[Global Post] Occupy Wall Street-style protest in Indonesia leads to closure of world’s largest gold mine


As the Occupy Wall Street movement spreads like dominoes, resentment toward corporate greed has led to the deaths of four Indonesians and the temporary closure of the American-owned Grasberg mine, one of the world’s largest gold and copper mines, in the remote region of West Papua.

Workers at the giant mine, which is owned by the U.S.-based Freeport-McMoran, are on strike for the second month straight. Although the company says it has managed to hire outsourced workers to prevent any significant slowdown in production, that all changed on Monday when the mine halted production for security reasons. Markets, however, have yet to react to the closure.

I remember writing a paper on Freeport-McMoran, as well as, the colonization of West Papua in High School. This closure of the mines, albeit temporary, and albeit at the loss of four lives, is a great victory in the context of struggle.