Jakarta – A protest action opposing Law Number 11/2020 on Job Creation took place in the Medan Merdeka area of Central Jakarta on the afternoon of Tuesday November 10.
In the middle of the action a number of protesters climbed onto the Arjuna Wiwaha or Horse Statue on Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat and hung a red-and-white flag with an X symbol on it reading "Mositidakpercaya", or motion of no confidence.
They also unfurled a huge white banner with the same symbol and the message, "Indonesian Revolutionary Education Committee #Mositakpercaya #Cabutomnibuslaw (revoke the Omnibus Law) #Kitabelummenang (We haven't won yet)".
It is not known which organisation they came from as they wore ordinary clothing without any organisational identification.
The flag and banner however was appreciated by protesters near the Horse Statue with some giving the thumbs up and others clapping as the flag was hung on the statue.
After hanging up the flag the group immediately climbed down and mingled with other demonstrators.
The rally at the Horse Statue was initiated by several different labour, farmer, fisherpeople, activist and student organisations who could be seen carrying flags, banners and posters rejecting the enactment of the Omnibus bus Law and the oppression of the little people.
In addition to this, several protesters wearing full suits and pants also pretended to be President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.
The "figures" dressed up ala Widodo could be seen smiling beneath a pedestrian overpass on the road facing other protesters sitting and listening to speeches being given from the command vehicle behind them.
Loud shouts of opposition to the Omnibus Law could be heard while beneath the overpass "Jokowi" continued smiling but not able say anything.
But the "Jokowi" who attended the demonstration was not the real person but an effigy made from cardboard complete with a photograph of the former Jakarta governor.
His suit and pants were adorned with the word "oligarchy" written in a black marker. Several protesters could be seen sitting in front of the cardboard effigy of Widodo.
One of the demonstrators said that they did indeed need Widodo to be present at the rally so that their voices could actually be heard. But they were unable to meet with Widodo because access to hold rallies in front of the State Palace has been blocked off by police.
"You can't protest at the Palace, let alone meet with the President", said one of the demonstrators who was busy photographing the cardboard effigy of Widodo.
The action – which coincided with National Heroes Day – was again prevented from approaching the Presidential Palace on Jalan Medan Merdeka Utara and was only allowed in front of the Horse Statue.
The protesters at the Horse Statue began disbanding at around 6.45 pm. Before leaving and led by a speaker on the command vehicle, they held inter-faith joint prayers then declared an action statement.
Protesters from Labour Movement with the People (Gebrak) then sung the song the Internationale in unison, after which they gradually began disbanding in the direction of Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan and Jalan MH Thamrin. Protesters could be seen burning rubbish left over from the rally.
Scores of officers from a joint unit of TNI (Indonesian military) and police followed the participants as they left in order to maintain security.
Following this, sanitation workers immediately moved in to clean up the rubbish left behind. Roads in the vicinity of Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat were not yet able to be fully reopened. (rzr, tst/kid)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Mosi Tak Percaya hingga Boneka Kardus di Demo Ciptaker".]