Yogya students hold solidarity action, condemn violence by paid thugs

Tribune Yogyakarta – November 1, 2013
Students hold candle lit vigil against violence by paid thugs in Yogyakarta - November 1, 2013 (Tribune)
Students hold candle lit vigil against violence by paid thugs in Yogyakarta - November 1, 2013 (Tribune)

Yogya – Scores of students from the Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (Pembebasan) held an action in solidarity with the October 31-November 1 national strike in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta. The action, which was held in front of the Yogyakarta Presidential Palace, was marked with the lighting of one thousand candles.

“Almost all workers in the country are taking action. Moreover workers in Jabotabek (Greater Jakarta) are standing firm to fight for their rights. We are here to support the actions by the workers”, said action coordinator Ajwar on Friday evening.

Ajwar said that the workers’ demand that the government increase the regency and municipal minimum wage (UMK) by 50 percent is reasonable and is in accordance with the reasonable living cost index (KHL).

“The politics of low wages by companies and the government hurts workers a great deal. This keeps workers out of reach of a decent living, so it is fitting if workers demand their rights”, he asserted.

During the action the students also condemned the violent actions by thugs to thwart strike actions in the Jakarta satellite city of Bekasi and other areas on October 31. The group said that the government and employers must be held liable.

Ajwar said that four workers were slashed and stabbed by paid thugs during the incident and employers must be held responsible for the brutal action.

“It is very regrettable that in a democratic country there are still efforts to muzzle the people’s wishes by acts of thuggery. We condemn this brutal action”, he said.

[Mahasiswa Gelar Aksi Seribu Lilin untuk Buruh – Tribunjogja.com. Jumat, 1 November 2013. Translated by James Balowski.]