Actions, demos, protests...

Indonesia Roundup #27 - August 7-13, 2006

, by INDOLEFT News Service, PRD

Simultaneous anti-Israeli protests held across the
country

Actions opposing Israeli aggression in Palestine and
Lebanon were held simultaneously in various parts of
the country on August 6.

In the Luwuk sub-district of Banggai regency,
Central Sulawesi, hundreds of Muslims took part in
an anti-Israeli protest in which they trampled on
and set fire to Israeli flags.

In the West Java city of Bekasi thousands of Muslims
attended an anti-Israel sermon and a mass meeting.
In addition to collecting donations to assist the
people of Lebanon a registration of those interested
in joining a holy war was also organised.

In the North Sumatra provincial capital of Medan,
demonstrators and police pushed and shoved each
other when protesters tried to approach the US
Consulate General. The protesters, who came from
civil groups and Islamic mass organisations, called
on the international community to assist in ending
Israeli aggression and violence in the Middle East.

Support and solidarity for the people of Palestine
and Lebanon was also expressed in a joint prayer in
the South Sumatra city of Palembang. Thousands of
people including religious scholars, teachers and
local people held a prayer recitation on the grounds
of the South Sumatra provincial government offices.

An anti Israeli demonstration in Tanjung Pinang,
Riau province, was marked by the burning of
photographs and effigies of US President George Bush
and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Protests against Israel were also held in the East
Java provincial capital of Surabaya by thousands of
Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS) sympathisers. The
protesters, the majority of which were housewives
and children, marched to the Grahadi Building where
they held a joint prayer.

Workers in Bandung demand payment of wages,
subsidies

Around 1,000 current and retired employees from the
company PT Kereta Api Java-Sumatra descended on the
company’s central offices in the West Java
provincial capital of Bandung on August 7. The
protesters were demanding that the management fulfil
a promise to pay a 13th round of wages and provide
subsidies to retired employees to pay for healthcare
and buy rice. (Detik.com, 7/8/2006)

Police arrest dozens of anti-Israeli students in
Bandung

A student demonstration against Israeli aggression
in Palestine and Lebanon in Bandung on August 8 has
ended in chaos. The protesters, who had forced their
way into the offices of the West Java governor in
the Gedung Sate Building, became angry when police
tried to prevent them from taking down a flag.
Fifteen protesters were arrested in the incident.

From the start, the action by the 30 or so students
from the Islamic Student Association (HMI) was quite
heated. They gave speeches and put up posters and
banners condemning the barbarism of the Zionist
state as well as setting fire to old tyres in front
of the Gedung Sate Building complex. (Liputan 6,
8/8/2006)

Former Bank Dagang Bali employees demand severance
pay

A demonstration on August 8 by hundreds of former
employees of Bank Dagang Bali who had gone to the
Denpasar branch of Bank Indonesia was marred by an
incident in which protesters and police pushed and
shoved each other. The protesters were demanding the
payment of severance pay that has now been
outstanding for two years. A meeting between
representatives of the protesters and Bank Indonesia
was unable to reach and agreement and a second
meeting is to be held tomorrow with the team
overseeing the liquidation of Bank Dagang Bali.
(Liputan 6, 8/8/2006)

Hundreds of farmers rock the State Palace

Hundreds of farmers from Way Kanan in Lampung, South
Sumatra, held an action at the State Palace in
Jakarta on August 9. They were calling on President
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to assist in resolving a
land dispute with the company PT Bangun Nusa Indah
Lampung (BNIL).

The farmers were demanding rights over land being
used a subsidiary company of BNIL because to date
they have not received any benefits from crops
produced on the land even though the land belongs to
them.

“Since 1996 they have been oppressed by unjust
company policies. Their land was taken to plant palm
oil trees and managed by the company. But up until
now, they have not received any of the produce from
their land. Instead they have had to bear a debt of
15 million rupiah to this day. They are not prepared
to accept this”, said Sopian Sitepu who was
representing the farmers. (Detik.com, 9/8/2006)

Former Bank Dagang Bali employees demonstrate again

Once again hundreds of former employees from Bank
Dagang Bali have blockaded the entrance to the
Denpasar branch of Bank Indonesia. The demonstration
on August 9 was demanding that the team overseeing
the liquidation of the bank disburse severance pay
amounting to three months wages to the 685 former
employees through Bank Indonesia. (Kompas Cyber
Media, 9/8/2006)

Damri bus drivers threaten strike action

Hundreds of drivers from the Damri bus company
demonstrated in front of the Regional House of
Representatives (DPRD) building in Surabaya on
August 9. They were demanding that minibuses from
the nearby cities of Mojokerto and Malang not be
allowed to operate within the city as it is cutting
into their incomes.

The protesters said that if the Surabaya municipal
government did not heed their demands they would go
on strike saying that this would leave thousands of
passengers stranded. The government’s failure to
heed a similar threat in March resulted in hundreds
of Damri bus drivers taking strike action. (Liputan
6, 9/8/2006)

Fisherpeople demonstrate against trawling boats

Around 1,000 fisherpeople demonstrated at the
Sibolga DPRD in North Sumatra on August 8. They were
demanding that the Sibolga municipal government and
the Tapanuli Tengah regional government prohibit
boats using large trawling nets from operating in
the Sibolga and Nias waters. The protesters said
that the operations of these boats had resulted in a
decline in their catch over the last five years. The
demonstration almost ended in a clash when police
tried to stop the fisherpeople from giving speeches.
(Liputan 6, 9/8/2006)

Transport drivers protest infringement of designated
routs

Hundreds of public transport drivers on the
Banyumanik-Pasar Johar route in the Central Java
provincial capital of Semarang demonstrated at the
city hall on August 9. They were demanding the
removal of city busses that they said are infringing
on their designated route which has resulted in a
decline in their income. Responding to their
demands, the Semarang pubic relations office
promised to follow up their complaints. (Liputan 6,
9/8/2006)

Makassar workers strike, company paralyzed

Dozens of workers from the company PT Barawaja in
the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar
went on strike on August 9 following the dismissal
of one of their colleagues. The workers said the
dismissal was unfair as the person concerned was a
diligent worker. They threatened to continue the
strike that has paralyzed the company until the PT
Barawaja management rehire their colleague. (Liputan
6, 9/8/2006)

Cimahi workers demand payment of outstanding wages

Dozens of workers from the company PT Korin held a
demonstration at the Cimahi mayor’s office in West
Java on August 9. The action was held to protest the
company’s failure to pay their wages over the last
two months. The demonstration, which had earlier
been held at the PT Korin factory, got no response
from the mayor’s offices and a unit of local
civilian police prohibited them from entering the
offices. (Liputan 6, 9/8/2006)

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