Students in Yogya protest by burning presidential campaign T-shirts

Source – October 20, 2009
Protester tramples on burnt pictures of SBY and Boediono (Tribune)
Protester tramples on burnt pictures of SBY and Boediono (Tribune)

Bagus Kurniawan, Yogyakarta – Hundreds of students from various groups in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta held an action opposing the inauguration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) and Vice President Boediono on October 20. The protest was marked by the burning of T-shirts with pictures of Yudhoyono and Boediono.

Members of the Gadjah Mada University Student Executive Council (BEM) held an action at the campus traffic circle in Bulaksumur. The other action by members of the Yogyakarta Muslim Students Association for Reform (HMI-MPO), Yogyakarta People’s Solidarity (SRY), the National Student League for Democracy (LMND), the National Alliance and the Muhammadiyah Students Association (IMM) was concentrated at the Yogyakarta Monument and in front of the central post office.

In opposing Yudhoyono and Boediono’s inauguration, the demonstrators said that the new administration was like the New Order Volume II (referring to the New Order regime of the late President Suharto), foreign and colonial lackeys, pro-capitalist and neoliberal. They also brought posters with messages such as “SBY, your homework isn’t finished”, “SBY, where are your promises” and “Alas SBY if you lie disasters will come”.

The demonstrators also questioned Yudhoyono’s campaign promises demanding that the government restore the function of the Corruption Eradication Commission, sack National Police criminal investigation agency chief Susno Duadji and resolve human rights violations such as the assignation of Munir and the 1997-98 abduction of student activists, revoke the Education Legal Entity law and fully investigate the Century Bank corruption scandal.

Following speeches, National Alliance members set fire to presidential campaign T-shirts with pictures of Yudhoyono and Boediono, which were placed on posters reading “Reject neoliberalism”. (bgs/djo)

[Abridged translation by James Balowski.]