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)

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