Strengthening People’s Veto Rights in Facing Mining Threats

This note was prepared based on the need for continuous reproduction of shared knowledge to strengthen the position and veto rights of the people when faced with mining threats. Therefore, we have compiled this note not as dictation but as a ‘life guide’ derived and compiled from the empirical experiences of several communities who have been at the forefront of resistance and recovery in the Indonesian archipelago. The wealth, depth of experience, and practice of these various communities are worthy and essential to be noted and exchanged with other communities, especially those facing similar threats.

The exchange of knowledge and experience between communities finds its relevance and urgency amidst the attitude of public officials who do not consider the safety of citizens. On the contrary, these public officials insist on the presence of a mining industry that is highly destructive and irreparable at all costs. Starting from the illegal that violates the law to producing dangerous laws and regulations, which appear to be deliberately designed to legalize mining crimes, a legal regime that serves the black mining market and corporations (lex mercatoria). The latest example is the ratification of the Minerba and Coal Mining Law to the Omnibus Law on Employment Creation, which is full of problems and a flood of protests.

In the end, through the production of laws and regulations that legalize mining crimes, the public officials are strengthening the veto of investors over the people’s living space, and thus, the people are weakened, and their safety continues to be threatened. It is why this guidance note has been compiled based on the experiences and practices of popular resistance, the recovery that has proven successful, and has served as an inspiration to other communities.

We believe that the people can reverse the crisis, find ways and methods of resistance and recovery on their own, according to their respective conditions and resources, in fortifying their living space for the safety and sustainability of nature and justice between generations in the future.

These resistance and recovery pocket notes are divided into sections. Arranged concisely and straightforwardly and equipped with visualization to make it easier for readers to understand and imagine some communities’ resistance and recovery practices.

The first part describes how the experiences and practices of resistance were carried out by several communities facing mining expansion, whether they were new to entering or were starting to operate, then when operating, and after mining began operations.

The second part describes how the experiences and restoration practices carried out by several communities in implementing recovery initiatives or initiatives against mining, starting from when mining was about to enter and operate to the phase when it was operating until when mining had left, leaving an area.

The third part contains a box regarding the threat of pollution in the mining area and also a box containing legal steps that can be taken by the community when dealing with mines when they want to enter, are in operation, and when they have left, including posters. All of them are initial and pioneering efforts to complement criticism as the root of efforts to strengthen people’s veto rights.

This entire record aims to strengthen the community’s confidence and residents in the area around the mine that fighting and independently recovering is possible.

We hope that this resistance and recovery pocketbook will continue to be enriched with examples of similar resistance and recovery practices from other communities in various parts of Indonesia, so that in this way we can learn from each other, exchange experiences between fellow citizens, for one purpose: to stop the rate of extractive industry expansion.

We also appreciate many parties for the publication of the Pocket Note of Resistance and Recovery: Strengthening People’s Veto Rights in Facing Mining Threats, to the drafting team at the JATAM Resistance House, JATAM Support Agency, Hendro Sangkoyo, and also to the entire JATAM community and network whose story their resistance and recovery are listed in this manual.

We are honored by all the communities who fight, heal in various regions who have tirelessly dared to struggle to defend their living space, and it is to all of them that this book is presented.

Let us strengthen people’s veto power, expand resistance and recovery!

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