Anti-Omnibus Law rallies continue across Indonesia, more expected tomorrow

CNN Indonesia – October 13, 2020
Indonesian Confederation of Prosperity Labour Unions protest in Jakarta – October 12, 2020 (CNN)

Jakarta – Trade unions and social organisations again held protest actions against the Omnibus Law on Job Creation on Monday October 12.

Protests against the law have been taking place since October 6 with workers and students not slackening the wave of protests despite the repressive actions of police last week.

Demonstrations are still continuing in Jakarta and several other parts of the country.


In the capital city, the Indonesian Confederation of Prosperity Labour Unions (KSBSI) held a rally near the State Palace with workers filing the area around the Horse Statue on Jl Medan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta.

The protesters however were unable to approach the Palace because police had blocked nearby roads with razor wire. Police tactical vehicles such as Barracuda armoured vehicles, water cannons and crowed dispersal vehicles were also on standby.

KSBSI President Elly Rosita Silaban said they had come to an agreement with police that they and would not force their way past the police blockades in front of the Presidenial Palace.


Meanwhile hundreds of students the West Java provincial capital of Bandung held a protest against the Omnibus Law in front of the Bandung municipal police headquarters on Monday afternoon. Students from several campuses closed off Jl Merdeka forcing traffic to be diverted in the direction of Jl Wastukencana.

Student representative Chairul explained that the student’s protest this time round were not just against the Omnibus Law but also calling for police to be held accountable for the destruction of campus facilities and violence against protesters.

In addition to this, the action was also in response to the police’s repressive actions in attacking campuses.


Hundreds of workers in the Central Java provincial capital of Semarang took to the streets again to protest the Omnibus Law in rallies at the governor’s office and the Central Java Regional House of Representatives (DPRD).

During the action, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo invited the workers to join in singing and dancing. Pranowo said he understood the workers’ wishes but they have yet to take a position towards the central government because they have not yet received a final draft of the Omnibus Law.


Demonstrations against the Omnibus Law were held again on Jl Sultan Hairun in the Maluku city of Maluku on Monday. The action was joined by protesters from the Pattimura University Islamic Students Association (HMI), students from the Ambon State Institute of Islamic Studies (IAIN) Student Executive Council (BEM) and the Tanimbar-Ambon Islands Regency Lelemuku Youth and Students Association (Himapel KKT).

During the action, the protesters brought a bier with a photograph of House of Representatives (DPR) Speaker Puan Maharani which they then set fire to.

Islamic groups

Demonstrations were also held on Monday by social organisations. One of them was a protest in Jakarta by the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia National Anti-Communist Alliance (ANAK NKRI). The alliance is made up of three large social organisations, namely the 212 Alumni Brotherhood (PA 212), the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and the National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema (GNPF Ulama).

Labour protest to continue

In addition to this, Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) President Said Iqbal called on the government not to prevent workers from holding actions against the Omnibus Law saying that workers would continue protest against the recently enacted law.

According Iqbal, there are no regulations which prohibit workers from holding actions during the Covid-19 pandemic, including a national strike.

Workers are protected by Law Number 21/2000 on Trade Unions, Law Number 39/1999 on Human Rights and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. (khr/fra)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Demo Tolak Omnibus Law Digelar di Sejumlah Daerah Kemarin”.]