Indonesia: fuel price protests force partial victory

Protesters break down a parliament fence during a protest in Jakarta, March 30

At least 80,000 people rallied across the country on Friday March 30: the biggest public protest since the government raised fuel prices four years ago. The massive protests (a continuation of earlier unrest) forced a compromise in the law passed in parliament: there will be no immediate rise in subsidised fuel prices, though they can be raised in six months if the crude price exceeds the amount set in the budget by at least 15 percent for six months. As a commenter on the Jakarta Globe website said: “They’ve given the mob six months to get better organised. sigh.”

Rough translation of part of a post from Kokemi, March 31:

The fire broke out everywhere, and not just in Makassar but in Medan, Yogyakarta, Bima, Palu, Maluku and Jakarta are also ongoing street war protesters vs. police. Action is still ongoing in some areas, especially fields that are still raging.

In this action, tens of people were injured by the repressive apparatus,  from the nine people shot in Jakarta, one person was shot in Makassar and dozens of people arrested or kidnapped in this action. And there are many victims who have not been reported.

War of the street should be spread everywhere, that this is the beginning of the collapse of state and capital at the same time.

Long live anger.

On Friday March 30, more than 10,000 people demonstrated in Jakarta. Protesters blockaded a major toll road in front of the House of Representatives and destroyed buildings in the area, including the fence around the House as they tried to storm parliament.

There were protests and fighting on the streets in Makassar, South Sulawesi, throughout the week. Police stations, fast food restaurants and traffic lights were damaged; road blockades caused major congestion.

“Capital Bastard” written on the wall of a fast-food restaurant in Makassar, attacked by a group of people with stones and Molotov cocktails on the night of March 30.

A police post was set alight in Medan, North Sumatra on Friday. Undercover officers posing as journalists detained and beat at least one student.

In Samarinda, East Kalimantan, six students were arrested for setting a police post on fire on Friday.

According to police on Sunday, 22 people had been arrested in Jakarta and 33 in Makassar.

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