18 Sep 2006

Kanak group promises rally and general strike over New Caledonia's Goro project this week

3:23 pm on 18 September 2006

A Kanak activist group in New Caledonia says it is planning a rally through Noumea and a general strike later this month to protest about the Goro Nickel project.

The Goro project is the biggest industrial enterprise in the South Pacific, but faces strong opposition on mainly environmental grounds.

In April, Rheebu Nuu activists caused 10 million US dollars worth of damage at the Goro site.

They have told Goro to stop all construction by September the 24th, or face further action.

A Rheebu Nuu spokesman, Jacques Boengkih, says his organisation, the enviromentalist group Caugern, trade unions and NGOs are planning a big rally through the streets of Noumea on September 24th.

"There will be some demonstrations organised on September 24th, that will be organised by NGO's and Rheebu Nuu. They are calling for a big demonstration in the streets of Noumea, calling for people to come with masks and white sheets to play ghosts, to show that after the Goro Nickel project there will only be environmental destruction and death for the people."

Mr Boengkih says trade unions will also call out a general strike for September 25th.

He says Rheebu Nuu does not exclude further action after the deadline expires, but won't detail what this might involve.