Yogyakarta students scuffle with police at national strike solidarity action

Detik News – November 1, 2013
Students in Yogyakarta hold solidarity action with striking workers - November 1, 2013 (Detik)
Students in Yogyakarta hold solidarity action with striking workers - November 1, 2013 (Detik)

Edzan Raharjo, Yogyakarta – An action in solidarity with the national strike was held by scores of students from the Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (Pembebasan) at the Yogyakarta Presidential Palace in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on Friday evening.

The student action, which was in support of the labour movement’s demands for wage increases, was marred by a scuffle with police. The scuffle broke out when the students prepared to set fire to two tyres, which were encircled by a blockade of demonstrators.

When the tyres were fully alight, police officers moved in and forced their way through the student blockade, taking the tyres away and extinguishing the flames. Police also sized flags brought by the students although they were later returned. The action continued with students giving speeches.

The action was in support of workers who are holding a national strike to demand wages increases of 50 percent, which the students said was appropriate given the current situation. “Support the workers’ strike. And halt actions by mass organisation thugs against the labour movement” said action coordinator Azwar in a speech.

The students lit scores of candles as a symbol of solidarity with the workers. They also brought posters with messages such as “The freedom to form trade unions is non-negotiable” and “Smash thuggery and militarism”.

[Aksi Solidaritas Mahasiswa Untuk Buruh di Yogya Ricuh dengan Polisi – detikNews. Jumat, 01/11/2013. Translated by James Balowski.].