Housewives rally in solidarity with students killed by security forces

Detik News – October 13, 2019
Housewives protest in front of Metro Jaya police headquarters – October 13, 2019 (Detik)
Housewives protest in front of Metro Jaya police headquarters – October 13, 2019 (Detik)

Ahmad Bil Wahid, Jakarta – Housewives from Indonesian Housewives Solidarity have held an action in front of the Metro Jaya Jakarta regional police headquarters.

They were protesting the repressive actions by security personnel in dealing with the protests by high-school and university students and at the same time to expressing solidarity with those who were killed and injured during the demonstrations.

“The brutality of the regime has claimed the lives of five children, courageous national crusaders. They are our spokespeople who were articulating the truth”, said one of the participants, Wiwin Warsiati, in front of the Metro Jaya regional police headquarters in South Jakarta on Sunday October 13.

“We as women, as mothers, are of course angry over what has been done by the state through its security forces against our children. If this situation is allowed to continue, perhaps right now it’s not us and our own children who have fallen victim, but it may well be that in coming days, our families, our children and [the children of] families closest to us will be the victims”, she said.

Warsiati said this was a spontaneous action organised by women from various groups. They feel saddened by the victims who have fallen during the protests by high-school and university students.

During the action they read out poems and held a theatrical performance. The protest was also marked by the scattering of flowers on a grey and white school uniform which they had placed on the ground.

The protesters conveyed several demands during the action. The housewives said that they hoped that that police would release those students who are still being detained for taking part in protest actions between September 23-30.

The following are the five demands by Indonesian Housewives Solidarity:

1. Release our children (the high-school and university students) who are still being detained by the police.

2. We demand that Polda Metro Jaya provide open and transparent access to data on the university and high-school students who are still being detained, provide ease of access to parents and family members to obtain information on their children and provide guarantees that the detained students will receive legal aid.

3. End all forms of violence against actions by university students, high-school students and the ordinary Indonesian people wishing to exercise their democratic rights.

4. Demand that the Minister for Education and Culture (Mendikbud), the Research, Technology and Higher Education Minister (Menristekdikti), the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) and the Education Office (Dinas Pendidikan) put a stop to all prohibitions on university and high-school students from expressing their views and the threats to drop out students who take part in demonstrations.

5. End the criminalisation of democratic crusaders and remove active police and military officers from civilian posts. (abw/rvk)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Protes Kekerasan Aparat Saat Demo, Emak-emak Tabur Bunga di Depan Polda Metro”.]