Jakarta – Demonstrators from an alliance of student groups begun arriving at the Horse Statue in Central on Friday September 30 where they gave speeches on the road after refusing to use the location provided by the police.
The protesters arrived at around 3.30 pm and began giving speeches in the middle of the three-way intersection in front of the Horse Statue.
"Today we don't want to protest in front of the State Palace. Today we don't want to be greeted by razor wire. Every time we protest in Jakarta we're always greeted by razor wire", said University of Indonesia Student Executive Council (BEM UI) Chairperson Bayu Satria in a speech.
Satria said that the razor wire installed by the police was a symbol of the spines on the bodies of the police and the regime of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.
"Once again bapak bapak [Mr] police, we don't want to negotiate on that side. Because aside from there being razor wire there, a concrete wall has also been installed there. A concrete wall which was installed as a divide between the regime and its people", explained Satria.
"The concrete walls are a symbol of the concrete walls that exist in the administration today, an administration that [only] focuses on development in the [new] capital city [in East Kalimantan]", he added.
Several of the students brought posters and banners with messages such as, "There have been six changes of president, but the Semanggi I and II cases have never been resolved", referring to the 1997-98 student shooting in Jakarta, and "#rejectRKUHP, heed the people's mandate", referring to the controversial Draft Criminal Code (RKUHP).
The students arrived wearing their respective campus almamater jackets. The police meanwhile could be seen on guard at the Horse Statue traffic circle and directing traffic.
Based on information received, the students holding the demonstration today was an alliance of Student Executive Councils from UI, the Padjadjaran University (Unpad) BEM Student Community, the Gajah Mada University (UGM) BEM Student Community, the Greater Jakarta and Banten Student Executive Council (BSJB), the Trisakti Transportation and Logistics Institute (ITL Trisakti) and other civil society organisations.
They were demanding a resolution to problems that have not been solved over the last three years of the administration of President Widodo and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin. (pop/DAL)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Mahasiswa Demo di Jakarta, Sindir Pemasangan Beton dan Kawat Duri".]