Actions, demos, protests...

Indonesia Roundup #35 - October 2-8, 2006

, by INDOLEFT News Service, PRD

Kupang students demand investigation into Poso riots

Dozens of students from the Kupang People’s Justice
Forum (FKR) in East Nusa Tenggara demonstrated on
September 30 demanding that the government
immediately investigate those responsible for the
riots in Poso. The protesters said that with the
execution of Fabianus Tibo, Marinus Riwu and
Dominggus da Silva, government has in fact made it
more difficult to find the masterminds behind the
Poso riots and at the very least the police should
investigate the 16 names that were mention by Tibo
as being behind the riots. (Liputan 6, 2/10/2006)

Farmers protest again over dam floodgate closure

Thousands of farmers demonstrated again on October 2
in the Sukoharjo regency of Central Java asking that
the closure of Colo Dam floodgates in Sukoharjo be
delayed by a month as they are still desperately in
need of water to irrigate rice field that were only
planted two months ago.

The 2,000 or so farmers, who arrived in trucks, came
from the regencies of Sukoharjo, Karanganyar, Sragen
and Wonogiri, immediately tried to prevent officials
from closing off the water. According to one of the
farmers, Suparno, closing off the irrigation water
would hurt thousands of farmers who rely on water
from the dam for irrigation. Because of this
therefore, the farmers are threatening to occupy the
dam in order to prevent officials from closing the
floodgates. (Liputan 6, 2/10/2006)

Blue Bird taxi drivers in Bali protest over

On October 2 around 200 Blue Bird taxi drivers
demonstrated on at the Regional House of
Representatives (DPRD) in Denpasar, the capital city
of Bali, demanding that the Blue Bird management
annul a decision to dismiss a number of drivers.

"We are asking that our friend’s letters of
dismissal be revoked and the general manager of Blue
Bird be replaced. If our demands are not met, Blue
Bird’s operating license must be revoked", said
Made, one of the drivers.

Disappointed at not being received by DPRD speaker
Gede Adnyana, the drivers grew tired of waiting and
broke down the door to Adnyana’s office resulting in
the cancellation of a meeting assembly members. The
situation only calmed down after Adnyana agreed
discuss the issue with them. The outcome of the
meeting is still unknown. (, 2/10/2006)

Transvestites, gays and lesbians want discriminative
bylaws revoked

Around 10 people from the community of
transvestites, gays and lesbians went to the
Department of Justice and Human Rights in the South
Sumatra city of Palembang on October 2 to demand
that the government revoke Palembang Bylaw No.
2/2004 on the elimination of prostitution.

The protesters, who came from the non-government
organisation Arus Pelangi, the Jakarta Transvestites
Association (PWKJ) and the Heroines Advance
Foundation (YSM), were received by director of bylaw
planning Perda Wahidudin Adam.

"In the Palembang bylaw, transvestites are referred
to as criminals even though they have never engaged
in prostitution", said Arus Pelangi director Rido
Triawan during a meeting with Adam. Triawan
explained that this phenomenon is not just taking
place Palembang but that all over the country bylaws
are being enacted that discriminate against
transvestites, gays and lesbians.

In response to their concerns, Adam admitted that
there are currently 41 problematic bylaws in force
and promised to follow the matter up with the
minister, but added a decision to revoke a bylaw
takes at least six months. (, 2/10/2006)

Bridgestone Tyre employees demand annual bonus

Around 170 employees of PT Bridgestone Tyre
Indonesia in the Karawang regency of West Java
demonstrated on October 2 in front of the Bekasi
city transportation offices demanding increases to
their annual bonuses.

The head of the Karawang branch of the PT
Bridgestone Tyre All Indonesia Workers Union (SPSI),
Tri Dadi, said that the employees were demanding
bonus increases of between 120 to 275 percent of
their basic wage adding that the company was quite
capable of paying this. Another union leader agreed
saying that the company controls almost half of the
tyre market in Indonesia and the company’s profits
are sufficient to meet their demands. (Kompas Cyber
Media, 2/10/2006)

Semarang students demand justice minister be tried

Students from the West Semarang Greater Student
Community (KMSB) demonstrated in the East Java
provincial capital on October 2 accusing that the
Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Hamid
Awaludin, of being linked to a corruption case at
the General Elections Commission (KPU).

In speeches the students said that all people are
equal before the law so if the KPU is considered
corrupt then all of its personal must take
responsibility, including Awaludin. "The law in our
country has been proven to still be discriminative.
Hamid, who has now become a minister, has not been
touch at all [by the law] even though there have
been several KPU members that have been punished",
said action coordinator Abdul Qodir Zakariyya.

After giving speeches at the Fountain Roundabout the
students set fire to posters that they had brought
with messages such as "All corrupters must be
arrested and tried“,”Arrest Hamid!" and the like.
(, 2/10/2006)

Ministerial visit to Sidoarjo marred by protest

Fifteen victims of the Lapindo Brantas mudflow
disaster demonstrated on October 3 when Social
Affairs Minister Bachtiar Chamsyah paid a working
visit to distribute 10 tons of rice and 500 boxes of
instant noodles.

