire population, and threatened to kill them and their families if they voted the wrong way.” Since then, the people of West Papua have been flatly denied self-determination, and the UN, along with most of the Western world, has largely ignored the occupation and brutalization of the indigenous population. [6] [7]

The Indonesian state denies human rights organizations and journalists access to West Papua, but Papuan organizations report a situation of repression and outright ethnic cleansing. They report the killing of hundreds of thousands of indigenous peoples, the destruction of entire villages, torture, weaponized sexual assault, mass imprisonment of political protesters, and a denial of freedom of expression. In 2004, Yale Law School reported that there was “a strong indication that the Indonesian government has committed genocide against the West Papuans”. In 2018, Amnesty International released a report documenting 95 cases of police and military extrajudicial killings in Papua and West Papua, carried out with total impunity, between 2010 and 2018. Recent incidents bring fear of a brutal crackdown by Indonesia in West Papua. A recent report by an Australian newspaper claims that the Indonesian military has used White Phosphorus against Papuan civilians. [3] [7] [8] [9] [10]

Indonesia's occupation is only possible due to the support and collaboration of western governments and corporations, and one of the major corporate partners in Indonesian occupation of West Papua is BP.

Indonesian security forces deny using white phosphorous in West Papua's highlands, but disturbing photographs of wounded bodies and weapons canisters suggest otherwise. John Martinkus and Mark Worth report in Australia's Saturday Paper: "A military source confirms the weapons “appear to be incendiary or white phosphorus”. The source says “even the smallest specks burn through clothing, skin, down to the bone and keep on bubbling away. I have seen it up close and personal and it’s a horrible weapon.” Sources say at least four villages have been attacked with white phosphorous, from the air, from artillery and from ground troops. The Indonesian army has sealed off the area." [11] 

SOURCES:  

[1] The Guardian, “Shattered illusions,” March 19, 2008

[2] Offshore Technology, “BP presses on with Tangguh expansion project,” February 2018

[3] The Saturday Paper, “Exclusive: Chemical weapons dropped on Papua," December 2018

[4] New Matilda, “SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: BP In West Papua – Slow Motion Genocide, High Speed Profit”, November 2018

[5] awasMIFEE, "West Papua Oil Palm Atlas: The companies behind the plantation explosion", May 2015

[6] The Guardian, “The West Papuan independence movement - a history”, August 2013

[7] The Guardian, “West Papua independence petition is rebuffed at UN”, September 2017

[8] Amnesty International, “INDONESIA: POLICE AND MILITARY UNLAWFULLY KILL ALMOST 100 PEOPLE IN PAPUA IN EIGHT YEARS WITH NEAR TOTAL IMPUNITY”, July 2018  

[9] Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School, “Indonesian Human Rights Abuses in West Papua: Application of the Law of Genocide to the History of Indonesian Control”, April 2004,

[10] Free West Papua. “Human Rights

[11] The Saturday Paper, “Exclusive: Chemical weapons dropped on Papua”,

[12] Eben Kirksey (2012) Freedom in Entangled Worlds: West Papua and the Global Architecture of Power. Durham: Duke University Press.

   

 
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