Makassar (Antara) – Police arrested seven students during a demonstration commemorating National Education Day (Hardiknas) in the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar on Tuesday May 2.
They were arrested because they blockaded Jalan Sultan Alauddin and continued the demonstrating past the allowed time limit.
"We secured them because their time was up, so we broke it up, meanwhile they closed off a road and disturbed the public and the flow of traffic", said Makassar metropolitan district police (Polrestabes) criminal investigation unit head Police Assistant Superintendent Hutagaol.
All of the arrested demonstrators were taken to the Polrestabes offices using a violent crimes sub-directorate (Jatanras) vehicle to cool off and for follow up questioning.
"There were about seven people who were secured earlier. We'll see, their reasons for conveying an opinion. So for the moment we took them to the office to cool off and for questioning", he explained.
When asked if the arrested students – who are known to be from the Student and Youth Struggle Coalition (KPPM) – had submitted a prior notification for the protest action, and that it would continue until 7 pm, even though the time limit for demonstrations is 5 pm, Hutagaol said this would be examined.
"Regarding the action notification letter, we will check again. Incidentally they reported it yesterday, whether they explained until what time and what their activities would be, we're still checking", said Hutagaol.
Regarding the number of locations in Makassar city where there were actions commemorating National Education Day, from the reports that have come in there were 24 locations. In addition to this, a number of protocol roads including Jalan Andi Pangeran Pettarani, Jalan Sultan Alauddin and Perintis Kemerdekaan were blocked by students.
Earlier, activists from the KPPM began their action on Jalan Poros Trans Sulawesi and Sultan Alauddin at around 3 pm. The students even blockaded the road by detaining a container truck that was passing by and setting fire to old tyres.
During the action they demanded that the Job Creation Law be revoked, asked the Minister of Labour to evaluate the performance of the South Sulawesi Labour Officers, called for workers welfare and that Law Number 12/2012 on Tertiary Education Institutions to be revoked because it is not in line with the 1945 Constitution.
"We also call for the regulation on tertiary education institution legal entities (PTN-BH) to be revoked. To immediately realise education that is free, democratic, scientific and pro-people, including ending the commercialisation of education", said action coordinator Mujahidin in a speech.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Blokade Jalan, 7 Mahasiswa di Makassar Diamankan saat Demo Hardiknas".]