Wahyu Ruslan, Makassar – A protest action against the recent fuel price hike by hundreds of students and workers in the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar has ended in chaos. This occurred when the students waylaid a state-oil and gas company Pertamina tanker and a truck on Jalan Poros.
On several occasions during the action, the students were involved in scuffles with police when they highjacked the Pertamina tanker and the container truck, intending to use them to blockade the road.
When stopped by the students, police asked the Pertamina tanker driver to continue driving so the driver accelerated the vehicle. "Hey, don't give it gas", the demonstrators told the driver.
The police however continued to ask the driver to accelerate. "Make way, make way", one of the police officers told the students blocking the Pertamina tanker.
The emotional students then closed off road access on the Simpang Lima traffic circle, including access into the Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport, by setting fire to old tyres which resulted in completely stopping the flow of traffic on the Trans Sulawesi lane.
During the action, the protesters demanded that the government revoke the policy of increasing subsidised fuel prices which they say is bringing suffering to the little people.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Demo Tolak Kenaikan BBM di Makassar Ricuh Saat Mahasiswa Sandera Mobil Tangki Pertamina dan Truk".]