Police confiscate Jokowi mask at May Day rally in Makassar, two students arrested

CNN Indonesia – May 1, 2024
Police trying to seize Jokowi mask during May Day rally in Makassar – May 1, 2024 (CNN)

Makassar – A protest action commemorating International Labour Day or May Day in Makassar, the provincial capital of South Sulawesi, became heated when police tried to seize a mask with a picture of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on it that was being used by the demonstrators.

According to CNN Indonesia's observations in front of the South Sulawesi Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) building on Wednesday May 1, the protesters initially brought an effigy with a mask and a picture of Widodo.

Police officers who were on guard at the location tried to seize the Widodo mask and an argument ensued between police and the protesters.

"Are we violating [the law], is a photo of Jokowi a state symbol. The state symbols are the flag and the national emblem?", said a speaker during the action on Wednesday.

The incident did not last long however after Makassar metropolitan district police operational division head Assistant Superintendent Darminto allowed the protesters to continue the demonstration. "Please, continue the action", he said.

Two students arrested

At the same location, police arrested two students who they claimed were provocateurs.

This incident occurred when the Alauddin Makassar State Islamic University (UIN) Syari'ah and Law Student Alliance held a protest by setting fire to old tyres.

Police officers who were on duty in front of the South Sulawesi DPRD office immediately extinguished the fire, but they encountered resistance from the protesters resulting in two students being arrested.

A scuffle broke out between police and students but the officers managed to secure two students who were suspected of being provocateurs.

"They're my friends, Pak [Mr], why were we attacked. That's our field general, Pak", said one of the protesters at the action.

The two students were taken into the grounds of the DPRD offices. (mir/bmw)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Polisi Mau Rebut Topeng Jokowi dalam Aksi May Day di Makassar".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20240501164520-20-1092711/polisi-mau-rebut-topeng-jokowi-dalam-aksi-may-day-di-makassar