Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Students' Protest Blocked at Horse Statue

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Hundreds of college students under the Indonesian Students Executive Boards' Alliance (BEM SI) stage a protest in front of the Sapta Pesona Building of the Tourism Ministry on Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta, Monday, October 21, 2019. TEMPO/Adam Prireza

    Hundreds of college students under the Indonesian Students Executive Boards' Alliance (BEM SI) stage a protest in front of the Sapta Pesona Building of the Tourism Ministry on Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta, Monday, October 21, 2019. TEMPO/Adam Prireza

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaHundreds of students of the Indonesian Students Executive Boards' Alliance (BEM SI) staged a demonstration today, October 21. They planned on reaching the State Palace. 

    However, the police blocked the mass at the Arjuna Wiwaha Horse Statue, Central Jakarta. They were only allowed to hold the protest in front of the Indosat building and the Tourism Ministry building.

    “Taman Pandang has a big capacity [for a rally]. It can accommodate thousands of people. In the notification letter, they mention a huge mass,” said Central Jakarta Police Chief Sr. Comr. Harry Kurniawan at the site.

    The police also installed barbed wires before the Tourism Ministry building. Streets from Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat until the intersection in front of Graha Berdikari building were closed, as well as Jalan Medan Merdeka Utara.

    However, the students opted to stage their protest right in the area beside the horse statue, blocking vehicles heading to Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan from passing the roundabout.

    Tempo observed that the mass started to gather at 02:30 p.m. Scores of students from numerous universities gradually joined the BEM SI command car.

    Today's student’s protest was still driven by the same issues; the apparent attempt to clip the Corruption Eradication Commission's (KPK) wings through the revision of the KPK Law. Moreover, until October 17, President Jokowi had not released a regulation in lieu of law (Perpu) on the matter.

    The students' protest were also aimed at several other ongoing problems, viz. land and forest fires, the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan), education, as well as agrarian reform.

    ADAM PRIREZA