Actions, demos, protests...

Indonesia Roundup #21 - June 26-July 2, 2006

, by INDOLEFT News Service, PRD

Farmers in Samarinda demand compensation

Dozens of people from a farmers group in the East
Kalimantan city of Samarinda held a demonstration at
the Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) a short
time ago. The demonstrators — most of whom were war
veterans — were demanding compensation for land
taken over by the mining company PT Lana Harita

The veterans arrived with number of goats. One of
the former fighters even slashed their wrist to
demonstrate their determination to obtain justice.
(Liputan 6, 27/6/2006)

Papuans demand trial be moved to Timika

Around 600 residents from the West Papua town of
Timika demonstrated at the offices of the state
prosecutor and the Timika District Court on June 26.
They were demanding that the trial of three
defendants charged with the killing of three PT
Freeport Indonesia employees in 2002 be held in

This demand was conveyed directly by Ruth Onawame
the wife of one of the suspects, Reverend Ishak
Onawame, to the head of the Timika state
prosecutor’s office and the head of the Timika
District Court.

The protest proceeded in an orderly fashion with
demonstrators running in circles in accordance with
the customs of an Amungme tribal war. The tears and
crying of the wives of the defendants added to the
emotions of the rally when one of the Amungme women
read out a poem titled Justice. (Liputan 6,

Police arrest eight in anti-Suharto demonstration

On the grounds that they had no permit, police
arrested eight students from the United Peoples
Alliance for the Trial of Suharto (ARBAS) on June

The action involving some 50 students was held in
front of the Bina Sarana Informatika campus in
Salemba, Central Jakarta. While protesters were
absorbed in giving speeches, dozens for officers
from the Central Jakarta district police forcibly
broke up the action and arrested the eight students.

"All of a sudden we were chased away by more than 50
local police. We will continue to hold actions until
our demands are met. If not SBY-JK [President Susilo
Bambang Yudhoyono-Vice President Jusuf Kalla] must
resign", said one of the protesters.

In addition to breaking up the demonstration, police
also dismantled an ARBAS coordination post at the
Christian University of Indonesia in Central
Jakarta. (, 28/6/2006)

Protests greet vice president’s visit to North

An official ceremony to mark the construction of the
Kuala Namu International Airport by Vice President
Jusuf Kalla in Deli Serdang, North Sumatra was
marred by protests on June 29. Dozens of local
residents arrived at the location demanding
compensation for their land. Security personnel
however prevented the protesters from getting near
to Kalla’s entourage. (Liputan 6, 30/6/2006)

Serang resident oppose sand mining

A short time ago, a group of students demonstrated
at the Jalan Protokol roundabout in the city of
Serang, Banten regency. They were demanding that the
Serang regent, Taufik Nuriman, revoke licenses to
mine sand on the beaches of North Serang.

The protesters said that the mining activities in
the area were damaging the marine ecosystem. The
action almost ended in chaos when students hijacked
a number of official government vehicles that were
passing by the demonstration. (Liputan 6, 30/6/2006)

Bandung students demand release of colleagues

Earlier this afternoon, the grounds of the Sate
Building in the West Java regional capital of
Bandung were overrun by a student protest. The
students were demanding the release of six of their
colleagues who were arrested at a demonstration
yesterday. The students also demanded that former
President Suharto and his cronies be tried
immediately and called on the government to respect
the people’s rights to the freedom of expression.
(Liputan 6, 30/6/2006)

Simpang Tuan resident demand return of land

Hundreds of residents from three villages in the
Simpang Tuan region protested at the East
Tanjungjabung DPRD in Jambi regency on June 28. They
were calling on the government and the regent of
East Tanjungjabung to immediately return land seized
by the company PT Bukit Barisan Indah Permai. The
land, which has been the subject of a dispute for
the last 10 years, has already been turned into a
palm oil plantation.

A number of representatives of the protesters were
received by members of the DPRD along with the
regional secretary of East Tanjungjabung, Syarifudin
Fadil. After discussions the two parties agreed that
the company’s operating permit would be revoked if
the land were not returned. (Liputan 6, 29/6/2006)

Former PT Dirgantara Indonesia workers demand
severance pay

Hundreds of former PT Dirgantara Indonesia employees
demonstrated at the Sate Building in Bandung on June
29. They were demanding support from assembly
members to force the state owned company to
immediately release 40 billion rupiah to cover the
payment of pensions to some 3,500 dismissed
employees. They also threatened to take their
protest to the offices of PT Dirgantara if the funds
are not released by June 30. (Liputan 6, 29/6/2006)

Group calls for corruption case to be investigated

Dozens of people from the Coalition for the
Eradication of Corruption (KPK) in the Mamuju
regency of West Sumatra protested at the offices of
the Mamuju state prosecutor on June 29. The
demonstrators were demanding an immediate
investigation into a corruption case involving the
2004 regional budget valued at 12 billion rupiah.
They also called on the state prosecutor to detain
all government officials that have been named
suspects in corruption cases. (Liputan 6, 29/6/2006)

Women and urban poor groups protest in Jakarta

Around 1,000 people from the women’s organisation
Perempuan Mahardika and the Urban Poor People’s
Union (SRMK) demonstrated at the offices of the
coordinating minister for people’s welfare in
Central Jakarta on June 29. They were calling on the
government to provide for the people’s basic needs.

The protesters began gathering at the National
Museum at around 11am then marched to the ministry
offices. The front rank of demonstrators was made up
of housewives and children followed by young women
and men. They brought a variety of posters and red
flags and most wore red T-shirts. "Bring down
prices, increase wages and give free education to
the poor", they shouted repeatedly raising their
fists in the air.

