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May 2008

In front of Presidential Palace.jpg

FPN demo May 29 - presidential palace in the background.

More photos FPN action May 29 - 2nd Jakarta aksi Photos by Admo

For some translations of Jakarta news reports of this action, click HERE - and scroll down to Latest from INDOLEFT.

May 21 aksi photo

Danial May 21.jpg

Standing on the left: FNP and KPRM-PRD activist, Danial Indrakusuma.

People wanting to follow political developments in Indonesia, especially in relation to developments on the Left, should go to www.asia-pacific-solidarity.net The most important sections are the ones headed FOCUS, INDOLEFT and ACTION ALERTS, although there is a mass of other information on that site.

JOGJAKARTA - 4 activists detained, later found badly injured, in hospital.

JAKARTA - main action over; some protesters attending open air cultural event organised by Indonesian Street Buskers Union (SPI-PRM)

GOVERNMENT says 28% increase in fuel pirces is definitely on.

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Immediately above is the lead banner of the FPN rally:

Reads:
DEFEAT THE FUEL PRICE INCREASE!
TAKE OVER OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY UNDER THE PEOPLES CONTROL!
CAPITALISTS, POLITICAL ELITE AND PARTY DECEIVERS OF THE PEOPLE,
STEP ASIDE! ITS TIME FOR THE PEOPLE TO WIELD POWER!

On the Left: Come on! Unite!
National Liberation Front!

I have about 60 photos (taken by Faiza Mardzoeki). Click here for some. Titles and so on later. People who are mostly in red are with the FPN. Those with blue, yellow etc flags and banners are with the FPR.

Besiege and occupy the State Palace on May 21 and
June 1

National Liberation Front Statement - May 13, 2008

The battle drum of the Indonesian people’s
resistance to the planned fuel price increases has
been sounded -- students, the urban poor, workers,
farmers and women in every corner of the country are
daily holding actions that are growing and uniting
day by day. This indicates that the people’s
standard of living has declined to an intolerable
level and that the Indonesian people are not
prepared to accept the government’s plan to increase
fuel prices by 30 percent.

Read more...

SMS reports 4.35:

JAKARTA: FPN contingent and FPR contingent remain separate. Crowds from different aksi, organised by different groups, responding to the May 21 call, unable to fuse. Each is organsing its own programme of speeches and so on. Have had no report on the names of all the different groups there: but have noticed, in reports: FPN, FPR, FORKOT, BEM Se-Indonesia (although website reports also say they have been demonstrating elsewhere at the parliament.) There were reprots that some FRM elements would also return to the Palace but I have not seen any reports.

JOGJAKARTA: 4 students from Sarekat Mahasiswa Indonesia (SMI) and one from one of the Jogja area BEMs arrested when they tried to get over the barbed wire barriers put arround the parliament building. (In Joga the demo is under the name ok Committee For the People Together (FRB), and is probably broader than FPN.)

SMS report: FPN contingents now united near palace, including unions State Electricity Company, airport unions, and shop workers union from CAREFOR supermarket chain. SMS reports estimate "around 6,000".

SMS report at 2.42pm

Reports of people running from Palace area. Not clear what is happening.
FOLLOW UP SMS: Appears a clash between activists from another group, FORKOT (Town Forum), mainly students, and police at Palace. Meanwhile the FPR marchers, who were approaching the Palace ahead of the FPN contingent mentioned earlier, have been blocked from proceeding further towards the palace.

SMS reports to 2.30pm

JAKARTA: FPN contingents and also Front Perjuangan Rakyat (FPR) closer to Palace. Marching separately. No numbers. FPN contingents still waiting for contingent for trade union covering workers in State Electricity Company (PLN).

JOGJA: After a brief unity with protesters from the PDIP and PAN parties (who must also be demonstrating), the FPN have continued an occupation of the State Building in Jogjakarta. SMS reports put about 2,500 in FPN contingents now gathering a few hundred metres from the Palace. Others, from various groups, already at the palace.

