Demands for Indonesia to walkout of WTO growing stronger

Source – December 18, 2005
Police stand on alert at anti-WTO protest in Jakarta (Satu Harapan)
Police stand on alert at anti-WTO protest in Jakarta (Satu Harapan)

Machhendra Setyo Atmaja, Jakarta – Calls for Indonesia to walkout of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) are growing stronger as it is believed that the Indonesian government gains no benefits from an organisation that is driven by the advanced countries.

These demands were conveyed by hundreds of people calling themselves the Indonesian People’s Anti-Imperialist Union (Perisai) in a demonstration that was held in the form of a long-march from the Hotel Indonesia roundabout to the State Palace in Jakarta on Sunday December 18.

In a press statement, Perisai said it believes that the WTO’s policies are an extension of the transnational and multinational companies of the advanced countries. The WTO is also trying to destroy the agricultural sector that is the backbone of the majority of Indonesian farmers.

Perisai also said that the WTO is pushing the paradigm of national industrial development that is massively exploitative in character with regard to natural and human resources. The WTO is also pushing for the import of trade services into Indonesia. As a result, a commercialisation of people’s basic services has taken place such as in education and healthcare.

In addition to calling on the government to walkout of the WTO, Perisai is also therefore calling for the WTO to be disbanded, opposing free trade, calling for the formation of fair economic cooperation between developing nations, rejecting cheap wages and demanding guarantees on the freedom of association for workers.

They also brought banners with their demands to the action and throughout the long-march gave speeches and sang from on top of cars. (umi)

[Translated by James Balowski.]