Upon arriving in front of the ministry building, the
demonstrators were greeted by dozens of security
personnel from the Central Jakarta district police.
(, 29/6/2006)

Urban poor, women’s group pledges to form political

Satisfied with the demonstration in front of the
offices of the minister for people’s welfare, some
1,000 people from Perempuan Mahardika, SRMK, the
People’s Democratic Party (PRD) and the Indonesian
National Front for Labour Struggle (FNPBI) moved off
to continue protesting at the State Palace.

Upon arriving at the State Palace, the protesters
resumed giving speeches in which they said that the
government of President Yudhoyono and Vice President
Kalla had failed to bring prosperity to the people.
They said therefore that they plan to form a
political party called the National Liberation Party
(PPN) in order to defend the interests of the poor.

"A party will be born that sides with the poor and
will cancel the foreign debt and provide free
education and healthcare to the ordinary people. We
will win the 2009 general elections", said the head
of the PPN preparatory committee on June 29.

As of 12.45pm the action was still continuing
closely guarded by around 50 officers from the
Central Jakarta district police. (,

Protesters move off to city hall... followed by food

After articulating their demands at the State
Palace, protesters from the Perempuan Mahardhika
Network and SRMK then marched to the Jakarta city
hall. Seeing them leave, the food vendors quickly
packed up and followed them to the next protest

Leaving at around 2.50pm, the protesters marched off
with a vehicle carrying a sound system leading the
rally. One of the speakers continued to shout and
encourage the protesters. "Bring down prices, raise
wages, free education", they said while directing
the demonstrators towards the city hall.

Like the earlier demonstrations, the march also
caused a traffic jam. In order to alleviate the
congestion police finally ordered drivers to use the
Busway corridor.

Uniquely, when the rally moved off to towards the
city hall, they were followed by dozens of food
venders who walked in rows alongside the rally or
behind the rear section of demonstrators. Meatball,
tofu salad, bottled water and vegetable salad
vendors, all went along. (, 29/6/2006)

Earthquake victims vandalize local government

Hundreds of residents from three villages from the
Berbah sub-district of Sleman, Yogyakarta, protested
at the Berbah government offices on June 30
demanding the distribution of support allowances.

Around 300 people from the villages of Sendangtirto,
Kalitirto and Telogotirto began arriving by truck at
the Berbah sub-district offices at around 10am. The
protesters were demanding to know why only some
residents had received support whereas all of them
have been registered as victims of the earthquake
and were entitled to assistance.

The Berbah sub-district head, Bambang Condro, agreed
to discuss the issue with the protesters. When they
asked Condro to explain the problem, he claimed that
the data from the village administration had already
been submitted to the regional administration so
they should speak with the regent.

Dissatisfied with his response, a row broke out and
a number of office windows were smashed and the
tables chairs used for the meeting were overturned.
The uproar only ended after two truckloads of police
arrived. In the end it was agreed that a number of
the protesters would go to the regency offices while
the remainder would stay behind and wait.
(, 30/6/2006)

Activists protest eviction of urban poor in

Dozens of people from the Poor Peoples Front
Struggle Front (FPRM) protested at the offices of
the Palembang municipal government in South Sumatra
on June 30. They were protesting against the growing
number of evictions being carried out against
vagrants, street vendors, beggars and street
children in Palembang and urged the government to
revise the regulations on controlling the urban

"The government should create employment
opportunities in order to alleviate poverty instead
of taking short cuts by removing the poor," said
action coordinator Akbar Ikramsyah who is also a
member of the National Mandate Party affiliated
youth movement BMPAN.

The protesters also urged the government to organise
labour intensive programs, provide healthcare
subsidies and housing for the poor, including low-
ranking civil servants. (Kompas Cyber Media,

Pekanbaru residents accuse KPU of emasculating their
right to vote

Hundreds of residents in Pekanbaru demonstrated at
the Riau DPRD in Sumatra on July 1. They were
protesting the loss of their right to vote in the
election of the Pekanbaru mayor on June 21. They
accused the local National Election Commission (KPU)
of emasculating their political right to vote for
the mayoral candidates Herman Abdullah and Erizal
Muluk. The protesters also called on the police to
question members of the Pekanbaru KPU over
suspicions that they manipulated the number of
registered voters. (Liputan 6, 1/7/2006)

Parents protest lack of transparency in school

Dozens of parents of students at the Rawamangun
state primary school in East Jakarta protested on
June 30 against the lack of transparency in the
management of the school’s education funds. They
said that as much as 2.8 billion rupiah had been

The parents, who came from the Student Parents
Communication Forum (FKOTS), marched to the school
where they were greeted by the school principle
Suparman. During discussion it was revealed that the
school had never provided financial statements to
the school committee whereas the use of operational
funds must have the prior agreement of the
committee. After a long debate, Suparman finally
promised to take responsibility for the financial
reports to the committee. (Liputan 6, 1/7/2006

CV Sari Inti Pratama workers demand compensation

As many as 150 CV Sari Inti Pratama workers from the
village of Sentul in the Sidoarjo regency of East
Java, protested on July 1 urging the company
management to immediately distribute aid money from
PT Lapindo Brantas. PT Lapindo is providing 700,000
rupiah in assistance to each employee who is unable
to work because their factory has been inundated by

The majority of protesters, who were women
employees, said they were only given two choices by
their supervisor. If they accepted the 700,000
rupiah in compensation for lost wages they would be
deemed to have resigned, or they would continue to
be employed if they were willing to receive half the
amount. Dewi, one of the protesters, said that they
had the right to all of the compensation from PT
Lapindo. (Liputan 6, 2/7/2006)

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