27 May 2008

Solidarity Messages from Malaysia, Canada, Philipines, Australia


The attacks carried on the KPRM only shopwd the forces of evil are always on the lookout for an awaken people , will intimidate and harrass them to plant fear in their hearts and minds. What these lunatics never learned is that people with awaken mind will never be cowed and will only strengthen their resolve to fight what they think is right.

the right term is resist, we want our comrades to know that here in the Philippines, you have comrades who support and are with you in all your undertakings Lets all unite to change this existing rotten system for a better world.

Edgar P. Bilayon
Philippine Railway workers Union

Solidaritas saya untuk kawan-kawan KPRM yang menjadi
korban penyerangan aparat dan preman di Balikpapan, 17
Mei 2008. Jangan pernah sekali mundur. Teruskan
perjuangan membebaskan rakyat miskin.
Salam perjuangan!

Muhammad Febriansyah (Ian)
Dear comrades of KPRM,

On behalf of the International Marxist Tendency, I would like to extend our message of support in solidarity with KPRM Balikpapan members who were attacked on May 17 by fascist thugs who are the extension of the ruling class in Indonesia. This attack shows that nothing fundamental has changed since the fall of Soeharto. The same military regime is still in power despite the hue and cry of the false reformists on democracy and such.

However, what is more important is that this attack actually reveals the fear of the ruling class. In 1998, they have seen the strength of the people, and they rightfully fear that. Now, with 10 years of lesson behind us, the best element of youth and workers have grown stronger in ideas and practices. Not only in Indonesia, the ruling class around the world is trembling now with fear as capitalism is entering a period of crisis and the masses have started to move.

Once again, we stand in solidarity with comrades in Balikpapan. Good luck with your mobilization to fight the increase in gas prices.

There is only one word: Fightback!

Ted Sprague

From the Democratic Socialist Perspective (Australia)
May 18, 2008

The Democratic Socialist Perspective (Australia) stands 100% in solidarity with the activists campaigning against the fuel price rises in Indonesia.

We condemn the police detention and interrogation of three Indonesian Street Buskers Union activists on May 16, and the brutal attack on the Balikpapan office of the Political Committee of the Poor (KPRM) on May 17.

We call on the Indonesian government to publicly condemn these attempts to intimidate the people and take immediate legal action against the perpetrators of the attack on the KPRM office.

We extend our solidarity to all those who mobilise on May 21 against the fuel price rises.

Yours in solidarity and struggle,

Lisa Macdonald
International Relations Committee
Democratic Socialist Perspective

24 May 2008

Respond to the Papernas Solidarity Appeal: Dozens Arrested and Wounded As Police Repress Anti Fuel Price Rise Actions

21/5: FPN near the state palace

21/5: FPN in front of the state palace

21/5: FPN in front of the state palace

21/5: FPN March to the State Palace
21/5: FPN March to the State Palace

I would like to make a brief comment on the report made by Papernas on May 21 and also their solidarity appeal, as I was taking part in the protest action and write down chronology. I also resume some facts reported by some activists involved in the 21 protest action.

1. The fact that there was no crowd reached up to 6,000 at 2 pm in the Hotel Indonesia roundabout and marched to the State Palace. Some activists also stated that there was no crowd of the people stayed overnight in the Proclamation Monument. There were some GMNK and LMND students in the Monument at about 11 AM.

2. There were many groups positioned themselves in front and near of the State Palace. Some of the groups were: FORKOT (later left the palace after the clash with the police), FPR (People Struggle Front), Jabotabek Student Council, National Liberation Front (FPN), and KAMMI (Action in Unity of Indonesian Muslim Student). Below is the SMS report from FPN activist:

15:41:28: Ada beberapa titik massa aksi di sekitar istana. KAMMI sekitar 500-an massa dari arah Harmoni—berdampingan dengan barisan massa FPN. Dari arah Thamrin Komite Aksi Mahasiswa IISIP sekitar 200-an massa. FPR masih bertahan di depan istana, disekitarnya tampak beberapa elemen mahasiswa lainnya, yang masing-masing sendiri-sendiri.

FAMRED--Students' Action Front for Reform and Democracy (one of FRM’s), LMND, GMNK, were among those who comes later after the Jabotabek Student Council left the crowd. They came and at about 10-15 minutes there was a clash with the police.

