Occupy Jakarta, an awareness building movement for social change

Pelita Online – October 21, 2011
Occupy Jakarta demonstration at Jakarta Stock Exchange building (3.bb)
Occupy Jakarta demonstration at Jakarta Stock Exchange building (3.bb)

Jakarta – The Occupy Jakarta movement inspired by Occupy Wall Street in New York continues to reverberate with no end in sight in the midst of the controversy surrounding the cabinet reshuffle and rampant corruption in Indonesia.

Aside from being a symbol of the fight against the capitalist system, the action is also being used as a platform for social awareness building to highlight that 1 percent of the population dominates economic life in Indonesia.

“Aside from demanding a change from the capitalist system, the action is also to make all sides aware that 99 percent of Indonesian society does not find itself in a situation that is comfortable in many areas, as a consequence of the domination of 1 percent of society who dominate the sources of our livelihood”, Occupy Jakarta initiator Sari Putri told Pelita Online on Friday October 21.

Sari added that this 1 percent is a representation of the capitalists in Indonesia who although they are small in number have immense control over all sectors of life. Many laws fail to side with the ordinary people because capitalism does not just control the economy but also the political, social, cultural, education and media fields and controls the way we think.

“Even our leaders are controlled by capitalists, this is why all areas of life in Indonesia are controlled in accordance with the interests of this 1 percent of capitalists”.

The form of capitalism that has developed within the administration has been marked by polices such the importation of salt, potatoes and cassava, which is creating concern over the future of Indonesia’s farms. “Like the demonstration that took place not long ago in the Dieng [Plateau in Central Java], which was related to the importation of cassava and potatoes. The future of our farmers is very worrying”, said Sari.

Everyone, she said, must make an effort to change this situation. Through the Occupy Jakarta movement, Sari is appealing to all people to support change to the existing system that does not side with 99 percent of the Indonesian people.

“It is most regrettable that not everyone realises that the capitalist system has taken over our lives. Because of this, through the Occupy Jakarta movement, it is hoped that all sides will realise that the dangers of capitalism are before our eyes”.

According to Sari, the Occupy Jakarta actions will continue to be held on a daily basis starting at 1pm in the parking area of the Jakarta Stock Exchange (JSX). In addition to speeches, the actions will also involve discussions as a means of raising consciousness.

The participants in the actions come from a variety of backgrounds such as students, fisherpeople from around the country, young people from Ambon, workers and so forth.

Source: Occupy Jakarta, Gerakan Penyadaran untuk Perubahan – Pelitaonline.com. Jumat, 21 Oktober 2011 <>

[Translated by James Balowski.]