Marking Youth Pledge Day, students and workers descend on Presidential Palace

Kompas TV – October 28, 2021
Students, workers and civil society activists march towards State Palace – October 28, 2021 (CNN)

Isnaya Helmi, Jakarta – An alliance of worker and student groups held a demonstration near the Presidential Palace on Central Jakarta today, Thursday October 28.

During the action, which coincided with the anniversary of the 1958 Youth Pledge, they made several demands related to an evaluation of two years of the administration of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin.

As reported by the state news agency Antara, the thousands of protesters had been gathering in front of the Islamic Research & Training Institute (IRTI) at the National Monument in Central Jakarta since 11 am. They then marched towards the United States Embassy.

Protesters also held an action in front of the Town Hall building on Jalan Merdeka Selatan while other groups gathered at the Horse Statue traffic circle on Jalan Merdeka Barat.

"We are asking President Joko Widodo to immediately revoke the Omnibus Law and all of its derivative regulations", said one of the workers from atop of the command vehicle.

Meanwhile Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance Confederation (KASBI) General Chairperson Nining Elitos said that there were 13 people's demands being put forward at today's demonstration.

The 13 demands being conveyed by the workers and students were, among others, first, calling for the Omnibus Law and the derivative government regulations numbers 34, 36 and 37 to be revoked.

Second, the protesters rejected the abolition of minimum sectoral wages and demanded its immediate restoration. They also called on the government to increase the 2022 Municipal Minimum Wage (UMK) by 15 percent.

Third, they urged the government to provide job guarantees, the freedom to form trade unions and an end to unilateral sackings and union busting.

Fourth, they asked for an end to the criminalisation and arrest of activists and the release of all people's movement activists that are currently in detention.

Fifth, the government was urged to provide the same rights and protection to all domestic and migrant workers and to ratify the Draft Law on the Protection of Domestic Workers (RUU PPRT).

Sixth, guarantees and protection for workers in the industrial, tourism, hotel, plantation, mining, fishing, maritime, construction, transportation and online drivers or ojol sectors.

Seventh, they called for corruption cases involving the Social Security Management Agency and Covid-19 social aid to be fully investigated.

Eighth, they rejected the sacking of 58 Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) employees and called for their unconditional reinstatement.

Ninth, the government was asked to stop plans to liberalise the agrarian sector and the establishment of a Land Bank, as well as restore the spirit of agrarian reform based on the ideals of the 1945 Constitution, People's Consultative Assembly Decree Number XI/2001 on Agrarian Reform and Management of Natural Resources and the 1960 Basic Agrarian Law.

Tenth, the protesters called for genuine agrarian reform as a way to resolve agrarian conflicts and to fulfill the ordinary people's right to land.

Eleventh, the workers and students asked the government to provide free education during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Twelfth, stop the capitalisation and commercialization of education and thirteenth, they called for democracy and freedom of expression on all campuses to be upheld.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Geruduk Istana, Ini 13 Tuntutan Aliansi Buruh dan Mahasiswa ke Jokowi".]