The Coconut Revolution - The documentary tells the story of the successful uprising of the indigenous peoples of Bougainville Island against the Papua New Guinea army and the mining plans of the mining corporation Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) to exploit their natural resources. The documentary reveals how the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) managed to overcome the marine blockade strategy used by the Papuan army by using coconut oil as fuel for their vehicles.
When RTZ decided to step up production at the Panguna Mine on the island of Bougainville, they got more than they bargained for. The islands people had enough of seeing their environment ruined and being treated as pawns by RTZ. RTZ refused to compensate them, so the people decided it was time to put an end to outside interference in the islands affairs. To do this they forcibly closed down the mine.
The Papua New Guinea Army (PNGDF) were mobilised in an attempt to put down the rebellion. The newly formed Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) began the fight with bows & arrows and sticks & stones. Against a heavily armed adversary they still managed to retain control of most of their island. Realising they were beaten on the ground, the PNGDF imposed a gunboat blockade around Bougainville, in an attempt to strangle the BRA into submission. But the blockade seemed to have little or no effect. With no shipments getting in or out of the island, how did new electricity networks spring up in BRA held territory? How were BRA troops able to drive around the island without any source of petrol or diesel? (Excerpt from cultureshop.org)