After listening to an explanation by the Sidoarjo
regent about the mud disaster, Chamsyah and his
entourage hurried to visit the site of the mud
outflow. But the moment they set foot outside of the
open veranda, they were confronted by the 15 victims
who were holding an action demanding that the mud
not be dumped into the sea.

In addition to giving speeches, the protester put up
a six-meter banner with the writing “The community
of mud victims opposes dumping the mud into the
sea”. Chamsyah and his entourage however, ignored
the protesters and hurried off to the site.
(, 3/10/2006)

Gresik residents oppose oil and gas exploration

Hundreds of protesters from the Residents Forum of
Concern for the Survival of the New Gresik City
Housing Complex and Griya Kembangan Asri protested
again on October 3 opposing oil and gas exploration
at the Lengowangi 1 well site in the village of Suci
in the Manyar sub-district of Gresik, East Java.

They also called on the president of Indonesia
through the related minister to review the
exploration license belonging to the Joint Operating
Body Pertamina-Petrochina East Java (JOB PPEJ) as
exploration activities must be accompanied with an
environmental impact analysis because of the high
level of risk involved.

Forum coordinator Bambang Suryadi explained that
they were protesting because they did not want to
suffer the same fate as the victims of the Lapindo
mud disaster. “We are calling on JOB PPEJ to make an
agreement or Memorandum of Understanding before
conducting exploration and exploitation activities”,
said another protester. (Kompas Cyber Media,

Anti-corruption protesters demand suspension of

Hundreds of protesters from the Peoples Anti-
Corruption Alliance (ARAK) demonstrated in front of
the offices of the Department of Home Affairs in
Jakarta on October 4 urging the government to
immediately suspend South East Sulawesi Governor Ali

The call was made because Mazi has been named a
defendant in a corruption case involving the
extension of the Hilton Hotel’s building permit. In
speeches the protesters asked Home Affairs Minister
Mohammad Ma’ruf to immediately send a letter to
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono asking for Mazi’s
temporary suspension. They also asked the government
not to be discriminative in eradicating corruption
and to avoid political intervention in corruption

They also said that the situation in South East
Sulawesi is becoming increasingly troubled since
Mazi was named as suspect in the case because of
acts of terror such as the torching of DPRD members’
houses and the vandalising of the Association of
Islamic Students (HMI) offices in Kendari that have
indications of being politically motivated in order
to stifle the voices of those campaigning to
eradicate corruption. (Media Indonesia, 4/10/2006)

Action by hundreds of student marks Banten

Coinciding with the sixth anniversary of the
creation of Banten Province, hundreds of students
from the Banten Student Challenge Alliance (AMBM)
held a demonstration on October 4 over the lack of
development in the province.

The protesters, who came from a number of Banten
student organisations such as Tirta University
Student Executive Council (BEM), the Banten STIA
BEM, the University of Indonesian Education (UPI)
BEM, the Dipanegara Computer and Information
Technology Institute (STMIK) BEM, the State
Institute of Islamic Studies (IAIN) BEM, the Banten
Indonesian Law Students Senate Association (ISMAHI)
and the Banten Indonesian Muslim Students Action
Front (KAMMI), held the protest at the Banten DPRD
in Serang.

“The goal of the people of Banten in separating from
West Java six years ago was to improve prosperity
and end backwardness, but to this day these hopes
have still not become a reality”, said action
coordinator Muhamad Hafidz. The students said that
socio-economic data for Banten showed that Banten is
facing a number of problems such as malnutrition,
hunger, polio and other diseases as well as
corruption and thuggery that have slowed
development. (Kompas Cyber Media, 4/10/2006)

Protesters cover mouths with tape over defamation

On October 4, some 20 students sat down in a line
with their mouths covered with masking tape in front
of the South Jakarta District Court. They were
demanding the release of Fahrur ’Paung’ Rohman who
is being tried for insulting President Yudhoyono.

The students, who came from the City Network
(Jarkot) and wore black headbands with the writing
“Release Paung”, also brought a number of posters
with a picture of Paung’s in a jail cell and the
writing “Release our comrade” and a large banner
with “Release Paung”.

"We have covered our mouths as a symbol of the
gagging of the people’s voice. This gagging is
through the South Jakarta District Court and justice
will not be upheld by bringing Paung to trial", said
on of the students in a speech. (,

NGO and social organisations’ turn to protest the

After a demonstration several days ago by supporters
of the one of the candidates for the governor of
Banten, on October 5 it was the turn of the Banten
Inter-Non Government and Social Organisations Forum
to protest at the provincial offices of the General
Elections Commission (KPUD).

The protesters, who were stopped some 50 meters from
the KPUD as the road was blocked by hundreds of
police, ended up giving speeches in which they
declared that the KPUD was incapable of conducting
the Banten 2006 election of regional heads

“We don’t support anyone, we only wish to convey a
moral message and state that the KPUD’s
determination of candidates for Banten governor was
legally flawed”, said Forum chairperson Firman
Santosa. The protesters also accused the KPUD of
behaving like the Mafia in its tenders for the
supply of logistics.

