Riots broke out in Tonga's capital Nuku'alofa after a pro-democracy demonstration on Thursday, 16th November, in the Kingdom. About 3000 people marched onto parliament with banners calling for immediate reform, others attacked public figures, while another labeled the current structure a "deadly virus". In the afternoon, after parliament was cancelled, protesters started smashing government buildings and set fire to businesses owned by the Prime Minister and the King in the city centre and turned cars over. Windows were smashed in the Prime Minister's Office, Parliament House, the Magistrates Court,the Public Service Commission Office, the Ministry of Finance and three vehicles overturned and government cars smashed in government parking lots. One company targeted was power company Shoreline, owned by the King. The aristocratic class control the economic and political aspects of life against which the people have been resisting for years. The protests and riots are part of the struggle against the feudal system which is oppressing the Tongan people for years.
The city centre has since been closed off by military checkpoints and soldiers from New Zealand and Australia were flown in to "restore law and order". Hundreds of people have been arrested and many of them have been abused in prison. Two IMC activists spent one week in Tonga to interview people and report on the movement for change. Here are links to their reports and photos posted on Aotearoa IMC
. Abuse in Tongan prisons - IMC activist almost arrested
| If a boat ends up on a reef… Tonga Report 3
| Soldiers and cops wherever you go
| Revolutionary not Evolutionary – indymedia activists report from Tonga Earlier Reports: People fighting back in Tonga - NZ Govt assisting the monarchy
| Tonga: Biggest Protest Ever!
(May 05) | Tonga - schools smashed - 200 arrested!
(Aug 05) | A Revolution in the Pacific?