Jakarta – Demonstrations opposing the enactment of the Omnibus Law on Job Creation ended in clashes with police in several parts of the county on Thursday October 8.
As many as eight police officers in the North Sumatra city of Medan were injured during the unrest. “Seven of our officers were injured, one of them a police woman”, Medan municipal police chief Senior Commissioner Riko Sunarko.
Sunarko added the officers were injured after protesters threw stones and other blunt objects at them. The thousands of protesters have now dispersed but police remain on guard in the vicinity of the North Sumatra Regional House of Representatives (DPRD).
In Makassar, South Sulawesi, protesters threw rocks and plastic bottles at police until a second clash broke out. The first clash occurred at 1.58 pm and the second later in the afternoon at 5.51 pm.
Police dispersed the protesters with teargas and water cannon. This did not however break the demonstrators’ spirits who since early morning had been mixing with local people who were not part of the protests, including children and high-school students.
“To people who are not involved, leave the area. Media crews, find a safe location”, came an announcement from the command vehicle loudspeaker.
The protesters continued to fight back with rocks, advancing then retreating again. Visibility was limited due to the acrid smoke and a whitish atmosphere due to a mix of smoke and water.
The stone throwing continued. An arrow was even fired in the direction of police although because of the distance if fell short of its target.
In the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya police fired teargas and forced protesters back from the Grahadi Negara building where the governor’s office is located.
“Revolution! Revolution! Revolution!” shouted the demonstrators on Thursday.
The protesters – who were made up of students and civil society groups – also threw mineral water bottles, glass bottles and wood at police.
Police responded by firing teargas and arrested several protesters who were dressed in ordinary street clothing rather than wearing workers’ uniforms or student jackets.
Police and demonstrators were also involved in a clash on Jl Yos Sudarso around 500 metres from the Grahadi Building. It is unknown how many people were injured during the clash although several were arrested by police.
Di Bandung, West Java, thousands of student demonstrators held their ground against police on Jl Diponegoro until late afternoon. Black smoke billowed over the student protest in front of the West Java DPRD.
The demonstrators continued to stick to their demands and opposing the Omnibus Law even though West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil had come out and spoken with the protesters.
The demonstrators could be heard making the students pledge followed by shouts of “Revolution! Revolution”. There were also calls of God is great.
Meanwhile ordinary and anti-riot police remained on alert creating a blockade on the grounds of the DPRD. (fnr, svh, frd, hyg/gil)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Bentrok Aparat dan Pedemo Omnibus Law di Penjuru Daerah”.]