Indonesian environmental refugees protest

A massive environmental disaster in Sidoarjo, Indonesia, has forced 15,000 people to leave their homes in the past two years. An enormous eruption of hot mud that began in May 2006 continues to flow at a rate of 148,000 cubic metres a day. Activists hold Indonesian oil and gas company PT Lapindo Brantas responsible. They charge that the eruption was caused by a gas drilling operation on unstable volcanic land.

On February 19, thousands of environmental refugees protested against a parliamentary report that labelled the eruption a natural disaster. "We will ease the blockade if [parliament] calls it a human error, but we will stay here if parliament calls the mudflow a natural disaster", a local villager, Orasi Djoko, told Reuters on February 19.

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.