Semarang students demand government which sides with the poor

Tempo Interactive – October 20, 2004
Student protest in Semarang (Merdeka)
Student protest in Semarang (Merdeka)

Dian Yuliastuti, Jakarta – Scores of students from a number of student and labour groups have demonstrated demanding that the new government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) and Vice-president Jusuf Kalla create a democratic government. The demonstration was held at the water fountain roundabout on Jalan Pahlawan in the Central Java provincial capital of Semarang on Wednesday October 20.

Calling themselves the People’s Alliance for Change, the group includes members of the Student Executive Council of the Sultan Agung Islamic University, the Indonesian National Front for Labour Struggle (FNPBI), the Community of Democratic Student Activists, the National Student League for Democracy (LMND), the Indonesian Catholic Student Association (PMKRI), the People’s Democratic Party (PRD) and the Association of Labour Solidarity (PSB).

As they carried posters and flags of their respective organisations they shouted slogans of struggle demanding that the new government bring real change to the people. According to action coordinator Nur Badrianto, the momentum created by the inauguration of SBY-Kalla as president and vice-president must be used as an initial bridge to create far-reaching change.

“For the democratic movement and people’s forces, if SBY-JK are really promising changes then it is the most basic changes which must be carried though”, Badrianto said to journalists.

[Translated by James Balowski.]