In Indonesia, women farmers crush cement mining and production factories

Published by Women in and beyond the global. By April 8, 2017

IMG_20170315_1511561-1024x768

Cement companies are looking to expand both mining and production on Kendeng Mountain, in central Java, Indonesia. Kendeng Mountain is located in a karst, or limestone, mountain range. It is also rich agricultural land. Women farmers in the area have protested, organized, militated, with great success, but the corporations keep coming back. Sometimes, women mobilize with the great movement of marches. Sometimes, women mobilize by concentrating all the energy into staying perfectly, and immovably, still. The Nine Kartinis of Kendeng, nine fierce women farmers, have opted for the latter. They planted their feet in cement, let the cement harden, and refused to move. Sometimes, women on the move are women being absolutely, perfectly, loudly, hilariously, outrageously still.

This battle has been going on since at least last year, but for the Kartinis of Kendeng, who hail from the Samin community of Central Java, it’s another chapter in a centuries’ long struggle. From the earliest struggles to today, Samin women have organized to preserve and promote the integrity of the Earth, the land, and the peoples who work and live with the land. In the latest iteration of that struggle, women have named themselves after Raden Adjeng Kartini, a leading Indonesian feminist freedom fighter who lived from 1870 to 1904. R.A. Kartini was born in Java during the Dutch colonial occupation, and worked for independence, women’s emancipation and girls’ education. The Samin community, also known as Sedulur Sikep, also began during the Dutch colonial era. The founder, Samin Surosentiko, advocated non-violent resistance to colonialism. This resistance took the form of non-violent civil disobedience. People refused to build roads, pay taxes or participate in forced-labor. Refusal as resistance, from R.A. Kartini to the Samin community to today’s Nine Kartinis of Kendeng, and what better way to refuse than to plant one’s feet into blocks of cement and refuse to move?

That’s what nine women did last year. The cement factory has been `in process’ since 2014. Women have led the opposition. Last April, “nine middle-aged women cast their legs in concrete during 36-hour protest against the cement plant outside the presidential palace in Jakarta”. In October, they led 300 farmers in a long march to protest a new government decision to reinstate the legality of the cement factory. They’re still on the move.

At last April’s protest, Sukinah, the spokeswoman for the Kartinis of Kendeng, explained that the protest was as much educational as immediately political, “We want to give a message for the younger generation, to show that nature is not only seen as a source of wealth, but also something that has to be preserved.” More recently, she added, “I will fight to my last drop of blood because our ancestors fought for this land for hundreds of years, and that’s why we now can enjoy the water and the fruits from this land. We won’t allow it to disappear like that.”

In their struggle, the Kartinis of Kendeng link arms with Aleta Baum, who, in the Indonesian part of the island of Timor, organized indigenous women’s weaving circles that crushed the marble mining companies. The Kartinis of Kendeng also link arms with Mavis Staples and all those women engaged in Black Liberation struggles and labor struggles across the United States. In Indonesia, women farmers planted their feet in cement, and off in the impossibly intimate distance, one can hear, “… Just like a tree that’s planted by the waters, we shall not be moved.”

Related Posts

The Philippines, a nation rich in precious metals, encounters powerful opposition to mining
Philippines bans new open-pit metal mines
In Indonesia, women farmers crush cement mining and production factories
Resistance, exchange, (post)extractivism: YLNM Coordinators meet in Galicia- in photos
Safeguarding People and the Environment in Chinese Investments- A guide for community advocactes
To change a BIT is not enough
Philippines: Green group calls for immediate enforcement of suspension, closure orders on 26 large-scale mines
VICTORY! OceanaGold loses ISDS claim against El Salvador
Philippines: Indigenous Peoples Rally in Support of El Salvador against Oceana Gold
Interview with freed environmental defender Beejin Khastumur
Beejin Khastumur: Environmental defender’s trial saga continues
All that Glitters is Not Gold: Resisting Mining Plunder in The Philippines
REVIVING RIVER MYNTDU, REVIVING A LOST CULTURE
Take Action: A Fair Trial for Environmental Defender Beejin Khastumur
Victory! Oceana Gold Pulls Out Drilling Operation after people’s barricade
Save Dory’s home from toxic mine waste!

Save Dory’s home from toxic mine waste!

  • Written on: 17 June 2016
  • Posted under: Campaigns
300 Tibetans protest gold mining at a sacred mountain in Tibet
Outcry as Adivasi activist Gladson Dungdung is prevented from traveling to the UK
Open Letter: Adivasi rights activist Gladson Dungdung prevented from boarding a Delhi-London Air India Flight
Good news for the only place on Earth where tigers, rhinos, orangutans and elephants live together
Filipino environmentalists join global protests to demand justice for Honduran activist Berta Caceres
Nueva Vizcaya stops entry of mining firms

Nueva Vizcaya stops entry of mining firms

Global Civil Society Organisations Call for Release of Mongolian Environmental Defender Beejin Khastumur
Urgent Action: Call for the release of imprisoned Mongolian environmental defender
Leader of NGO Opposing Illegal Mining in Mongolia Arrested
Bayto, the village that stood up to mining