WEBSITE reports: a quick perusal of several Indonesian language news reports (usually very brief) indicate that protests have been very wide spread. Many groups, outside the two Left alliances (and the FRM alliance - , have organised their own actions, especially students.

1.15 SMS reports

BIMA: FPN demonstration in Bima violently dispersed. Nine people still detained. Around 20 injured. (KPRM SMS report).

JAKARTA: many contingents appear to be heading to directly converge at Presidential Palace: rather than at another point. Many contingents still on their way. Contingent leaving from GROGOL area of Jakarta stopped at Jl Juanda by security - now negotiatingg.

Detik.com reporting (in very brief reports) anti-fuel price rise demos by various different groups in several locations.
*****
TERNATE - SMS reports now say 20 activists detained.
JOGJAKARTA- about 1,000 activists now at Gedung Agung State building, guarded by security apparatus. No more SMS reports on FAKI.
JOGJAKARTA area: SMS coming in from different point: gatherings of 200-700 heading for central gathering points in Central Jakarta.
MEDAN: About 500 FPN heading for government buildings in Medan. SMS reports mention at least five other separate organisations.

National Liberation Front (FPN) May 21 action against proposed fule price increases.

Read more...

Peoples Demand Front (FRM), May 20, 2008

At least 3,000 people mobilized on May 20 through the FRM (see NOTE below) to protest the proposed fuel price increases. (Update info: some website media reports yesterday, including KOMPAS TV, put the attendance as high as 8-10,000, although the May 21 KOMPAS says "hundreds". The daily SEPUTAR INDONESIA gives a figure of 2,000. From TV footage I would think 2-4,000 may be a possible figure. I still no real hard data on the size of the various components of this demo.)

The FRM leaflet distributed before the event had three demands:

1. Reject the increase in price increases
2. Lower the prices of basic consumer goods
3. Kick out the Neo-Liberal agents: Boediono, Sri Mulyana, Marie Elka Pangestu. Aburizal Bakrie and Purnomo Yusgiantoro. [All ministers in the cabinet dealing with economic issues.]

Comment:

Read more...

This afternoon the union covering all employees in the national state owned electricity company joined FPN and declared they would join the May 21 actions. The union covering workers in the companies operating all the Java and Bali based electric power stations also joined. The unions covering the main airports also joined.

All these unions have been campaigning against privatisation of their sectors in one form or another. Recently, I spoke on a platform with the secretary-general of the electricty company union, where he also explained their support for broader policies of nationalisation and opposition to the elite parties.

++++

Meanwhile Megawati has stated she also opposes the fuel price rises, despite PDIP havingsupported the measure in parliament. Now also Amien Rais is urging the people to demonstrate: "selamat demo, semoga berhasil", "have a good demo, we hope you succeed.":

Even GOLKAR officials have reprimanded the stae intelligence services for making accusations that the demos are being manipulated by mysterious "third parties".

While there are more and more signs of a snowball effect, these round of mobilisations should still be seen as (a) a dress rehearsal for June 1 - closer to the actual date of deciding on the oil price rises and (b) a first stage of a longer process of general unification and rebuilding stage of the aksi movement.

Max

SECOND CALL ISSUED BY THE FPN RE MAY 21 PROTEST AKSI
(produced for mass distribution in the poor kampung
along the march route to the Presidential palace.)

Read, save, discuss this leaflet with your friends; if needed reproduce it and hand it out.

*NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT*

Members: ABM, SMI, PPRM, PRP, JGM, LMND-PRM, PEREMPUAN MAHARDIKA, SIEKAP, SPEED, WALHI, IGJ, KPA, IKOHI, PRAXIS, PERGERAKAN, LBH JKT,KORBAN, ARM, SPI,
PAWANG

