Protesters oppose G20 meeting, say US is ‘angel of death’

Source – November 14, 2008
Anti-capitalist rally in Yogyakarta (Kompas)
Anti-capitalist rally in Yogyakarta (Kompas)

Jakarta – Around 100 people held a protest action in front of the United States Embassy in Central Jakarta on November 15 demanding that a G20 ministerial level meeting in Washington be dissolved. The protesters, who came from the People’s Struggle Front (FPR), said that the meeting would not solve the problems facing ordinary people.

During the protest, which was joined by workers, farmers and students, protesters held a theatrical action depicting the countries that are consistently subservient towards the US government. Played by seven youths, five were wrapped in white cloth with their hands chained while two others played the role the “angel of death” wearing black robes and white painted faces. The angels of death were depicting the US that consistently dictates to other countries.

The protesters also gave speeches and shouted “Dissolve the G20” and “President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Jusuf Kalla are US lackeys”. “We believe that the G20 meeting is a waste of time and will be unable to solve the people’s problems. There is not one agenda item that will discuss these problems that bring suffering to workers and farmers. It is workers and farmers that will feel the flow on effect”, said action coordinator Rudi HB Daman.

Women activists demand reinstatement of worker sacked for wearing veil

Bekasi – Around 5,000 women activists demonstrated at the West Bekasi Mitra Keluarga public hospital on November 14 in protest over the dismissal of an employ for wearing a jilbab (veil).

During the action, the protesters called on the hospital to reinstate Wine, a physiotherapy nurse, who was dismissed for wearing a jilbab while working. They also urged the hospital to revise its regulations on official uniforms.

“The dismissal was a violation of human rights. We are calling for Wine to be reinstated”, said Women’s Social Concern (MPP) chairperson Sri Widianti.

Student protesters demand return of state funds

Makassar – The arrival of Bima Regent Ferry Zulkarnain in the South Sulawesi regional capital of Makassar to take part in the Nusantara Royal Festival (FKN) on November 15 was greed by a protest by around 20 students.

The students were demanding that Zulkarnain return Rp1.6 billion in funds used for the royal festival and a development project in Belo sub-district that they say will cause environmental damage.

According to action coordinator Nurdin, Zulkarnain has been incompetent in holding office and his administration is ridden with corruption, collusion and nepotism. “Ferry goes fishing more often that taking care of Bima residents’ interests”, said Nurdin.

Village officials besiege parliament, demand funding increase

Jakarta – More then 3,000 village officials from the Archipelago Village People’s Union (Parade Nusantara) held a protest action in front of the House of Representatives (DPR) in Central Jakarta on November 17 demanding that 10 percent of the state budget be allocated for village development programs. The demonstrators threatened that if their demands are not met they would boycott the 2009 general elections.

“Certainly there are funds from departments that are concerned with village development such as the Agricultural Department and the Department of Fisheries and Marine Affairs. But this is not enough, we are asking for 10 percent. If not, we will boycott the elections”, action coordinator Slamet Rahardjo told journalists during a break in the action.

As a result of the demonstration, which was watched over by around 60 police offices, traffic became congested from the Semanggi overpass to the DPR building. Despite this, the action proceeded in an orderly fashion and protesters demanded to meet with DPR members to discuss their concerns.

[Abridged translation by James Balowski from articles posted on the website between November 14 and 17.]