Amanda Ferdina, Jakarta – Supporters of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) from the Indonesian People’s Solidarity Coalition (KSRI), who were protesting against the launch of the book Unmasking the Cikeas Octopus: Behind the Bank Century Scandal, were challenged to take part in the event. In the end however, they chose to disband instead.
During the action at the Doekoen Coffee shop on Jl. Raya Pasar Minggu in South Jakarta on Wednesday December 30, around 25 youths shouted slogans and gave speeches outside the venue. “Banish George, he’s a foreign lackey!” shouted KSRI coordinator Abdul Fatah in a speech.
Hearing this, participants attending the launch challenged them to come in side. They even waved 50,000 and 1,000 rupiah notes at the protesters. “Ayo, come on in if you want!”, they said. The demonstrators meanwhile continued to shout “Banish George! Banish George!”
Confronted by the challenge, instead of joining the event the protesters started to disband. “You’re just embarrassing SBY instead!”, shouted the participants.
One of the protesters, who decline to give their name, said that they had come from the Gunung Putri in nearby Bogor. They even admitted to not knowing the name of the organisation, the KSRI that they were demonstrating under that day. At 1.20 they disbanded and left in a bus bound for Bogor. (fay/nrl)
[Translated by James Balowski.]