Ten representatives of the protesters were finally
able to meet with the head of the KPUD, Didi Hidayat
Laksana and convey their concerns. Laksana responded
by saying they would learn from the protesters’
suggestions but that they had already set out the
schedule and stipulations for the elections.
Following the meeting the protesters disbanded
peacefully. (Kompas Cyber Media, 5/10/2006)

Students clash during protest in Kendari, two

Scores of students from the from the Student
Representative Assembly (PMP) held a demonstration
at the Sultan Qaimuddin State College of Islamic
Religious Studies (STAIN) in Kendari on October 5
demanding that STAIN Rector Muhamad Daming K resign.

The protesters, who also sealed of the rectorate,
said Daming should resign because he no longer has
the student’s trust, has enacted arbitrary policies
and appointed particular companies to carry out

The action, which has no been going on for the last
three days, is opposed by the BEM students who
support Daming. When scores of students tried to
enter the rectorate and meet with Daming, a clash
broke out between the opponents and supporters of
Daming resulting in two students being injured.
(Media Indonesia, 5/10/2006)

Greenpeace protests forest fires, peat land

Protests against the clearing of Indonesia’s forest
by burning are continuing. This time it was the turn
of activist from the international environmental
group Greenpeace who demonstrated at the
Environmental Department in Jakarta on October 5.

The Greenpeace activists were urging the government
to halt the conversion of peat lands which they said
was one of the reasons for the forest fires in
Sumatra and Kalimantan, adding that one of the
triggers for this was the department issuing peat
land conversion licensees to businesses.

Officials at the Environment Department were
startled when the activists started up a smoke
machine inundating the offices with thick smoke like
the fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan. The protesters
also put up posters and banners calling for the
government to immediately deal with the forest
fires. (Liputan 6, 5/10/2006)

Jakarta mini-bus drivers strike over new busway

Hundreds of Microlet M-01 mini-bus drivers plying
the route between Kampung Malayu in South Jakarta
and Senen in Central Jakarta went on strike this
morning. The drivers, who come from the Drivers
Concern Forum were protesting work being done on
Corridor V busway project between Kampung Malayu and

After parking their vehicles on the busway lane
along Jl. Kramat Raya, the drivers gave speeches
calling for a postponement of the construction and
operation of Corridor V that they said would
bankrupt them. Later this afternoon, the drivers
plan to take their protests to the Jakarta
Transportation Offices. (Liputan 6, 5/10/2006)

Banten students call for end to ’shameful acts’

Hundreds of students demonstrated at the Banten DPRD
building on October 6 to coincide with a plenary
hearing to discuss the up coming sixth anniversary
of Banten province. The students were calling on
candidates for governor and deputy governor in the
coming election of regional heads not to commit
shameful acts as has been happing up until now.
(Liputan 6, 6/10/2006)

Yogyakarta traders protest road closure

Street traders, parking inspectors and buskers
working on Jl. Kaliurang in the Central Java city of
Yogyakarta demonstrated recently at the local DPRD
against plans to close the road off. The protesters
said that the planned closure, which is being done
in the interests of the Gajah Mada University, would
kill off their businesses. (Liputan 6, 6/10/2006)

Ambon primary school students protest

Lacking adequate facilities to study, hundreds of
students from the Mashie 11 State Primary School in
Ambon, Central Maluku, demonstrated at the DPRD on
October 7. The protest was coordinated by their

At the DPRD the students took turns in reading out
written speeches in which they complained about not
having desks, seats or a permanent building to study
in. The students said that their school had been
burnt during the 1999 Ambon riots and had still not
been rebuilt by the government, leaving them with
nowhere to study. (, 7/10/2006)

Coconut traders in Ternate clash with police

An attempt by civil service police to evict coconut
traders in the North Maluku city of Ternate ended in
a clash on October 7. The incident occurred when the
officials tried to seize their goods and a clash as
unavoidable. The clash did not last long after
officials decided to cancel the raid even though
they had been able to seize thousands of coconuts
owned by the traders. (Liputan 6, 7/10/2006)

Students demand suspension of South East Sulawesi
governor, again

Students from the city of Kendari demonstrated again
at the South East Sulawesi DPRD on October 7 calling
on assembly members to pressure President Yudhoyono
to suspend Governor Ali Mazi. The calls were made in
relation to Mazi’s status as a defendant in a
corruption case over the Hilton Hotel. (Liputan 6,

PT Naintex workers demand severance pay

More than 100 workers from PT Naintex demonstrated
again at in front of the Gedung Sate Building
complex in Bandung on October 7. They were calling
in a promise made by members of the West Java DPRD
to mediate in a dispute between the workers and the
company. The workers, who said the company abandoned
them eight months ago, are demanding the immediate
payment of outstanding severance pay. (Liputan 6,

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