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Tens of thousands of workers rally in Central Jakarta for May Day
Liputan 6 - May 1, 2016
The tens of thousands of workers, who started by giving speeches in front of the State Palace in Central Jakarta, then gradually disbanded and headed off to the nearby Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium (SUGBK) where they joined the main event commemorating May Day 2016 at Indonesia's biggest stadium.
Scores of other workers continued to arrive at the stadium while others remained in front of the State Palace and gave speeches.
Based on Liputan 6's observations, workers from the Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance (KASBI) and the Indonesian Labour Union Confederation (KPBI) were still giving speeches in front of the palace. Wearing clothing that was entirely red, the demonstrators swarmed around and voiced their demands.
Meanwhile thousands of security personnel from the national police (Polri), the Indonesian military (TNI) and the Jakarta provincial government remained on guard along the length of Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara in front of the State Palace.
A number of tactical vehicles such as Barracuda armoured cars and water cannons were lined up in front of the palace. A barricade was also erected at a radius of around 100 metres from the palace gates in anticipation that protesters might force they way in.
During the action the workers demanded that the government end low wages by revoking Government Regulation Number 78/2015 on wages. They also raised other issues such as the reclamation of coastal areas, forced evictions and a draft law on tax amnesty.
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was May Day 2016, Puluhan Ribu Buruh Merahkan Istana Merdeka.]
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