3. "Masses from FRM positioned themselves in the front line and the entire crowd chanted yells demanding the president to make a decree that nationalise oil, gas, and mining industry to meet domestic need for fuel." This was not entirely true. The so called ‘entire crowd chanted yells bla bla bla’ were probably meant the FRM crowd only. And other crowds had their own yells [(with some of them also had the nationalization content—even I hardly heard FRM crowd chanted the nationalization at that time (because the clash between FAMRED/FRM was a major event that can be understood by other crowd). The FAMRED especially, was majorly reported by the media because of the clash and the arrested—not because of they role in the whole crowd. This news claimed that FRM was a leading crowd in the 21 protest action. I think it really careless statement. FRM activist were less than 200. FPR at about 1000, FPN about 3000, and KAMMI around 500-700.
With this comment I also condemn the repressive action and the arrested of students by the state police. Together with other FPN organizations will give our solidarity, especially the legal aids by KONTRAS and Jakarta Legal Aids (LBH-Jakarta), some of the joint member of FPN. (Zely)

18 May 2008

Solidarity from PSM Malaysia

Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) condemns the Indonesian authorities for the attack of the office of KPRM (Political Committee of the Poor) at Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, on 17 May. Such action is replicant of New Order's repressvie messures to suppress the rising of ordinary people.

PSM also extends its solidarity to the planned mass action against fuel price hike on 21 May. This is a crucial time for the left and progressive forces to come together to resist neoliberal attacks.

In solidarity,
Choo Chon Kai
International Bureau
Socialist Party of Malaysia / Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)

International Bureau
Socialist Party of Malaysia / Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)

No.22A, Lorong Vivekananda, 50470 Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA.
Tel: +60-3-22747791, (mobile) +60-19-5669518
Fax: +60-3-87374772
email: (headquarters) psmhq@tm.net.my
(international bureau) int.psm@gmail.com

visit our website at:

17 May 2008

Solidarity from Workers Democracy Thailand

Solidarity comrades!!!

The history of the Left in Indonesia and South-East Asia shows that the reactionary forces and the ruling class will stop at nothing in their attempts to destroy the socialist movement. But we will always continue to resist and fight for a better world!

Best wishes
Workers Democracy Thailand

Giles Ji Ungpakorn
Faculty of Political Science
Chulalongkorn University
Bangkok 10330, Thailand
UK mobile:+44-(0)7817034432

FPN call to action issued via mass leaflet (Translation)

Max Lane

SECOND CALL ISSUED BY THE FPN RE MAY 21 PROTEST AKSI(produced for mass distribution in the poor kampungalong the march route to the Presidential palace.)
Read, save, discuss this leaflet with your friends; if needed reproduce it and hand it out.

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

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.

Arrogantly, the government dares to continue to work with the “Peoples Oppressors”, who though with different faces all speak in one voice in defence of capital which will profit handsomely from these fuel price rises. These “Peoples Oppressors” comprise: the Yudhoyono-Kalla government; the deceiver of the people parties (Golkar, Demokrat, PDIP, PKS, and others who pretent to be against the fuel price rises for the sake of pre 2009 election popularity but in the parliament have given the government the go ahed to take away the price subsidies),the fake reformasi elite figures busy profiling themselves, and the intellectuals and economists busy manufacturing justifications for taking away the price subsidies.

The redirect the peoples anger, they thrown in fake solutions such as the BLT Plus (Direct Cash Bonus) [for the poor] which since its introduction in 2005 has been shown to be a complete failure in reducing poverty. Its real purpose has been to try to put the brakes on and rupture the spirit and resistance actions of the people. If the people can be deceived, we will never to stop these fuel price rises. Again and again they are increased; again and again we must swallow this bitter pill. To make sure we do not fail again, as in 2000 and 2005, we must unite all our energy in an organized people’s movement that carries out various forms of struggle, namely:

1. For all of you, men and women, living in the kampungs* form kamoung committees (e.g. Mampang Peoples Committee Against the Fuel price Rises)as a instrument to fight the prices. alat Make your views known through free forums and open meetings of the citizens. Don’t hesitate to invie everybody living there; even invite the journalists so that what you do is reported so that it may be copied by other kampung. Then organize marches and mass actions in your kampung targeting the district government offices between May 18-21/

2. For the drivers of TAXIs, MIKROLETs, KOPAJAs, METRO MINIs and BIS KOTA, [public transport vehicles], and [passenger] motor bike drivers, unite your strength, carry out strikes in the bus terminals and bus pools during the working day (07.00-10.00) until(16.00-21.00) all through 18-21 May.Don’t forget to inform the journalists of your actions.

3. For the workers, join together with the Workers’ Demands Alliance (ABM)and carry out aksi against the fuel price rises between 18-21 May in the industrial areas, in your kampung and in the factories. If needs be strike together, because indeed these fuel price rises will also bring with it the threat of dismissal. And again, don’t forget to tell the journalists.

4. For the university and high school students, it is time to set upcommittees in your universities and schools as a vehicle to carry outmass actions, free speech forums. In the campuses and schools between 18-21 May. And when you head home, don’t feel to superior, but join in with the kamoung people who are carrying out their actions and protests. And tekll the reporters what you are doing.

