Yulianti, Jakarta -- As planned, on Saturday hundreds of protesters from the Women’s Defence Alliance (Aliansi Perempuan Menggugat, APM) held a demonstration in commemoration of International Women’s Day.
The demonstration by around 500 involved students, non- government organisation activists, Cakung workers [who were locked out of their factory when the owners fled the country], the Muara Angke family [who’s land was turned into a luxury housing estate], the People’s Democratic Party and the National Student League for Democracy.
The action at the Hotel Indonesia roundabout began at around 3pm to be followed by a “long-march” to the International Monetary Fund offices then the presidential palace.
During the action in which the majority of participants were women, they displayed banners which read: “Women Against Liberalism and the Neo-Liberal Regime”, “Women Reject Price Increases” and “Reject the Draft Laws on Labour”.
In a statement, APM explicitly rejected the economic and political policies of the government of president Megawati Sukarnoputri and Vice-president Hamzah Haz who are serving the interests of foreign capital. They also rejected militarism because in all conflict which occur women become the targets of rape.
APM also called for the government to reduce the prices of basic goods, because as a result of the price increases, it has become difficult for housewives to manage the household budget. APM also criticised the increases to the cost of education which has caused many children to drop out of school.
[Translated by James Balowski.]