Actions, demos, protests...

Indonesia Roundup #18 - June 5-11, 2006

Papuan activists protest at Plaza 89

Dozens of activist from the West Papua Pepera Front
protested again at the Plaza 89 Building in South
Jakarta on June 5 demanding the closure of PT
Freeport Indonesia.

During the action they demanded the unconditional
release of those arrested during the earlier
protests at Plaza 89, Abepura and the 62-63 military
incident, for an immediate tripartite dialogue
between the Papuan people, the Indonesian government
and PT Freeport and for the opening up of democratic
space and end to TNI (Indonesian military) and
police repression in West Papua.

As a result of the protest the flow of traffic in
the direction of Menteng was blocked as the slow-
lane that passes in front of Plaza 89 was closed.
The action was tightly guarded by police who formed
up in front of the building in two ranks in
anticipation of an attack on the offices. (Detk.com,
5/6/2006)

Demonstration in Manado rejects mining companies

Around 500 people from the Social Alliance Against
Mining Waste (AMMLT) commemorated World Environment
Day in the North Sulawesi city of Manado on June 5.
The protest was organised by the North Sulawesi
Indonesian Environment Forum (Walhi) to oppose the
operations of two mining companies, PT Meares
Soputan Mining and PT Hamparan Pasir Besi. They also
demanded that PT Newmont Minahasa Raya be prosecuted
for polluting the Buyat Bay.

“We don’t want a repeat of the Buyat case”, said one
of the protesters referring to the operations of
Meares Soputan Mining. The alliance, which also
presented a statement to the North Sulawesi
governor, said that they want an end to the use of
submarine tailing disposal and the disposal of
mining wastes into the sea. (Tempo Interactive,
5/6/2006)

Hundreds of ceramic workers demonstrate in
Probolinggo

Hundreds of workers from a number of ceramic
factories in the East Java town of Probolinggo
protested on June 5 over the recent dismissal of
fellow factory workers. They blockaded the main
highway between Probolinggo and Lumajang resulting
in a two kilometre traffic jam. (Liputan 6,
5/6/2006)

Makassar students continue protests against
university

Student protests against a prohibition on
demonstrations by the Makassar State Islamic
University rectorate in South Sulawesi continued on
June 5 with students setting fire to tyres and
blockading roads. The students say that the policy
“amputates” social control and the democratic
process on campus. (Liputan 6, 5/6/2006)

Police clash with public transport drivers

Hundreds of drivers from the Sriwijaya University
Public Transport Trade Union (SBTA) clashed with
police in the South Sumatra city of Palembang on
June 5. As a result of the incident four drivers and
a police officer were injured and two of the
protesters were arrested.

The incident occurred when drivers were protesting
at the South Sumatra public relations offices
demanding changes to existing bus routes. Because
the head of the office was not prepared to meet with
the drivers they responded by blockading the road
causing a three-hour traffic jam. When the
protesters ignored a call by police to leave, police
officers tried to forcibly disband the protest and a
clash broke out. (Liputan 6, 5/6/2006)

Fisherpeople blockade road in North Jakarta

On June 6, around 1000 fisherpeople from the
Marunda, Cilincing and Lagoa areas of North Jakarta
held a long march to the industrial zone where the
company PT Boga Sari is located. The protesters said
they planned to blockade the Cilincing highway and
would hold a demonstration in front of the company
offices.

The fisherpeople started the action in the Cilincing
area at 9am. As a result traffic in the area was
paralysed with traffic jams estimated to be as long
a five kilometres. “We will blockade all the roads”,
shouted the protesters. (Tempo Interactive,
6/6/2006)

Makassar students oppose fee increase

A demonstration by students from the Makassar
Bongayya College of Economic and Management ended in
chaos on June 8. The demonstrators were opposing a
20 percent increase to education management
contributions. The students were also protesting the
rectorate for allowing students to purchase credits
above the 24-semester credit system, a policy they
say is the same as the commercialisation of
education and will cause financial losses to
students. (Liputan 6, 8/6/2006)

Residents protest diversion of river channel

Hundreds of family heads from the Dead River village
in Medan, North Sumatra, almost clashed with housing
construction workers on the Deli River flood plain
at Gang Merdeka on June 7. The incident took place
shortly after they had been protesting over a
diversion of the Deli River channel being carried
out by developers.

