Guerrilla-Guerrilla Gardeners in Bougainville

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Guerrilla-Guerrilla Gardeners in Bougainville
« on: May 30, 2007, 10:04:29 PM »
This is a story about an guerrilla gardener with guns fighting an eco war.

Francis Ona attacked the giant Panguna copper mine on the island in 1988 because of its environmental and economic exploitation.  The backlash against the island by Papua New Guinea was sufficiently brutal to galvanise support for him, and lead to the formation of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army.  The war for independence lasted nearly 10 years and about 15,000 died, mainly from illness due to a blockade.

During the blockade the islanders learnt to become self sufficient, gardening when they were not fighting, and putting coconuts to great use.  It is this part of the story from which we can learn.

Here is a four part documentary, made in 2000 and broadcast recently on Aljazeera TV.  It's very good and you can view it on You Tube. 
Part One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HJ_DFd0irA
Part Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQdOXXqRTc4
Part Three: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsevWXOZfjs
Part Four: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHFb8J9gsVo

While Francis comes across very sympathetically things sadly began to go wrong for him a few years later.  He got distracted by a very dubious pyramid banking scheme that conned many of the islanders and then tried to disrupt the elections for an autonomous government by declaring himself King of Bougainville in opposition to the president.  He died of malaria in 2005.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2007, 10:14:38 PM by Richard 1 »