GEORGE IRENG, the brave young man behind the Ramu mine tailings disposal campaign, today led a peaceful protest march in Madang against the government’s draconian amendments to the Environment Act.
Despite attempts by PNG’s Attorney-General and Madang Governor Arnold Amet to have the police stop the protest, people defied the orders and police made no arrests.
This is the first successful peaceful protest in direct resistance to the Environment Act amendments.
Oro is set to proceed with its own March on 19 July and other centres will follow.
Here are some updates sent from the streets of Madang during today’s protest:
9.30am - March
is on. Five hundred
10.30am - So the protest started at the oval and the Governor turned up and said that's enough now, all go home. So the good protesting people of Madang turned around and started the march towards the provincial government building. Police have kindly diverted traffic.
11.00am - As the protesters got up to the courthouse, police blocked the road on the Governor's orders and did not allow the protesters to march the extra 500 metres to the provincial government building where the march is to end. Peacefully. Why? Is someone trying to provoke the protestors into pushing through the barriers and get arrested in the process? Don't bite, people of Madang. See through this tactic!
11.15am – News. Police decided to remove barriers, so people have marched that extra 500 metres to the provincial government building, and speeches are now taking place. Marchers and Madang police, I salute your composure and maturity in peacefully resolving the situation with the barriers.
What we need is the people. We are the ultimate power on which this nation has its foundation. Together, if we stand, we will bring the long awaited Change.
For now, we congratulate everyone on their efforts so far and we wish you all a peaceful evening.