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Indonesia, May, 2008

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.

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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.

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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.]

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