Jakarta – The Labour Movement with the People (Gebrak) Alliance, which is made up of labour, farmer, student and women’s organisations, will again take to the streets on August 14-16 demanding the cancellation of the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation.
“We will hold actions from the 14th to the 16th of August, the actions are planned for three days at the DPR [House of Representatives]. August 14 coincides with the first parliamentary sitting after the recess period. The climax will be on the 16th when Jokowi [President Joko Widodo] will give a speech at the DPR”, said a Gebrak representative from the Agrarian Reform Consortium (KPA), Benni Wijaya, when contacted by CNN Indonesia on Wednesday August 5.
Wijaya said in addition to the protests at the DPR, similar actions will be held in 20 cities across Indonesia. He estimates that the number of protesters that will attend will be more than their previous action on July 16. “The estimation is 10 thousand people spread across 20 provinces”, he said.
Wijaya said that one of the triggers for the renewed actions is that the DPR broke an agreement made during a meeting between Gebrak representatives, the DPR’s deputy speaker and the Legislative Body (Baleg) on July 16.
Wijaya explained that one of the agreements that came out of the meeting was that the DPR pledged not to hold any sessions to deliberate the Omnibus Law during the recess period.
“Now, this was broken, they held deliberations, yeah, so we think we have to hold even bigger actions again”, he said.
Baleg Deputy Chairperson Achmad Baidowi has publically admitted that they continued to deliberate the Omnibus Law during the recess period.
He said that they continued to meet because they wanted to use the existing time to discuss the draft law initiated by President Widodo’s administration.
“We maximised the available time because the materials being discussed are lengthy and at previous sessions a lot was taken up by other agenda items”, said Baidowi in an SMS message received by CNN Indonesia on July 23.
Baidowi said that there is no problem with holding meetings during a recess period and that the Baleg had obtained permission from the DPR leadership to deliberate the Omnibus Law during the recess.
The United Development Party (PPP) politician noted that it was not just the Baleg that held meetings but that several other house auxiliary bodies (AKD) also met during the recess period. (yoa/ugo)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Tolak Omnibus Law, Buruh Demo Maraton 14-16 Agustus 2020”.]