Mojokerto – Scores of protesters from the Preparatory Committee for the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas) in the East Java city of Mojokerto took to the streets on December 20. In addition to campaigning for their right to exist and the right to hold protest actions, the activists from Papernas gave non-stop speeches.
As well as workers and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PRD), also present were demonstrators from the Mojokerto Buskers Union (SPM) and a group calling itself the Urban Poor Society (MMK). Setting off from the Hero’s Cemetery on Jl. Pahlawan, the demonstrators marched to the Mojokerto municipal government offices. Throughout the length of the march, the protesters, complete with flags, continued to make speeches.
In speeches they said that the government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Jusuf Kalla (SBY-JK) had failed. Aside from bringing posters, they also handed out leaflets to passers by that contained Papernas’ political program and took up the issue of free healthcare for mothers and children and a reasonable living wage for workers. “Because the SBY-JK government has failed, let us be the ones to find a way out”, said the chairperson of the Mojokerto chapter of KP-Papernas, Mustofa.
Although it was not like an earlier protest held by workers demanding an increase to the regional minimum wage, the level of security by personnel from the Mojokerto municipal police was almost the same.
“This street action is to introduce the existence of Papernas. Indeed, this is a new party that accommodates the working class and the little people”, said Mustofa. After feeling that they had given enough speeches and singing songs of struggle, the demonstrators continued the action with a march around the city. (abi)
[Slightly abridged transition by James Balowski.]