The betrayal of the mandate of reformasi – the political reform movement that began in 1998 – has angered Indonesia’s youth, students and the ordinary people.
Tens of thousands of people in Banda Aceh, Riau, Medan, Palembang, Lampung, Bogor, Jakarta, Bandung, Cirebon, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Malang, Surabaya, Makassar, Manado, Kendari, Palu, Tarakan, Samarinda, Jakarta and Papua took to the streets on September 23-30 to express this rage.
The people were angry with a state which is neglecting rampant corruption. The people have been frustrated by more and more land being taken for extractive industries. The people’s lives are being progressively hemmed in by the pressure of low wages and arbitrary sackings. Meanwhile the future of the country’s youth is increasingly bleak due to job uncertainly and the high cost of education.
The state is becoming estranged from the ordinary people. Instead of listening to the people’s demands, the state deploys the security forces to silence them with systematic and excessive violence.
Thousands of youths and people have been arrested and hundreds more inured as a result of violence by the state. Five young people, crusaders for democracy, were killed as a result of the security forces’ brutality. Meanwhile democracy activists and students continue to face terror, intimidation and criminalisation.
The people will continue to mobilise to vent their anger as long as the state continues to side with the interests of the oligarchy who have high jacked democracy. The movement of youth and ordinary people will not stop just because the demonstrations in late September succeeded in halting the deliberation of several problematic draft laws. The people are still waiting for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to issue a presidential regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to annul the recently enacted Corruption Eradication Law (UU KPK). The people are still calling for the complete annulment of other problematic draft laws and legislation as well as a full resolution to the human rights violations that occurred since September 23.
The Indonesia Calling Movement (#IndonesiaMemanggil) is an alliance established by workers, farmers, students, human rights and environmental activists and other social movement groups.
#IndonesiaMemanggil is a manifestation of the ordinary people’s anger over Reform Corrupted (#ReformasiDikorupsi). #IndonesiaMemanggil inherits the spirit of the 1928 Youth Pledge which is determined to reaffirm the unity of the youth and people’s movements and to break down the divisions of ethnicity, religion, culture and group interests. #IndonesiaMemanggil is aware that unity is required to abolish all forms of oppression.
We the youth and people of Indonesia hereby urge the government to fulfill the 7+1 demands of #ReformasiDikorupsi:
1. a. Withdraw and review the Draft Criminal Code (RKUHP), the Draft Law on Coal and Mining (Minerba), the Draft Land Law, the Draft Law on Correctional Institutions, the Draft Law on Labour and the Law on Natural Resources.
1. Issue a Perppu KPK.
2. Ratify the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence (RUU PKS) and the Draft Law on Domestic Workers (RUU PRT).
3. Revoke the mandate of the problematic KPK leadership selected by the House of Representatives.
4. Reject TNI (Indonesian military) and Polri (Indonesian police) officers holding posts in civilian institutions.
5. Stop the militarism in Papua and other parts of the country, immediately release all Papuan political prisoners and open access for journalist to enter the land of Papua.
6. End the criminalisation of activists and journalists.
7. Stop the burning of Indonesia’s forest by corporations, prosecute these corporations and revoke their business licenses.
8. Solve human rights violations and try the perpetrators, including those in the inner circle of power, and immediately restore the rights of the victims.
+1. The government must be held responsible for the victims who were injured and died during the September 23-30 mass protests and must release those arrested during the demonstrations as well as criminalised pro-democracy activists and form an independent investigative team under the auspices of the National Human Rights Commission.
Based on the above, we the youth and people of Indonesia declare:
1. Unite all democratic crusaders regardless of ethnicity, religion, race or group interests.
2. Build a political alternative from, by and for the ordinary people to win democracy back from the oligarchy.
We the youth and people of Indonesia hereby pledge:
1. One motherland, a motherland without oppression
2. One nation, a nation dedicated to justice
3. One language, a language free from lies
Jakarta, October 28, 2019.
On October 28, 1928, Indonesian students and youth gathered in Jakarta to declare the Youth Pledge – generally accepted as the first open declaration of Indonesian independence – which called for a united independent Indonesia under the theme of “One Nation, One People, One Language”.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Indonesia Memanggil! Segera Tuntaskan Amanat Reformasi”.]