As the Indonesian Government made plans to reduce fuel subsidies, social resistance broke out across the archipelago, protesters fearing that the price rise would cause knock-on rises in the cost of living that would have a devastating effect on the poorest. The government has wanted to make this spending cut for several years now, but popular resistance over the years has made it very difficult to push it through. This time, however, they seem determined. One action in Medan, North Sumatra on the day the decision was taken was met with a brutal response from the police, where hundreds were injured and 87 people were arrested. Nearly three weeks later 32 people remain in police custody although it remains unclear whether they are actually being prosecuted. Neither their families nor lawyers have had any access to the people who are still arrested, most of whom were seriously hurt. Also, 17 more people, many well-known faces from the student movement, have been placed on the police wanted list as supposed intellectual masterminds of the action. Here’s the full chronology, from a participant:
Capital and the government restructure against us again. As single parents If we were ones for demanding we Would say damn right We dont want to work! Not just because raising kids is tough in this world, not just because of hungry mouths, crushing bills, limited choices but because no one should. We should be nurturing life in common instead. Lives of freedom and rebirth not choices of shitty exploitation, crap job programs, welfare quarantines, crushing rents, maniac bosses, cops, slumlords, enviromental ruin. Fuck lives of having to scam sickness benefits or studying to avoid one boss only to sit in education-factories with ‘no future’, welfare managers and bureaucrats.
Fuck your moral calls to work, to reorganize with less to make your economy grind the gears with our bodies – your booms and busts. Fuck that.
Up with the trees, up with joy, for the sake of children and for space to create life – down with all work, capital and states. Solidarity with all oppressed and exploited, underclasses being attacked via cuts and welfare quarantining and those who revolt against work and it’s world. Continue reading “Single parents against work (and its world )”
Leaked briefing notes prepared by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet for a secretaries’ retreat over summer were published by The Australian.
Senior bureaucrats warned that “it remains possible for Australia to encounter sporadic breakdowns in social cohesion, such as that recently experienced in the US (Occupy Wall Street) and throughout Europe. The 2004 Redfern Riots and 2005 Cronulla Riots show the potential for real or perceived inequality to give rise to important events of protest and violence. The most likely trigger for such events would be in the event of a return of climbing unemployment (such as if growth in China were disturbed), however cost of living concerns or commentary on theissuesunderpinning the 2011 London riots could increase the possibility of such outbreaks.” Continue reading “Australia: secret government briefing warns of riot risk”
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 earlierunrest) 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.
For us, protesting the increase in fuel prices is merely one partial action that is not essential. For us, being trapped in the logic of the economy and political issues is a shallow analysis of the commodification of life under capitalism and the State. Whether the price of fuel rises or not, it won’t change the fact that each of us remain consumers whose only role is to buy. Each of us remain low-cost workers whose role is to produce the commodities that we will buy. Each of us remain zombies who don’t have anything other than the obligation to continue being ruled, oppressed, tortured, consumed and to accumulate all the things we don’t need.
The deprivation of lives, their dreams and loves, is too simple if merely contained in economic issues such as rising fuel prices. We are too angry to understand that it is far more important for us to define and reclaim our lives, than simply following the glamour party of false opposition: to protest or support raising the price of fuel.
Thousands of people protested across Indonesia on Tuesday March 27 in further demostrations against government plans to cut fuel subsidies, which would increase fuel prices by a third.
Links to flyers distributed by anti-authoritarians in South Sulawesi and Manado. (In Indonesian: anyone want to translate?)
National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Saud Usman Nasution said on Wednesday: “As an overall evaluation of the security operations, we successfully handled [the rallies] even though there were still one or two incidents that could be considered as anarchistic,” Continue reading “Indonesia: more fuel price demonstrations”