Bayto, the village that stood up to mining

Shan civil society groups call for gold mining suspension
India: Tribe set to resume David & Goliath battle with mining corporation
Burying the Law to Make Way for a Coal Mine

Burying the Law to Make Way for a Coal Mine

The Coconut Revolution: Resisting Rio Tinto’s Panguna Mine

The Coconut Revolution: Resisting Rio Tinto’s Panguna Mine

  • Written on: 19 February 2016
  • Posted under: Videos
Adivasis’ Last Stand: The New Battleground Against Mining is Khandadhar
Voices of Indigenous Women Human Rights Defenders from the Philippines
Philippines: Indigenous Peoples Seeking Lepanto Mine Closure
Mongolia: YLNM members DMNN suffer threats and assault for investigating illegal mining
Balok Sea Turns Red from Bauxite Mining

Balok Sea Turns Red from Bauxite Mining

  • Written on: 06 January 2016
  • Posted under: Videos
Villagers in Myanmar retake land from mining company
Mongolia: Demonstrators stage sit in to demand an end to illegal mining
At COP21, the people and future generations will be failed once again
LAKBAYAN 6: RESIST IMPERIALIST PLUNDER, STOP LUMAD KILLINGS!

LAKBAYAN 6: RESIST IMPERIALIST PLUNDER, STOP LUMAD KILLINGS!

  • Written on: 17 December 2015
  • Posted under: Campaigns
Climate Change and Coal Mining in India

Climate Change and Coal Mining in India

Protesters demand Aquino government close mines linked to paramilitaries
Inside the indigenous movement to protect India’s commons
No Response, No Accountability for Tenasserim Coal Mine Damage
YLNM Coordinator ‘Enteng’ Bautista tailed and harassed by suspected military agents
Coal, Which Built a Chinese City, Now Threatens to Bury It
Indonesia: Farmer Anti-mining Activist killed in Selok Awar-Awar
Heed the Costs of Gold Mining

Heed the Costs of Gold Mining

Philippines: Environmental groups and communities protest Mining Philippines 2015 Conference
#StopLumadKillings | Philippine Groups protest mining conference
Addressing Lumad killings, mining abuse & internally displaced people
India’s Coal Rush

India’s Coal Rush

  • Written on: 09 September 2015
  • Posted under: Videos
Our Resistance, Our Hope: Unity Statement of the International People’s Conference on Mining
Lianga Massacre: Lumad leaders killed in Philippine ‘mining capital’
Photo Story: Communities tell OceanaGold to abandon Didipio mine
Bangladesh Government says NO to Phulbari Coal Mine
How radio protects community forest land- Cambodia

How radio protects community forest land- Cambodia

  • Written on: 21 August 2015
  • Posted under: Videos
Against Letpadaung: copper mining in Myanmar and the struggle for human rights
Achievements of the Global Day Against Mega Mining
Philippines: Environmentalists hold protest-dialogue to reject multinational mining in Lobo
Greenpeace, villagers fight to keep coal mining from ‘life-giving’ Mahan forest in India’s energy capital
Villagers oppose laterite mining on Koraput hill
Mapping Gender Based Violence and Mining Infrastructure in Mongolian Mining Communities
Soil mining continues unabated on Palora Hill
People’s Victory – Environmentalists hail exit of mining giant in Tampakan
The Horrors of Rat Hole Coal Mining

The Horrors of Rat Hole Coal Mining

  • Written on: 24 June 2015
  • Posted under: Videos
The Bloody Illegal World of Sand Mining

The Bloody Illegal World of Sand Mining

  • Written on: 22 June 2015
  • Posted under: Videos
Mining Affected Peoples to Unite at International Peoples Conference on Mining, Manila 2015
Glencore? No More! London protestors call for end to Glencore’s mining abuses in the Philippines and worldwide
Palawan Brooke’s Point Pastor

Palawan Brooke’s Point Pastor

  • Written on: 08 April 2015
  • Posted under: Videos
Philippines: Palawan Indigenous Group calls on Citinickel to stop all mining operations
‘We will never give our land’. In India millions protest removal of the need for local consent in land acquisition for mining.
Philippines – 20 years of mining plunder, pollution and destruction must end.
Hunger Strike and Protest: Mongolian Government Gives Green Light to Hundreds of Mining Projects
CONDEMNED: Russian Coal Mining and Shor Displacements

CONDEMNED: Russian Coal Mining and Shor Displacements

  • Written on: 05 February 2015
  • Posted under: Videos
At a Glance: The Philippine Mining Situation
Alyansa Tigil Mina: Mining in the Philippines

Alyansa Tigil Mina: Mining in the Philippines

  • Written on: 10 December 2014
  • Posted under: Campaigns
Coal Mines Polluting South Kalimantan’s Water
Vedanta & Niyamgiri: Supporting Evidence
Mining in India: Films

Mining in India: Films

Mining in India: Reports

Mining in India: Reports

Greenpeace: Coal in India

Greenpeace: Coal in India

The God of the Mountain: Vedanta’s Assault on Niyamgiri

Start a Conversation. Share Words of Solidarity.

This website is about building a movement. We can only build a movement when we connect with one another. We invite you to do just that…

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *