Hundreds of Yogya students take to the streets to defeat Omnibus Law

CNN Indonesia – March 9, 2020
Protesters listen to speeches at Gejayan Calling rally in Yogyakarta – March 9, 2020 (CNN)

Yogyakarta – On Monday March 9, hundreds of students from different campuses across the Central Java city of Yogyakarta began moving off towards Jl Gejayan just north of the city to hold a Gejayan Calling (#GejayanMemanggil) action against the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation.

The student began by crowding into the gathering point at the Yogyakarta Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University (UIN). At around 11.20 am, the students began a long-march towards Jl Gejayan which is located some 500 metres from the UIN campus.

“Today, we take to the streets to defeat the Omnibus Law”, shouted one of the demonstrators, Wahyu, in a speech.

Aside from unfurling banners and carrying posters with messages opposing the Omnibus Law, some of the students also brought traditional wooden warning alarms (kentongan).

The student came from a number of different groups including the Gajah Mada University (UGM) Student Alliance, the Ahmad Dahlan University (UAD) Student Alliance, the Yogyakarta Muhammadiyah University (UMY) Movement Alliance, the Yogyakarta Sunan Kalijaga UIN Student Alliance and the Yogyakarta Aisyiyah University (UNISA) Student Alliance.

The All Indonesia Trade Union (SBSI) also took part in enlivening the action. SBSI Yogyakarta Regional Coordinator Dani Eko Wiyono said that the Draft Omnibus Law cannot be allowed to be ratified.

The Gejayan Calling action was also joined by a number of social organisations and groups and the climax of the action will begin at 2 pm.

Yogyakarta People’s Movement Alliance (ARB) spokesperson Kontra Tirano said that it is time to hold an action against the Omnibus Law which contains so many irregularities which will make things difficult for the public, although it will benefit [some sections] of society.

Tirano said that they do not want the draft law to be ratified and he is convinced that the law will only make things difficult for the ordinary people, particularly workers.

“We must take to the streets to reject and defeat the Omnibus LAW”, said Tirano earlier on Friday March 6.

The Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation has attracted criticism and opposition from many parties who believe that it is unfriendly to the ordinary people and the environment.

The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) says that if the law is ratified it has the potential to damage the environment. They also believe that ordinary people’s rights to a safe environment will be sidelined for the sake of corporate interests. (sut/ain)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “#GejayanMemanggil Tolak Omnibus Law, Mahasiswa Mulai ke Jalan”.]