During the action they hijacked heavy equipment
owned by the developers and brought construction
activities to a halt. They also pelted construction
workers with rocks and wood. According to the
protesters, the diversion that is being carried out
for the expansion of land for luxury housing, will
threaten the safety of 360 families living along the
river edge. They also said that it would cause their
area to be susceptible to flooding. (Liputan 6,
7/6/2006)

Human rights victims celebrate Suharto’s birthday

Cakes and candles with the figure 85 adorned the
South Jakarta District Court during a celebration of
former President Suharto’s 85th birthday organised
by the Committee for the Victims of Human Rights
Violations (KPP-HAM) on June 8.

As part of the event, a male activists appeared bare
chested with his entire body covered with a picture
of Suharto. Using his mouth, he wrote the words
"Happy birthday, have a long and healthy life, so
that [you] can be brought to justice quickly" on a
3x1 metre white cloth. There was also a recycle
symbol upon which was written the years Suharto
committed human rights violations: 1965, 1974, 1989,
1991, 1996 and finally 1998.

Protesters also wore a variety of bamboo head
coverings with pictures of the victims of human
rights violations — one of which was human rights
activist Munir. A wreath of red and yellow flowers
with the writing "Families of the Victims Bring
Suharto to Justice" was also handed over to the
public prosecutor following a hearing of a pre-trial
suit against Suharto. (Detik.com, 8/6/2006)

Students give Suharto a gift for his 85th birthday

A seat made of black coloured steel with a bamboo
frame photograph of Suharto and a wreath of flowers
with the writing “I’m ready to be tried”. This was
the gift that was presented to Suharto by students
on his 85th birthday. The students also sent a
wreath of flowers with the writing "Happy 85th
birthday, get well quickly so you can be tried
soon".

The action was organised by around 20 people from
the Try Suharto Movement (GAS) who held a march from
the Suropati Gardens toward Suharto’s residence on
Jl. Cendana. GAS is made up of activists from the
Student Action Front for Reform and Democracy
(FAMRED), the Socialist Student Movement (GMS), the
University of Indonesia Student Action Front (FAM),
the National Student League for Democracy (LMND) and
the Peoples Democratic Party (PRD).

Upon arriving at Jl. Teuku Umar they were blocked by
around 100 police. As a result they were forced to
halt but still gave speeches demanding that the
ruler of the New Order regime be tried. "We are
going to Cendana to give a gift to Suharto", said
Lalu Herman from LMND which was greeted by shouts of
“Try Suharto, if not, SBY-JK resign”. (Detik.com,
8/6/2006)

Anti-Suharto protesters arrested in Jakarta

Around 20 students who were protesting on Jl. Teuku
Umar in Central Jakarta were arrested by police on
June 9 for violating the 1998 law on freedom of
expression.

The students, who came from the Try Suharto
Movement, had intended to go to Suharto’s residence
on Jl. Cendana but were blocked by around 100 police
on Jl. Teuku Umar.

At 5pm, police ordered the students to leave. After
three warnings however, the students had still not
dispersed and instead started singing "not afraid
anymore, not afraid anymore!". Around 100 police
officers then moved in and forced 20 or so students
into a police holding van who were then taken to the
Central Jakarta district police station. (Kompas
Cyber Media, 9/6/2006)

No end to demands for Suharto to be tried

Protests demanding that Suharto be tried continued
on June 10 when dozens of students from the People’s
Hall for the Trial of Suharto (Brantas) demonstrated
in front of the Christian University of Indonesia in
Central Jakarta.

In a speech, Brantas action coordinator Riki called
for Suharto and his cronies to be tried and for
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice
President Jusuf Kalla to resign because had failed
to carry out reform. "Suharto and his cronies should
be arrested and their assets must be surrendered to
the state [and used] for the interests of the
people", he said.

Riki also said that issuing the order to end the
investigation into the Suharto case demonstrated the
failure of the Yudhoyono government. Giving amnesty
to the ruler of the New Order regime is a betrayal
by Yudhoyono and Kalla against the Indonesian people
and the spirit of the 1998 reform movement.

Aside from calling for Suharto to be tried and his
assets sized, Brantas also condemned repressive
actions by security forces and accused the Yudhoyono
government of bringing suffering to the Indonesian
people. They also called on all Indonesian people to
unite to resist the Yudhoyono regime and the New
Order. (Detik.com, 10/6/2006)

Students protest over corruption in Riau

Dozens of students and youths from the Youth
Movement for the Elimination of Riau Corruption
(GPPKR) and the Anti Corruption Students Union
(Kampak) demonstrated at the offices of the Riau
chief public prosecutor in the provincial capital of
Pekanbaru on June 9. As well as protesting the poor
performance of the Riau public prosecutor they also
set fire to a black bier to symbolise their
disappointment with delays in corruption cases in
Riau.

