History of Melanesia|
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 1995 01:35:42 -0400 (EDT)
From: PNEWS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: PNEWS:[Apr3]-BOUGAINVILLE & CHOMSKY
Bougainville: the Chomsky strategy
By Jim Beatson, in Green Left Weekly,
3 April 1995
Noam Chomsky, on his recent trip to Australia, when asked about
Bougainville, explained, "I don't think it's a hard one. It's a pretty
reasonable if people get to work on it. Bougainville is an easy one for
Australian activists to win.''
Chomsky's comment made members of the Bougainville Freedom Movement (BFM)
His underlying assumptions are correct. It's our former colony, it is
geographically close (two hours from Cairns). For decades Australia refused
to listen to Bougainvillean complaints before its incorporation into Papua
New Guinea at independence. Australia is the sole supplier of arms,
ammunition, military training, mercenary pilots, military advisers,
helicopters and patrol boats. We and PNG are almost solely responsible for
the situation and some 5000 plus deaths.
BFM has grown over the past two years with branches in all the mainland
capitals, but "winning'' (ending Australian military involvement and
Bougainvilleans deciding their future without outside interference) sounded
The Sydney group decided it needs to professionalise its activities to
increase effectiveness. BFM wants to attract people with specialist skills,
or people willing to develop them, who will do up to one hour's work per
week. Are you interested? The specialists BFM initially seeks are:
- Media contacts officer, who keeps a current file on all journalists who
can cover Bougainville stories at each media outlet.
- Publicity officer, who ensures every possible media outlet, student and
union newspaper and group publicises details of events we hold.
- Parliamentary and union liaison officer, who will develop a file of every
MP and union official with an interest in foreign affairs.
- DTP designer to lay out our newsletter and occasional leaflets.
- Treasurer, i.e. bookkeeper or accountant, willing to look after our books,
participate in developing an ambitious budget and track it, preferably on a
- Archivist, who will (1) allocate to BFM members publications each will be
responsible for cutting, and (2) collate this material into a central
These specialists would also come to BFM's harmonious weekly meetings, held
at members' homes with dinner, drinks and humour on Monday nights, starting
Projects currently being planned include:
- A public launch of a report of all human rights violations on Bougainville
in the six years since the war started. The report is a massive document
with hundreds of names, details surrounding the event, including place,
source, alleged offender and so on.
- A yet to be disclosed event designed to severely embarrass our government.
- A film night.
- A woman and children peace protest at the new Australian Defence Industry
plant in Benalla, Victoria.
- Sending delegates to the UN Socio-Economic Summit in Geneva in July.
- A recruitment drive to attract more people to the monthly action meetings,
held on the first Monday of the month at Newtown Neighbourhood Centre at
We invite your comments to BFM, PO Box 134, Erskineville NSW 2043.
First posted on the Pegasus conference greenleft.news by
Green Left Weekly. Correspondence and hard copy subsciption
Six-month airmail subscriptions (22 issues) to Green Left Weekly
are available for A$60 (North America) and A$75 (South America,
Europe & Africa) from PO Box 394, Broadway NSW 2007, Australia