Covers events from July to September 1916. Also includes a special edition about mining (No.88).
Private security guards employed by ‘Barrick Gold’, aided by local police have killed at least five miners at the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea. The shootings came after mine security confronted a group of 300 locals who they deemed to be ‘illegal miners’ and ‘trespassers’. Barrick Gold – the world’s largest producer of gold - has a long history of using violence, gang rape, and murder against their workers, and local people in Papua New Guinea. Barrick founder and owner, Peter Munk, claimed that ‘gang rape’ is just a ‘cultural habit’.
The mine bosses are denying any responsibility for the trouble, claiming that their staff was attacked by trespassers, and they called for police assistance.
Violence has spread to nearby villages. The following is a description of events via an eye-witness at the Protest-Barrick campaign:
Following violent clashes over the decision to dismiss hundreds of unionised workers and replace them with unaffiliated workers, locals in the Odisha region of India have forced the closure of seven large open cast coal mines, and two railway stations. 1,000 local workers ransacked the management offices and fought running battles with workers who remain loyal to the bosses.
Over forty mining vehicles have been set on fire and destroyed, and railway tracks have been damaged to prevent the transportation of coal. Several hundred police officers have been drafted into the village to try and regain control.
300 miners across two shifts at a mine in the Black Sea area of Zonguldak have barricaded themselves underground in protest at atrocious health and safety. Turkey has the worst mine safety record across all of Europe, with 2,554 miners losing their lives since 1991. They have vowed to continue their protest until the demands have been met.
The protest was initiated by workers on the night shift , and then gained widespread support from those who were due to work the day shift. Around 2000 workers who did not wish to go underground have been conducting a protest outside the mine in solidarity with their colleagues.
Beyond Thatcher : militant testimonies on miners’ struggles and British syndicalism from yesterday and today
This year, Margaret Thatcher’s death reminded us of the economic policies she initiated in Britain and her anti-social and anti-union fights. In the last months, Autre Futur [French syndicalist website and association] wished to go further and to conduct a series of interviews with different British unionists and syndicalists, about these past struggles but also about the present, in order to get a better grasp of issues which have emerged in recent decades.
The relevance of these testimonies and thoughts have been shown to go beyond the British context and remind us the importance of a greater international cooperation and solidarity in the face of life and working conditions’ deterioration.
This article, on insistent protests against an environmentallt destructive mining project in Romania, was written for ROARmag.org, where a slightly differently edited version can already be found, together with a very useful comment on the article.
For 8 consecutive days, people in Romania have been protesting a planned mining project in Rosia Montana, a mountain village. The protest is directed against threatened environmental destruction. But protests also express distrust of the government, of parties and the political establishment in general. There is already talk of a “Romanian Autumn”.
- Police and thieves: The British miners' strike of 1984-85 (Field, John)
- The battle for Britain: Four contrasts in the Miners' Strike (Sutcliffe, Bob)
- We danced in the miners' hall: An interview with "Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners" (Goldsmith, Larry Flynn, Brian Sutcliffe, Bob)