Makassar – In commemorating May Day 2015, a number of different organisations from the group People’s Solidarity (SORAK) held a peaceful rally underneath the Jl. Jenderal Urip Sumoharjo overpass in the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar on Friday May 1.
During the action, the protesters called on the Indonesian people to build their own political party without the political elite.
SORAK is made up of 19 different organisations including the Nusantara Trade Union Alliance (GSBN), the Working People’s Association-Organisational Saviours Committee (KPO-PRP), the People’s Liberation Party (PPR), the Democratic Student Front-National Labour Movement Centre (FMD-SGMK), the Populist Student Front (FMK), FOSIS, the Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (PEMBEBASAN), the Independent Women’s and Children’s Committee for Social Action (KIPAS), the Indonesian Youth Student Front (FPPI), the Makassar Legal Aid Institute (LBH Makassar), the NGO Communal (LSM Komunal), the Indonesia Muslim University Islamic Religion Faculty Student Association Study Group (HMT FAI UMI), SRIKANDI, the National Students Front (FMN), the Police and Community Partnership Forum (FKPM), the Indonesian Federated Trade Union of Struggle (FSPBI), the Makassar Parking Workers Trade Union (SJPM) and the Anti-Corruption Committee (ACC).
During the action, the groups took up the theme: “Jokowi-JK have failed to bring prosperity to the people, it is time for workers and the people to build their own political party without the elite”.
SORAK also issued 10 demands: the abolition of contract labour and outsourcing, the abolition of laws that fail to side with workers, an end to trade union bashing, the abolition of anti-democratic laws, the realisation of universal social security, free public transport services for workers in industrial zones, an end to subsidy cuts to fuel, education and electricity, free and quality education and healthcare, and end to militaristic practices against the people, an end to all seizures of the people’s land and the implementation of agrarian reform.
The group also proposed two solutions to the government in order to resolve the people’s problems, namely the nationalisation vital assets under the control of the people and developing an independent and pro-people national industrial program.
SORAK action coordinator Amri, who is also a member of the PPR said, “The government has failed to bring prosperity to the people and this has been demonstrated by every one of their policies that in fact bring suffering to the people. The people can only be prosperous if workers hold the power through their own political vehicle, build a political party without the elite and then campaign against militarism which threatens democracy and freedom”.
Meanwhile KPO-PRP member Videlya Esmerella said that the state is a tool of repression and cannot resolve the conflict between the two social classes that have different interests, between those in power and those that are dominated. Because of this workers must build their own revolutionary party that is led by the working class itself.
“It’s simply a lie if anyone says that the state can reconcile all the divergent interests and work for different social classes, it’s time for workers to build a revolutionary party led by workers themselves”, she said.
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Sorak Makassar: Saatnya Buruh Dan Rakyat Bangun Partai Politik Sendiri.]