Triono Wahyu Sudibyo, Semarang – Around 100 activists from the Volunteers of the People’s Struggle for the Liberation of the Motherland (Spartan) demonstrated in the Central Java provincial capital of Semarang on October 20 calling on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to reject foreign intervention in his administration.
Starting in the Simpang Lima area, the protesters then moved off to the Waterfall traffic circle then on to the Central Java Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) carrying posters reading “End foreign intervention” and “Don’t let the country be pawned off”.
The demonstrators, who released red-and-while coloured balloons when they reached the DPRD, said that over the last five years the Yudhoyono administration has depended upon foreigners and said they hoped that in his second term, he and Vice President Boediono would show more courage.
After the Spartan activists disbanded, a second wave of demonstrators from the Indonesian Student Secretariat (SMI) then held an action at the waterfall traffic circle at 12.30pm, also condemning the inauguration of Yudhoyono and Boediono.
Police remained busy throughout the day dealing with the waves of student actions. As one group disbursed, another started protesting. Some even occurred at the same time. Aside from Spartan and the SMI, three different groups held protest actions to condemn Yudhoyono’s inauguration, namely the Central Java Love the Corruption Eradication Commission Movement (Cicak Jateng), the Central Java Indonesian Islamic Students Movement (PMII Jateng) and the Semarang Axis. (try/djo)
[Abridged translation by James Balowski.]