May Day rally in Jakarta calls on US to end support for Israeli aggression in Gaza

Tempo – May 1, 2024
Workers protest in front of US Embassy in Jakarta on May Day – May 1, 2024 (Tempo)

Sultan Abdurrahman, Jakarta – A number of workers and online motorcycle taxi drivers (ojol) commemorated International Labour Day in front of the United States Embassy on Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan in Central Jakarta on May 1.

The demonstrators called on the US government to stop its support for Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.

"The worker and ojol action at the US Embassy is a form of criticism against the United States for its support for Zionist Israel", said Online Drivers Trade Union (Speed) leader Budiman at the location.

Budiman highlighted the role of the US in vetoing several United Nations resolutions on Israeli aggression in Gaza, Palestine.

He also talked about the wave of pro-Palestinian demonstrations that are currently occurring on campuses in the land of Uncle Sam. According to Budiman, the protests by students and civil society groups in the US itself show that their own government's policies on Israel are wrong.

Budiman said that Indonesian workers and online taxi drivers are angry and condemn the Israeli Zionist savagery against Palestine. The reason, he said, is because Israel continues to colonise the Palestinian nation by seizing their land.

Budiman also touched on Israel's attacks on Gaza, which have been taking place since the end of 2023.

"Zionist Israel's [attacks] are becoming more intense. As of the 214th day of Israel's attacks on Gaza, Palestine, which have been indiscriminate, it has made tens of thousands of [Palestinians] lose their lives or be injured", said Budiman.

He said that various public facilities and residents' homes have also been the target of the Israeli Zionists. In fact, said Budiman, humanitarian aid has also been obstructed by Israel, so that the Palestinian people are isolated and hungry.

Following the action at the Embassy, the protesters held a ling-march to the nearby Arjuna Wijaya (Horse) Statue where other trade unions were holding Labour Day actions.

Included among the trade unions and organisations demonstrating on May Day were the Indonesian Metal Workers Trade Union Federation (FSMPI), the Confederation of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI), the Association of Indonesian Independent Manufacturing Trade Unions (GSPMII), the Indonesian Women's Alliance and the Labour Party.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "May Day 2024, Buruh dan Ojol Demo Kedubes AS untuk Dukung Palestina".]