Friday, December 30, 2011

A Wave of Protest Against Police Brutality Echoes in Many Cities.

A wave of protest against the police brutality that resulted in several deaths in Sape, Bima, West Nusa Tenggara has been emerging in several cities over the past few days. These actions are in solidarity with those involved in events which have taken place across Indonesia, and in Bima in particular.

In Surakarta, a group from the student movement destroyed a police outpost in the place they were demonstrating. The demonstration, which took place on Wednesday 28th December, resulted in clashes with police from the Dalmas force. In the incident 16 students were arrested, but eventually they were released.

In Mataram, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara, more than 300 people joined a demonstration at the Bank Indonesia intersection. The action, involving students, people's organisations and NGOs, was in opposition to the police's actions, which cannot be tolerated.

In Surabaya, students involved in the East Java Muhammadiyah Student's Association (IMM) demonstrated at the East Java police headquarters. A similar action happened in Tuban, blockading the street in front of the Tuban police station.

Meanwhile in Jakarta, dozens of people from different organisations gathered in front of the national police headquarters to protest against the police and demand an immediate cessation of all mining activities in Bima, as this brings no benefits for the local people.

The day before, hundreds of Bima students were involved in clashes with police outside the Bima Bupati's office. They were demanding a meeting with Bupati Faizal in order to demand that he acts responsibly and rescinds PT Sumber Mineral Nusantara's permission to mine. During this action, police let off shots, trying to disperse the demonstrators, however clashes were not avoided. It is reported that two people were arrested in this action.

A Police Outpost is Attacked in Makassar as a Protest Against State Brutality.

A protest action in Makassar (26/12), connected to the brutality of the police that killed people in Bima, turned into a riot. In the protest in which over 300 people took part, a police outpost at the junction of Jalan Sudirman and Flyover, was destroyed as the masses bombarded it with stones and other hard objects.

Beforehand, an action which was named the Forum of the People's Accusations (Forgat) commenced at 11am with an open platform in front of the Mandala Monument during over three hours. The representatives of various organisations took turns to give speeches and share their opinions.

The crowd then set of to the north in the direction of Karebosi. Right at the crossroads, they spontaneously started to throw things at the police outpost at the end of the street. The BNI bank, right next to the police outpost, became another target for the stones. The ranks of the action were out of control and disturbances were seen between the demonstrators.

In general, the objects targetted for destruction were connected to the police, symbols of capitalism such as banks or symbols of the political elite such as billboards and political adverts. Demonstrators made clear that what happened in Bima and other places is caused by the ever-increasing greed of capitalism as it exploits the environment and then threatens people's lives. Such a situation is concealed by the political elite and supported by police institutions. The people demonstrating in Makassar believe that resistance to the police killings in Bima go all the way to its root causes.

A contingent moved back towards the east of the city, following Jalan Mesjid Raya to the destination for the next action, flyover kilometer 4. Once they arrived under the bridge the people gathered on the street. The police outpost located nearby once again became a target for bombardment.

This action was intended to convey Forgat's protest against the violent brutality and cruelty which the police exhibited against the occupation of Sape port. Because of what happened, the Bima people's demand to rescind PT Sumber Mineral Nusantara's mining permission should be implemented as soon as possible, because this is the principle cause of distress for the people of Bima. Forgat urges the withdrawl of all police stationed in Bima, to avoid similar incidents happening again and let the situation in Bima return to normal from the tense atmosphere that the presence of state forces on the ground has created.

During this action, one of the demonstrators, Yayat (23), a student from Hasanuddin University, was arrested. Two others were arrested by police intelligence agents, but the arrests were successfully resisted by the force of dozens of other demonstrators who saw what happened.

Report more cases of police brutality in Indonesia at

No comments:

Post a Comment