Crowed cheers as Jokowi beheaded at Gejayan Calling theatrical action in Yogya

CNN Indonesia – February 12, 2024
President Widodo being beheaded at Gejayan Calling rally in Yogya – February 12, 2024 (Kompas TV)

Yogyakarta – Crowds of participants at a "Gejayan Calling Again" action in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta held a theatrical beheading of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to symbolise resistance to the Widodo regime.

At the end of the action, the protesters, acting in the name of the Democratic Challenge Network (Jagad), staged a theatrical performance by taking a figure wearing a mask of Widodo onto a platform with a replica of a guillotine or beheading tool installed on the command vehicle.

The protesters demanded that Widodo and his cronies be tried for all their actions while carrying out their functions as head of state.

The crowd cheered loudly when the guillotine was released and hit the neck of the person playing the part of Widodo.

Jagad public relations officer Sana Ulaily explained that the protesters brought the replica guillotine to today's action to symbolise the punishment by beheading for the Widodo regime, which has perpetuated nepotism, greed and patriarchy.

In addition to this, the demonstrators also demanded that President Widodo resign from his position.

"We demand one thing, that Jokowi, because he has been proven to have violated the constitution, has damaged democratic ethics, he must be punished. Jokowi must step down, we must monitor Jokowi closely, not only on [voting day on] February 14, but all elements of civil society must ensure that he steps down before his term of office [ends in October]", Ulaily said.

For Jagad, allowing Widodo to remain in power is the same as rolling out the red carpet for the oligarchy to act as they please at all levels.

"We are not campaigning 04, we are not campaigning 05, but we are campaigning that now is the time for us to be critical, it's time for us to take to the streets to stop Jokowi's tyranny, give Jokowi a human rights trial, punish Jokowi and the people around him as harshly as possible, the greedy leaders will get the fairest possible punishment", said Ulaily.

During the action, the protesters made a number of demands. First, asking that the Election Law (UU Pemilu) and the Political Party Law (UU Parpol) be revised by an independent body.

"Because in our view, that the current UU Pemilu and the UU Parpol are very flawed because they regulate a system that is very, very far from democracy, namely an oligarchic system", said Imam Maulana, another Jagad public relations officer.

The next demand is to bring Widodo and his cronies to justice. And fourth, they called on intellectuals and cultural figures that perpetuate dynastic politics apologise immediately.

"We demand an apology from intellectuals and cultural figures who perpetuate dynastic politics such as Budiman Sudjatmiko and others", said Maulana, referring to a People's Democratic Party (PRD) leader who has joined the Prabowo Subianto and Gibran Rakabuming Raka presidential election campaign team.

They also urged Widodo to stop the politicisation of social aid during the election period, revoke the Omnibus Law on Job Creation and the Mineral and Coal Mining Law (UU Minerba), and stop the land grabs that are happening in various parts of Indonesia.

"Then stop military operations [in Papua], resolve (handle) cases of human rights violations and give the West Papuan nation the right to self-determination. Then stop the criminalisation of environmental and democracy fighters", said Maulana.

"Hold a human rights court and free education for all Indonesian citizens. Then immediately pass the PRT bill, on [the protection of] domestic workers", he concluded. (kum/wis)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Massa Gejayan Memanggil Gelar Aksi Teatrikal Pakai Replika Guillotine".]