29 May 2011

Call for Solidarity for Nanang Ibrahim & PT Micro Garment Indonesia workers strike

Comrade Nanang Ibrahim is the local chairperson of the PT Micro Garment Solidarity Alliance for Labour Struggle (GSPB) who was arbitrarily dismissed by the PT Micro Garment management on February 4 in a letter received on February 21. Comrade Nanang Ibrahim is being sued by the PT Micro Garment management through Hermanto A Nurdin as PT Micro Garment's Human Resource Development officer, which is demanding compensation be paid to the company amounting to Rp 371,700,000.00 in material damages and Rp 15,000,000.00 in immaterial damages and the company is demanding that Nanang be sacked without severance pay. Nanang's trial will be held at the Industrial Relations Court building at the Bandung District Court on Jl. Sukarno Hatta No. 584 in Bandung, West Java, on Monday May 30 at 9am.

26 May 2011

Liberalisation leading to foreign control of food sector

Kompas - May 25, 2011

Hulu-Hilir Pangan oleh Asing – Kompas. Rabu, 25 Mei 2011 <http://cetak.kompas.com/read/2011/05/25/03064394/.hulu-hilir.pangan.oleh.asing.>

Jakarta – Foreign penetration through multi-national companies in the food sector is increasing and spreading. Foreign companies in Indonesia don't just control trade, but have spread into upstream activities such as agricultural production, covering seed and medicines, through to the processing, packing, trade, transportation and the retail industry.

Friends of Venezuela: We Reject United States Sanctions Against Venezuela

On Tuesday, May 24, 2011, the United States Department of State unilaterally imposed sanctions against Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), for its alleged relations with the government of Iran. The sanctions are a desperate and weak attempt to link Venezuela to Iran’s nuclear energy program as part of an ongoing campaign to justify further aggressive action against the South American oil producing nation.

25 May 2011

Strategic economic sectors dominated by foreign interests

Kompas - May 23, 2011

Ekonomi Didominasi Asing - Komaps. Senin, 23 Mei 2011 <http://cetak.kompas.com/read/2011/05/23/03591091/ekonomi.didominasi.asing..>

Jakarta -- Foreign domination of strategic economic sectors is spreading and deepening. It has been suggested that the government reorganised strategic economic development so the benefits are more evenly felt by the ordinary people and greater competitiveness in the face of global competition.

Foreign domination has become progressively stronger in strategic sectors such as energy and mineral resources, telecommunication and the plantation sector. With this kind of foreign domination, the economy often appears to have been hijacked by their interests.

New terrorism bill 'threatens the press'

Jakarta Post - May 21, 2011

Bagus BT Saragih, Jakarta -- The new anti-terror bill, set to enter deliberation this year, provides stronger prevention measures, but contains articles that potentially threaten freedom of expression and speech, activists and experts say.

At least two articles within the bill, set to replace the 2003 Anti-Terrorism Law, could hinder freedom of expression, said activist Al Araf from human rights NGO Imparsial.

Article 13A of the bill, a copy of which was obtained by The Jakarta Post, stipulates that anybody having knowledge of a planned act of terrorism without informing the authorities could be jailed for a term of up to seven years.

20 May 2011

Activists turned politicians yet to make their mark

Kompas - May 14, 2011

Generasi Baru Indonesia yang Belum Mewarnai – Kompas. 14 Mei 2011. <http://cetak.kompas.com/read/2011/05/14/04172876/generasi.baru.indonesia.yang.belum.mewarnai>

M Hernowo -- Case of human rights violations that took place around the time of the fall of the New Order regime have still not been fully resolved. Moreover President Suharto's decision on May 21, 1998 to release his grip on the reigns power, which he held for 32 years, has been taken advantage of by some groups.

Among those who benefited from Suharto's resignation 13 years ago were former activists who fought against the New Order regime. The political space that opened up during the reformasi era provided opportunities to these activists to move more freely, such as becoming members of the House of Representatives (DPR), political party leaders and member of the government.

16 May 2011

Solidarity Message for Socialist Party of Malaysia 13th Congress

Dear comrades,

Let us extend our very warm regards to your 13th congress. We hope this year’s congress will strengthen PSM struggle politically, organizationally and ideologically at national and international level.

This is a wonderful year for our common struggle to fight and build 21st century socialism. It is in this very moment we are more and more convinced there will be no other way out of this crisis of capitalism unless the whole reorganization and transformation of the system and society undertaken in a radical way. We are more convinced that even a small reform needs political revolt; political mobilization of the people to enter and decide their own political interest.

10 May 2011

Dear Comrades,

Somyot Prueksakasemsuk is a famous thai labour activist and a leading member of the Red shirts movement. The 30th of april, he has been arrested under the crime of Lèse Majesté by the Thai police.

He is now in jail and the Thai court denied him to be out on bail.

A campaign to free him and to repeal the drastic Lèse Majesté law has been launched by Australian Red Shirts.

We think this campaign should be supported and broadcast as wild as possible.

Labour based political parties failing to attract voters

Kompas - May 2, 2011

Apologies for late posting – JB.

Partai Buruh: Tidak Yakin Efektif – Kompas. Senen, 2 Mei 2011 <http://cetak.kompas.com/read/2011/05/02/02352989/tidak.yakin.efektif>

Yohan Wahyu -- If we look at the still sidelined state of workers and employees, the need to unite and organise oneself should be a big one. The historical facts in Indonesia however show the reverse, with political parties claiming to be based among workers not in fact "selling well" in the eyes of the voting public.

In all the elections held since the reformasi era (the reform era beginning in 1998), political parties that are specifically based on the interests of workers have never shown their fangs. Although they have won a number of seats at the regional level (Regional House of Representatives, DPRD), labour parties have had to acknowledge the low level of public appreciation with a vote share of 1 percent at the national level (at the regional level voters tend to know the candidates better).

5 May 2011

Indonesian Mayday Roundup

Workers clash with police at Jakarta airport

Detik.com - May 1, 2011

Aksi Ricuh, Buruh Mau Masuk ke Bandara Soekarno Hatta - detikNews. Minggu, 01/05/2011 <http://www.detiknews.com/read/2011/05/01/142243/1629667/10/aksi-ricuh-buruh-mau-masuk-ke-bandara-soekarno-hatta>

Dira Derby, Jakarta – A clash broke out between workers and police at the rear entrance to the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Sunday when police refused to allow protesting from the Indonesian People's Opposition Front (FORI) from entering the airport.

Wearing red uniforms and carrying flags, banners, posters and megaphones, the workers gave speeches along the length of the road leading to the airport. Despite being blocked by police the demonstrators were determined to continue the demonstration inside the airport.

When the workers came face-to-face with the police blockade a clash broke out with demonstrators and police pushing and shoving each other and the two sides coming to blows. The scuffle did not last long however and protest leaders and the police were eventually able to calm the protesters down.