Bekasi – Thousands of workers who were gathered at the East Jakarta Industrial Park (EJIP) in Cikarang in the Bekasi regency of West Java were forcibly disbursed by police on Wednesday November 25.
By 10am, the roads in the EJIP and the areas around the PT Epson and PT Kalbe factories where packed with protesters who had left their factories to take part in a convoy. An hour later the command vehicle arrived.
Five minutes later, police and [pro-company] mass organisations attempted to disburse the protesters gathered in front of PT Epson.
Tensions rose when the protesters refused to disburse and tried to fight back. Contract workers from PT Epson who resisted were deemed provocateurs by police and arrested. Police also succeeded in forcing workers back to their respective factories using trail bikes, pepper spray and a water cannon.
“Police forcibly disbursed protesting comrades so that they would return to their respective factories, the worst was at the Epson (factory) where all of the employees, both men and women were [forced] to jump over the fence”, said Yudi, one of the workers who witnessed the incident.
Five workers were arrested and taken to the district police station, including Bekasi Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) member Nurdin Muhidin.
Protesters who had gathered along the side of the road could only watch helplessly as their colleges were arrested. One of the workers suffered a broken arm and was taken to hospital.
And it was not just at the EJIP. Police and mass organisations also disbursed a convoy of workers in the Hyundai and Jababeka industrial zones after police absolutely refused to allow the protesting workers to rally outside their factories.
The five protesters who were arrested were: Nurdin Muhidin; Ruhiyat, the head of the PT Namicoh work unit; Udin Wahyudin, the head of the PT Hikari work unit; Amo Sutarmo, the head of the PT Epindo work unit and; Adika Yadi, the head of the PT NGK work unit.
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Massa Buruh di Kawasan EJIP Cikarang Dibubarkan Paksa oleh Polisi, 5 Orang Ditangkap.]