Students say Gejayan Calling rally only the start of even bigger campaign

CNN Indonesia – March 9, 2020
Protesters hold banner at Gejayan Calling rally in Yogyakarta – March 9, 2020 (CNN)

Yogyakarta – Hundreds of students from campuses in Yogyakarta and Magelang, Central Java, held a long march on Monday March 9 to Jl Gejayan just north of Yogyakarta city to hold a Gejayan Calling (#GejayanMemanggil) action against the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation.

Gajah Mada University (UGM) Student Alliance representative and Yogyakarta People’s Movement Alliance (ARB) spokesperson Kontra Tirano explained that today’s action is only the initial spark to build public awareness about the Omnibus Law.

“This movement is the initial spark for future [protests] which will be escalated by all of our friends (students) in Indonesia”, Tirano told CNN Indonesia during a break in the action.

The hundreds of students – most of whom wore coloured almamater jackets from their respective campuses – began moving off towards Jl Gejayan at around 1 pm. As they marched they shouted slogans, unfurled banners and held up posters containing various demands.

UGM Student Community Student Executive Council (BEM KM UGM) President Sulthan Farras meanwhile said that the Draft Omnibus Law will only serve the interests of investment and will not create economic justice.

According to Farras, public policies should be aimed at bringing prosperity to the ordinary people, protecting workers and guaranteeing environmental sustainability.

Farras added that the government’s determination to continue the deliberations on the draft law is evidence that the state is currently in bad condition.

“When government officials continuously tout economic growth as the main goal, we challenge this long and loud, don’t forget economic justice!”, he asserted.

During today’s action, the BEM KM UGM is making three demands. First, inviting all elements of society to unite, fuse and move together to restore democracy to the ordinary people.

Second, continue escalating the Reform Corrupted (#Reformasidikorupsi) campaign [which began in September last year] in a massive and systematic way.

Third, calling for people to reject deliberations on the Omnibus Law. (tri/wis)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “#GejayanMemanggil, Aksi Pemantik Menuju Demo Lebih Besar”.]