Anti-Bush demonstrations escalate in lead up to visit

Various Sources – November 15-16, 2006
Preparations in Bogor for visit by US President George W Bush - November 20, 2006 (people)
Preparations in Bogor for visit by US President George W Bush - November 20, 2006 (people)

[The following is a compilation of abridged translations of protests between November 15-16 against US President George W. Bush's planned visit to the West Java city of Bogor on November 20. Translated by James Balowski.]

No end in sight for Anti-Bush demonstrations in Bogor

Scores of students and members of Islamic mass organisations collected signatures yesterday in the West Java city of Bogor to petition against the planned visit by US President George W. Bush on November 20.

The activists came from a number of organisations including the Muslim Students Association for Reform (HMI MPO), the Indonesian Nationalist Students Movement (GMNI), the Indonesian Islamic Students Movement (PMII), the Indonesian Christian Students Movement (GMKI), Democrat Youth and the Nahdlatul Ulama Youth Generation (AMNU).

After collecting a thousand or more signatures from street traders, pedicab drivers, shoppers, drivers and local residents, they handed the petition over to the Bogor regional police chief Sukrawardi Dahlan. Dahlan said that they would pass the activists concerns on to the relevant party but added that he had no authority beyond this. (Tempo Interactive, 15/11/2006)

Court sentences Bush to 'burn in hell'

Lively protests against George Bush's visit are continuing across the country. In the West Sumatra provincial capital of Padang, the West Sumatra Forum for the Upholding of Islamic Law (FPSIS) held a "trail in absentia" on November 15 in which the panel of judges sentenced Bush to burn in hell for crimes against Islamic countries.

In South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar, students demonstrating against Bush said they would boycott the 2009 general elections if President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) and Vice President Jusuf Kalla insisted on bring Bush to Indonesia.

Hundreds of members and sympathisers of the Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS) in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya demonstrated by marching to the US Consulate. Upon arriving however, they were stopped by a police line some 100 meters from the consulate.

In Jakarta, members of the Hizbullah Crescent Star Brigade held a similar action at the US Embassy in which they urged the government to cancel Bush's visit saying its popularity would decline because of the US's involvement in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Liputan 6, 15/11/2006)

Anti-Bush protesters and supporters almost clash

Tensions were high at the Kujang Monument in Bogor today when protesters opposing and supporting a visit by George Bush traded insults and almost clashed before being separated by police.

The first demonstration was held by students from the Muslim Students Association (HMI) and the Fraternity of Indonesian Muslim Workers (PPMI) who gave speeches opposing Bush's visit. At the same time some 150 Bush supporters arrived and put up a US flag and a banner welcoming Bush. In order to avoid a clash, the HMI and PPMI protests moved to another locating to continue their demonstration.

Around an hour later, some 200 students from the Bogor Pakuan University arrived at the monument with banners opposing Bush. Both groups began trading insults with the students accusing the Bush supporters of betraying the country. In order to avoid a clash, police moved the Pakuan students to another location. (Tempo Interactive, 15/11/2006)

Public transport drivers, students protest Bush visit

Demonstrations are continuing in Bogor in the lead up to a visit by George Bush. This time it was public transport drivers who on November 15 protested against changes to their designated routes that will come into force during the visit, which they say will result in a decline in income.

Earlier this morning, members of the Indonesian Students Action Front (KAMI) and the PPMI held a protest at the Kujang Monument, not far from the Bogor Botanical Guardians, in which they handed out leaflets condemning Bush's visit.

And this afternoon, the Kujang Monument was inundated by around 200 people from the Bogor Henry Center Association who support the visit saying that as a state guest Bush should be respected. (Liputan 6, 15/11/2006)

Yogyakarta protesters 'curse Bush with black magic'

A demonstration against George Bush was also held by around 60 students from the Islamic State University in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on November 15 in which the protesters set fire to tyres and shouted "Come on curse Bush with black magic!".

