Authorities break up university students' Week of Resistance rally in Semarang

CNN Indonesia – July 4, 2021
Police carry confiscated balloons calling for 'Week of Resistance' – July 4, 2021 (CNN)

Semarang – The police, the Indonesian military (TNI) and Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) officials broke up a “Week of Resistance” action held by the Greater Semarang Student Executive Council (BEM) alliance near the Youth Monument in the Central Java provincial capital of Semarang on Sunday July 4.

The action, which was held by around 10 students, had planned to release a number of balloons, but participants were warned by officials to disperse.

Because they failed to disband voluntarily, security personnel confiscated the balloons and forcibly dispersed the students. Fortunately there were no disturbances during the process.

"First, it violated health protocols. Second, an emergency PPKM [Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities] is in force, we couldn't comprise on this, we took firm action to disband the protesters. The young students must know and understand the current situation where Covid-19 cases are surging", said Semarang metropolitan district police operational division head Assistant Superintendent Recky Roberto following the dispersal of the protesters.

Roberto said he hopes that other Semarang city residents will understand the situation where the PPKM is in forced in order to safeguard the ordinary people and the public must be disciplined and comply with health protocols.

"The public understands that the emergency PPKM is being implemented to safeguard the ordinary people. So the public should be able to comply adequately with discipline and the health protocols", said Roberto.

The "Week of Resistance" is aimed at the government, the president and vice president, the House of Representatives (DPR), the police and the TNI (Indonesian military) which the students say peddle lies, empty talk and have never sided with the interests of the ordinary people.

"This action at the Youth Monument is an expression by our student colleagues from the Greater Semarang BEM criticising the Jokowi [President Joko Widodo] administration. Those at the top up there only peddle empty talk, continually lie and have never sided with the ordinary people", Greater Semarang BEM alliance spokesperson Raya Izzatul Isma told CNN Indonesia. (dmr/gil)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Aparat Bubarkan Aksi 'Pekan Perlawanan' BEM Semarang Raya".]