A peaceful call to action in Bali protesting Indonesia's controversial new jobs creation law appears to have been hijacked by unknown parties calling for widespread violence, with police now getting involved to investigate further.
The protest, scheduled for later today at 2pm, was first initiated by Bali Tidak Diam (Bali is not silent) alliance comprising college students across the province in defiance against the jobs creation law.
However, a number of posters were put up in several areas in Denpasar, which bore the hashtags #BaliTidakDiam and #MosiTidakPercaya (vote of no confidence), called for a violent protest. "Let us gather to rally against the government: attack, destroy, loot and burn," the poster said.
A side-by-side of the fake and original posters can be seen in the tweet below:
Poster asli dan poster palsu aksi #TolakOmnibusLaw #balitidakdiam. Huhuhu.... jahat sekali provokatornya nok, membahayakan warga, mahasiswa yg urun suara. Lihat beda bahasa dan desainnya. pic.twitter.com/z0IwZ1BhHj – BaleBengong (@BaleBengong) October 21, 2020
The original call to action on the left included details of time and place of the upcoming protest with hashtags used in protest of the controversial new law, while the provocative fake poster on the right evidently emphasizes call for violent action in red.
Police in Bali said yesterday that they are aware of these brochures and are looking into the matter.
"We have seen the brochure. But we don't know who did it yet. We are still investigating. We will apprehend them when we know, but it's still an ongoing investigation," Bali Police spokesman Syamsi said.
"We see there's 'Bali Tidak Diam' written there, but we don't actually know who put it up and when."
Bali Tidak Diam alliance also held a press conference yesterday to clarify the situation. Though they did put up some posters on Tuesday, the college students emphasized that theirs were black and white.
"The weird thing was that an hour after we put up our posters, it was taken off or destroyed by unknown parties. We saw that based on what's left of the posters Bali Tidak Diam alliance put up with glue," Mahmud Budianto, who heads the student executive body at University of National Education (BEM PM Undiknas), said.
The government-supported bill has been marred with controversies since it was first proposed, and was passed into law earlier this month despite massive and widespread opposition. Though the law is expected to boost the economy by cutting red tape, attract investment, and create new jobs, it has been roundly condemned for potentially infringing on labor rights and harming the environment.
More than two weeks after it was passed, Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR) has yet to publish the final draft of the legislation, as it was passed when changes still had to be made. The controversial omnibus law has since sparked protests in numerous cities and regions in Indonesia, leading to hundreds of arrests.