Jl. Pori Raya No. 6 RT 09 RW 010 Pisangan Timur, Jakarta Timur 13230

Telp : 021 475 7881, 021 9289 4347

email: front.pembebasan.nasional@gmail.com

Contact Persons : Sastro 0812 1059 0010, Jon : 021 9833 34197

______________________________________________________________________________


*RESIST and DEFEAT THE FUEL PRICE RISES!!!*

*IT IS TIME FOR THE PEOPLE TO UNITE AND REJECT THESE POLICIES WITH AKSI AND MASS STRIKES !*

Fuel prices are to be raised 25-30% (possibly reaching Rp 6000+ per liter). This will be finalized at the end of May.This decision will increase the burden of suffering upon the people. There is discontent everywhere. Butall the news reports that the government could not care less. The government justifies it policy ny saying that we all must sacrifice and be frugal. They do not care that everywhere the people become poorer, have insufficient nutrition, go hungry, suffer stress, and psychological disorders, even some killing themselves because they cannot bare any more suffering.

Read more...

Note: with the increased pace of political events in Indonesia, sometimes outpacing the ability to analyse, I will post translations of various documents on the blog.
+++
EMERGENCY: Attack on the secretariat of the Political Committee of the Poor (KPRM) in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Saturday, May 17, 2008 – 00.10 local time.
20 thugs brutally attacked the KPRM offices at 10 minutes past midnight in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan on Saturday May 17. Poice and intelligence agents, who had the offices under survaillance, were seen to join the attack. At the time of the attack there were activists from the Indonesian Street Buskers Union – SPI; National Student League for Democracy – Politics for the Poor - LMND PRM, Political Committee for the Poor - KPRM-PRD) at the offices..

Read more...

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May Day in Central Jakarta (see more photos below)

Street protests - AKSI as they are called in Indonesia - have increased in frequency and militancy over the last week and so, propelled by the success of May Day around the country mobilisations two weeks ago, and provoked by the government decision to increase fuel prices again, threatening a flow through in price increases for the basic commodities consumed by millions of ordinary people. Already there have been statements from government figures, including the security apparatus, repeating the Suharto era refrain that the demonstrations were being manipulated by "third parties" which "you all know", but who remianed unnamed.

(For the history of AKSI in Indonesia see Unfinished Nation: Indonesia before and after Suharto

Read more...

Protest actions are multiplying in the lead up to the 10th anniversary of the fall of Suharto and increases in the rice of fuel prices scheduled to occur soon.

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This action occured in North Maluku comprising the Urban Poor peoples Union - Poor Peoples Politics (SRMK-PRM), the National Students League for Democracy, LMND-PRM, as well as the Indonesian Islamic Students Association (PMII) and the Peoples Youth Front (the latter is a union of Ternate indigenous people)

Over the last few days good news has come in on the formation of a new Left united front formation, called the National Liberation Front (FPN). The FPN will be organizing its first street action on the 10th Anniversary of the downfall of Suharto, May 21 around the issue of the current government’s increases to fuel prices. This will be followed by another action on June 1. Small actions and leafleting have already begun.

The formation of the FPN flowed from an initiative of the Aliansi Buruh Mengugat (Workers Demands Alliance - ABM) an alliance of left and progressive trade unions that have come together over the last 5 or so years. Some of the unions were formed by left activist groups, but most have sprung up from the workplace and/or broken away from old structures that had been controlled by the state before the fall of the dictator Suharto. It is therefore a rather diverse mixture of initially enterprise based unions, which have then formed various more-or-less ad hoc federations which have then stabilized. They include manufacturing and service sector workers, in both state and privately owned firms.

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FPN press conference.
From left to right: Tony Trianto, Secretary-General, Indonesian Students Serikat (SMI); Vivi Widyawati, Coordinator Freedom Woemn National Network (JNPM) (also a leader of PPRM); Nining Elitos, Chairperson, Indonesian Trade Union Alliance Congress(KASBI); Anwar Satro Ma'ruf, Coordinator, Workers' Demands Alliance (ABM);
5. Resta Hutabarat (Jakarta Legal Aid Institute)

Banner reads:
May 21 and June 1 2008: the People Unite! Surround and Occupy the Palace!
Cancel the fuel price rises and lower prices!
Capitalists, political elites, and parties that lie the people: stand aside! Its time for the people to rule!

National Liberation Front.

Read more...

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