The action started at the Yogyakarta Monument intersection where they gave speeches, set fire to tyres and shouted insults against Bush such as "Bush the real terrorist!". In particular they questioned the cost of security for the visit that will be as much as 6 billion rupiah. "It would be better if that much money is used for the people's welfare", charged the students. After about 30 minutes they moved off to demonstrate at the Regional House of Representatives (DPRD). (, 16/11/2006)

Students and Islamic groups protest against Bush in Solo

Two separated demonstrations against Bush's visit were held in the Central Java city of Solo on November 16.

The first protest was held by members of the Student Executive Council (BEM) Forum from the Eleven March University (UNS) at the UNS boulevard. In addition to opposing Bush's visit to Indonesia the students also collected signatures from other students demonstrating against the visit. The student said that Bush's visit is an attempt to influence and lobby Indonesia and the alleged reason for the visit, joint cooperation in education, health and anti-corruption is lies.

The second protest was held by the Surakarta Islamic Community Forum (FUIS), which is made representatives from various Muslim based organisations in Solo including the PKS, the United Development Party, Hizbut Tahir Indonesia (HTI), the Indonesian Muslim Students Action Front (KAMMI) and the Al-Mukmin Ngruki Islamic boarding school. In a press statement read out to members of the Solo DPRD, the FUIS called on the government to cancel the visit saying it was a waste of time and money. (, 16/11/2006)

Opposing Bush, students march backward to State Palace

Around 300 students who said that Yudhoyono and Kalla have taken a step back by accepting a visit by George Bush, protested by marching backwards from the Hotel Indonesia roundabout to the State Palace on November 16.

The 300 students, who were followed by around 700 others from KAMMI and the Greater Jakarta BEM, stopped off and held a short demonstration in front of McDonald's at the Sarinah department store where they shouted "Boycott US products" before continuing on to the palace. (, 16/11/2006)

Anti-Bush demonstration in Medan ends in clash

A demonstration in the North Sumatra provincial capital of Medan on November 16 against the visit by George Bush has ended in a clash when some 200 protesters were involved in a scuffle with around 100 police.

The protesters, who come from the Anti-Imperialist People's Alliance (ARAI), which is an alliance of various student groups in Medan, had been demonstrating since 11am saying they opposed Bush's visit and were against western imperialism in Indonesia.

The clash broke out at around 1pm when they were confronted by a blockade of armed police in front of the US representative offices. When the students attempted to break through the blockade a scuffle broke out resulting in four students being injured. (, 16/11/2006)

Anti-Bush demonstrations spread to State Palace

It has not just been the Bogor palace that has been rocked by anti-Bush demonstrations, the State Palace in Central Jakarta has also become a target.

On November 16 some 300 students from the Anti-US Student Youth Coalition (Kompaas) held a protest at the State Palace. In addition to bring banners of their respective groups they also brought posters with messages such as "Bush is the same as Hitler", "Bush is a war criminal" and "We reject Bush".

They also held a theatrical action in which a student brought monopoly money to symbolise US dollars that was then trampled on by a group of demonstrators. (, 16/11/2006)

Students in Aceh say 'SBY, don't pawn off Indonesia'

Scores of students from the Concern for the Nation Student Alliance (AMPB) held a demonstration against George Bush's visit at Simpang Lima in the Acehnese provincial capital of Banda Aceh on November 16.

AMPB is made up of students from the Syah Kuala University Student Administration, the Ar-Raniry State Institute of Islamic Studies BEM, KAMMI Aceh, the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) Aceh, Student Solidarity for the People (SMUR) and HTI Aceh.

The protesters brought a number of banners condemning Bush's visit including one on which was written "SBY, don't pawn of Indonesia". A picture of Bush was also placed near one of a chimpanzee, underneath were the words "American elections. Choose Bush or a monkey".

In speeches the group called on President Yudhoyono to be on guard against hidden agendas and the US's interests in order that they not harm the nation and sate. They also asked the president to take a firm position on the double standards being applied by the US.

After reading a statement the protesters then set fire to Bush's picture and the US flags. A dog that the students had been brought to the protest in a cage as 'lure' for Bush would also have been burnt if not for the quick action of journalists.

To close the action, they held a parody of the International Court trying Bush for the slaughter of civilians in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon. The lightening fast hearing ended with the "judge" sentencing Bush to death by being shot with a missile. ( Kita, 16/11/2006)

[Translated by James Balowski.]