“One: We are fighting for man and his culture.
Two: We are fighting for the environment.
Three: We are fighting for independence.”
~ Francis Ona (Former President of Bougainville)
This is the amazing story of an island people who stood up to a major western super power and won.
Through the 1970’s and 80’s, the giant mining corporation Rio Tinto Zinc set up one of the world’s biggest copper mines in Bougainville (an island in Papua New Guinea).
This company shuffled the native people off into make shift settlements on desolate ground and paid them only 1,000th of the total earnings accumulated in the mine. It didn’t take long for the local environment to be destroyed by run off minerals. Pollution flooded into nearby rivers and rendered the water undrinkable for the next 200 years.
When the local people of Bougainville tried to sue the mining company for damages, they were laughed at. From there, the native people fought a revolution first against the Papua New Guinea government, then against Australia and won through the power of their own innovation, spiritual strength and commitment to the land.
At first they only had sticks and stones. Yet over time they learned how to make their own guns, booby traps and created home-made coconut fuel for their boats and jeeps.
They learned many lessons from the land – including one that we in the West need to learn: Energy Independence. Their coconut fuel is cleaner than Diesel and provides twice the mileage.
This is truly an inspiring documentary. I believe many more Eco-Revolutions will unfold around the world as the corrupt forces of greed in the Modern World fall apart on themselves.
Nature has many lessons to teach us if we are willing to listen. The industrialized world has existed for around 300 years and modern humans for 40,000 years. Yet nature is a truth with 5 billion years of experience in the making. It is a system with the perfect balance of order and chaos. The fight for man’s culture, environment and independence is not just the fight of Bougainville – this is the fundamental war of our time.