The first few minutes of “The Coconut Revolution” documentary…

This is an incredible modern-day story of a native people’s victory over Western globalization. Sick of seeing their environment ruined and their people exploited by the Panguna Mine, the Pacific island of Bougainville rose up against the giant mining corporation, Rio Tinto Zinc. The newly formed Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) began fighting with bows and arrows and sticks and stones against a heavily armed adversary. In an attempt to put down the rebellion the Papua New Guinean Army swiftly established a gunboat blockade around the island, backed by Australian Military personnel and equipment. With no shipments allowed in or out of the island, the People of Bougainville learned to become self-dependent and self-sustained.

The 52-minute documentary is viewable here:

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.

3 thoughts on “ECO-REVOLUTION

  1. Sorry, but this is a gross oversimplification of a complex problem.

    There were many, many more issues than the undeniable pollution by the mine.

    Also, there were in fact several armed groups, and they fought each other as well as the PNG Army.

    To imply that the BRA was the only group of “good guys” does a great disservice to other Bougainvilleans.

    As I said, this whole issue is very, very complex — the video is simplistic in the extreme.

    I should add that I am very familiar with Bougainville and have spent time talking (on Bougainville) with BRA commanders as well as representatives of the other groups, and with ordinary people who tried to avoid taking sides. So I have specific on-site knowledge.

  2. Don, Point taken, but… You miss the forest for a tree. The description is a summary, it is not the thing itself. There is plenty in this doc that will be of interest and use to viewers, dated as it is, and focused as it is.

  3. “… the People of Bougainville learned to become self-dependent and self-sustained.” Is that so? Well, you’ll see homemade hydropower-stations all over the mountains surrounding Arawa. But isn’t there more to self-reliance?

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