Jakarta – Scores of students from the University and High-School Student Action Alliance (Ampera) arrived at the Arjuna Wiwaha Monument or Horse Statue in Central Jakarta on the afternoon of October 28 to hold a protest action.
The groups taking part in the demonstration came from several different student organisations such as the Indonesian National Students Movement (GMNI), the Indonesian Women’s Union (Seruni) and the National Student Front (FMN).
Upon arriving at the Horse Statue area the students shouted a declaration that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is a fascist because he has deployed the security forces to stop protest actions by the ordinary people.
“Jokowi is a fascist, Jokowi is a fascist, Jokowi is a fascist”, shouted the protesters to the tune of the children’s song Little Circle Big Circle.
“Students are articulating what is wanted by the people, but we are blocked by the security forces and razor wire. It is very clear that the Jokowi regime and the executive are not a democratic regime”, said one of the speakers after the protesters had finished singing.
In addition to this, they repeatedly shouted that Widodo and Vice President Ma’ruf Amin are puppet leaders of the United States.
Ampera also took the opportunity to declare 10 demands for the Widodo government, although the demands which they prioritised were slightly different from those of the group People’s Border (Borak) who also demonstrated near the Horse Statue earlier.
Ampera demanded that the government implement genuine agrarian reform, end the forest and land fire disasters in Sumatra and Kalimantan, rejected the Draft Land Law, rejected the recently revised law on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), rejected the Draft Labour Law and called for the withdrawal of the military from Papua.
They also asked the government to provide democratic rights to the Papuan people, provide education access for the children of workers and farmers, rejected a recent hike in contributions to the Social Security Management Agency healthcare program and to provide real job opportunities for people of productive age.
In concert with the momentum of Youth Pledge Day, several student groups around the country have held protest actions including in the East Java cities of Malang and Gresik, the Central Java city of Yogyakarta and the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar. (dhf/sur)
On October 28, 1928, Indonesian students and youth gathered in Jakarta to declare the Youth Pledge – generally accepted as the first open declaration of Indonesian independence – which called for a united independent Indonesia under the theme of “One Nation, One People, One Language”.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Demo di Patung Kuda, Massa Nyanyikan ‘Jokowi Fasis’”.]