Anti-mining protests rock New Caledonia

Anti-mining protests have made some international news from Mongolia and Indonesia. The latest entry is from the French colonial holding of New Caledonia. Note that protests causing “millions of dollars” in damages to the mine took place weeks ago with not a flicker in the world media, and that a labor-indigenous alliance is now emerging around the issue. From Radio New Zealand, April 21:

New Caledonia to have rally to back Kanak anti-mining group
A New Caledonian Kanak activist and environmentalist, Jacques Boengkih, says the USTKE union and the indigenous council for natural resources are planning a demonstration in Noumea tomorrow to show their support for Rheebuu Nuu activists.

Rheebu Nuu members caused millions of US dollars in damages to vehicles and installations on the Goro Nickel mining site nearly three weeks ago to show their dissatisfaction with aspects of the project.

This prompted the company to shut down all operations.

The USTKE union has confirmed its support for Rheebu Nuu earlier, and Mr Boengkih says they will take action tomorrow.

“Tomorrow will be a big demonstration in the streets of Noumea organised by the trade union USTKE alongside the indigenous council for natural resources. There will be a big demonstration in support of Rheebu Nuu in the streets of Noumea.”—Jacques Boengkih.

Meanwhile, Goro Nickel says it plans to partly resume work on the construction site on Monday.

See our last post on New Caledonia.