Students release rats into national police headquarters

Source – October 31, 2005
Anti-corruption protest in front of National Police headquarters (RMOL)
Anti-corruption protest in front of National Police headquarters (RMOL)

Veronika Kusuma Wijayanti, Jakarta – Rats. Student released the animals – which are often the symbol of corruption – into the Jakarta police headquarters at a demonstration on Monday October 31. Fifteen white rats that had been given this names of corrupt police officers even assailed the offices of national police chief General Sutanto.

The rats were tossed into the offices by students from the Anti-Corruption Alliance (Aliansi Tolak Korupsi, ATK) during a demonstration at national police headquarters on Jalan Trunojoyo in South Jakarta.

The action was organised by 10 students from the Jayabaya University, the University Indonesia, the Mercu Buana University, the Satya Indonesia State University, the Jayakarta University and the Moestopo University.

The students could be seen carrying a cage of white rats on to which were adhered the names of high-ranking national police headquarters officers suspected of corruption. They were Saleh Saaf, Firman Gani, Budi G, Edi Garnadi, Dedy SK, Iwan Panji, Cuk Sugiarto, Makbul Padmanegara, Adang Dorojatun, Suyitno Landung, Heru S and Matheus Salempang.

The cage of rats was opened and one by one the rodents were tossed into the building. Plop, plop, plop, the rats were tossed in. “Investigate corruption in the national police. These are symbols of the corrupters”, shouted the students in unison.

Squeak, squeak, squeak, the rats casually entered the grounds of the building. Despite this, the dozens of police officers guarding the demonstration took no action and the officers remained on alert and did not attempt to remove the rats.

The students also brought posters with photographs of Saleh Saaf, Firman Gani, Suyitno Landung, former police chief General Da’i Bachtiar and Makbul Padmanegara. The five posters were place on the asphalt road and two of the rats were even left to “demonstrate” on top of them.

“We demand that the national police headquarters fully investigate, arrest and try high-ranking police officers that are involved in corruption”, said one of the speakers.

They then continued the action at the Corruption Eradication Commission building on Jalan Veteran where students later plan to set fire to the photographs. (aan)

[Translated by James Balowski.]