5. And don’t forget following all your actions and feee speech forums in your own locations (kampungs, bus terminals, industrial areas, campuses and schools) then unite forces with the NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT which will carry out:

*AKSI MASSA (MASS ACTION) on Wednesday, 21 May to surroiund the palace and to defeat the increase in fuel prices. *
*For those who cannot join the demonstration on 21 May 2008, at 12 noon carry out a noise barrage, bang the electric light posts, blow the car or motor bike horn, bang the kitchen pots and pans and so on *

MAIN DEMANDS OF THE RAKYAT (the poor people)

All this is only possible if all of the peoples’ strength unites in large scale mass mobilizations, builds peoples organizations, builds unifications of the people.This struggle of the people needs the enrgy and spirit of the people, an honest and courageous spirit, agreeing to unite together in the unity of the movement.

We invite you also to declare your support by filling in this petition. We will gather the maximum number of peoples’ voices to show those in power that we reject these price increases. Send the petition to the President, Governors, Mayors, village or neighbourhood heads or to the local or national parliaments.

*Save, read and discuss this leaflet with your friends. If need be, reproduce it and hand it out.”


Address :

Occupation :

JAKARTA, … Mei 2008

( _________________ )

Register to be involved in the AKSI to defeat the fuel price increases:

Tangerang : Koswara: 0856 1778 067 / 021 9191 66622.
Jakarta West : Anis: 021 9370 44503.
Jakarta East : Sultoni: 0219447 56814.
Jakarta North : Kamal 021 9347 37845.
Jakarta Centre : Rendro 0855 1015 3466.
Jakarta South : Wiwin 021 7033 23827.
Depok : Khadir 021 9651 4828.
Bekasi : Helmi 0813 1841 21519.
Karawang : Heryanto 0813 1803 0976

AKSI - heading towards May 21

Max Lane

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.

(Pictures above)

May Day in central Jakarta . The section with the mostly red flags are mostly Workers' Demands Alliance (ABM) unions, whose leaders took the lead in forming the FPN. The main banner reads: Fight the New Form of Domination/Occupation. Those marching behind the yellow banners are unions and others, including farmers, from the Peoples Struggle Front (FPR). This is another Left stream in the country whose political perspective emphasises the leading role of farmers and the rural poor in winning change. As far as I know, this was their first significant mobilisation in Jakarta. There have been on-again off-again talks between the FPR and FPN about joining together, but as of May 16, they are still workimg separately.

One wave of demonstrations was organised by the Student Executive Bodies (BEMs), student councils operating at the university faculty level. There are claims that more than 130 BEMs from different campuses were involved in that wave of actions. Around May 10-11, there was also an action by a student group that slept out overnight outside the Presidential campus.
The increasingly heated mood is also providing the basis for former head of the National Mandate Party (PAN) and former speaker of the Peoples Consultative Assembly, Amien Rais, to make repeated sharp attacks on President Yudhoyono's government and on what he states is the government's weak attitude towards foreign companies operating in Indonesia. There is an increasing mood of hostility to the foreign economic presence and the rapacious attitude of foreign companies and the deleterious conditions attached to the myriad of foreign loans in which Indonesia is entrapped. It is clear that a political battle is brewing for leadership over this anti-foreign sentiment between sections of the business and political elite (frustrated at their own share of the economic cake and eager at the same time to win some popularity in the lead-up to the next elections), elements of the elite campaigning under the banner of one variant or another of anti-Western Islamic fundamentalism and embryonic progressive or socialist forces now just starting to organise.

National Liberation Front (FPN)

The FPN (see earlier posts for background) has called for protests on May 21. Apart from organising to mobilise some of its own members on May 21, it has put out a general call for street protests on May 21. It has begun small pickets and other actions in the lead-up. The momentum for the formation of the FPN, on the initiative of leaders of the Workers' Demands Alliance (ABM), seems to have emerged out of the successful collaboration between progressive groups on May Day.

Smaller FPN run up actions 200-500 people have already been held outside government buildings, regional parliaments and other locations in Medan, North Sumatra; Tangerang, West Jakarta; Solo, Central Java; Surabaya, East Java;Jogjakarta in central Java and Balikpapan, East Java.


On May 12, another alliance, the People Demand Front (FRM), which includes Volunteers for Democracy (REPDEM), a part of Megawati's PDIP and the PRD/PAPERNAS, also held an action also protesting the fuel price rises. FRM is seen to be too close to the elite poitical parties by the other forces. There links with the elite parties was also reflected in one of their key political demands, namely, for the replacement of President Yudhoyono's team of economic ministers with other candidates. The left coalitions are using the mobilisations to advocate that these old elite party forces, including people like Amien Rais and Megawati, have no solutions and should stand aside.

FPN Press Confrence, 13rd May 2008

FPN Press Conference, 13rd May 2008
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); 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.

New left activist alliance formed in Indonesia – UPDATED

Max Lane

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.

While engaging in lobbying (of MPs for example), their primary emphasis is on mass struggle in the extraparliamentary sphere. At the moment also no left party has been able to be registered to participate in elections. They take up immediate workplace issues, issues to with trade union rights and legislation impacting on those rights as well as general socio-economic issues. They are firmly against to neo-liberal capitalism. The majority have been won to one kind or another of left orientations.