Makassar workers pelt effigies of Yudhoyono-Kalla with bottles and stones

Source – May 1, 2005
Workers commemorate May Day in South Sulawesi capital of Makassar (Republika)
Workers commemorate May Day in South Sulawesi capital of Makassar (Republika)

Gunawan Mashar, Makassar – Like pelting the holy wall with stones to excise evil. That’s what it was like at a demonstration in the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar during the commemoration of May Day – they pelted effigies of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice-president Jusuf Kalla with bottles of Aqua and stones.

Actions by workers commemorating May Day on Sunday were held in a number of places. As well as workers, students from a number of other organisations also took to the streets.

One of the places used by demonstrators was the Reformasi toll road where hundreds of workers and students from the United Student Worker Front (FBMB) linked up with the Association of Islamic Students (HMI) and demonstrated by ‘sleeping’ in the middle of the toll road intersection.

Their action was carried out as a symbol that workers no longer trust the Yudhoyono-Kalla government and that since they took office workers have continued to have no power and are still left to flounder with no clear future. As a result of the action traffic on road leading to the Reformasi toll road slowed to a crawl.

Demonstrators had also made effigies with pictures of Yudhoyono and Kalla that were pelted with bottles of Aqua and stones. This act was a symbol of protest against the president and vice-president.

At around 11am demonstrators left the Reformasi toll road and are currently travelling towards the Karebosi Square to meet up with other workers who will arrive from other locations.

Each year Karebosi Square is a focal point for workers commemorating May 1. As of going to print around 500 workers had already gathered and this will increase because many are still on their way such as workers who had gathered at the Makassar Industrial Zone on Jalan Ir Sutami who are now on their way to the square.

Hundreds of police officers have been put on alert to maintain security during the demonstrations. (asy)

[Translated by James Balowski.]