In speeches the protesters said that the Riau chief
public prosecutor has been unable to carry out his
function of arresting corrupters in Riau. The
evidence for this is that out of the many suspects
that have been named not one has been arrested.

"We see that the Riau chief public prosecutor has
gone into suspended animation in carrying out his
duties. Because not one Riau corrupter has been
thrown into jail", said action coordinator Andi
during a break in a speech.

The students said that if the prosecutor’s office
continues to be unable to arrest and jail the
corrupters they will give the chief prosecutor a
gift of a hen. "The hen will represent students’
disappointment with the performance of the Riau
chief public prosecutor", said one of the
protesters. (Media Indonesia, 10/6/2006)

Residents protest inauguration of Tuban regent,
deputy regent

Hundreds of people from the Tuban People’s Forum
(FRT) demonstrated at the Tuban Regional House of
Representatives (DPRD) in East Java on June 9. They
were calling on the DPRD to cancel the inauguration
of recently elected Tuban regent and deputy regent
Haeny Relawati and Lilik Suhardjono because an
appeal submitted to the Supreme Court over the
election of regional heads is still being heard.
(Liputan 6, 10/6/2006)

Fisherpeople protest over pollution in North Jakarta

For the second time now, hundreds of fisherpeople
from Cilincing and Marunda in North Jakarta
protested at Bogasari Flour Mills in Tanjung Priok
on June 9. The fisherpeople, who come from the
Jakarta Fisherpeople’s Communication Forum (FKNJ)
were demanding that the corn flour company take
responsibility for the pollution that has been
damaging North Jakarta beaches.

The fisherpeople said the pollution is being caused
by waste from the Bogasari factory and has killed
off their green mussel and fish farms located in the
vicinity of the beaches. The company has denied that
it has contributed to the pollution saying that
other companies that use chemicals are responsible.

The demonstrators said that they would continue to
protest until the company pays material compensation
of 2 billion rupiah. Conversely, the company has
said it will sue the fisherpeople if they continue
their protests on the grounds that they have damaged
the company’s good name and disrupted the operations
of the factory. (Liputan 6, 10/6/2006)

Residents accuse newly elected regent of corruption

Hundreds of residents from the Central Tapanuli
district in North Sumatra have demanded that the
government cancel the inauguration of newly elected
regent Tuani Lumbantobing that is to be held on June
12. They accused Pohan and the deputy regent of
colluding with the local National Elections
Commission. The resident’s demands were conveyed
during a protest at the offices of the North Sumatra
governor on June 9. (Liputan 6, 10/6/2006)

Residents go on rampage over unpaid cash subsidies

Dozens of residents from the village of Pappolo ran
riot at Bone regional offices of the National
Statistics Agency (BPS) in South Sulawesi on June
10. The angry protesters smashed office windows
because the BPS had not entered their names as
recipients of direct cash subsidies whereas they had
been declared eligible to receive the funds when
they were registered by village officials. The
demonstrators finally calmed down after a BPS
official promised to look into their complaint.
(Liputan 6, 10/6/2006)

Attorney General’s visit to Semarang greeted with
protests

The arrival of Attorney General Abdul Rahman Saleh
in the East Java provincial capital of Semarang was
greeted by a student protest at the chief public
prosecutor’s offices on June 10. The protesters were
demanding that the public prosecutor be serious in
handling local and national corruption cases
including the Suharto case. The students also said
they were disappointed by the Attorney General’s
order to stop the investigation into Suharto, which
they said went against the mandate of reform.
(Liputan 6, 10/6/2006)

Residents plant banana trees in middle of road

Residents from the North Samarinda sub-district of
East Kalimantan planted banana trees in the middle a
road at the village of Pelita on June 10. Residents
held the action to protest the poor state of the
road that should have been repaired by the local
government. Because the road was full of banana
trees, four wheeled vehicles were unable to pass.
The protesters said they were determined to defend
the trees until the Samarinda municipal government
carries out the repairs. (Liputan 6, 10/6/2006)

Veterans League demands compensation

Hundreds of members of the South Kalimantan Veterans
League and their families protested in the South
Kalimantan provincial capital of Banjarmasin on June
11. They were demanding compensation from the local
government for their homes and land in Martapura,
Banjar regency, which were taken over for the
construction of a Haj embarkation building and a
mall. (Liputan 6, 11/6/2006)

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