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Vendors protest public order officers

Jakarta Post - February 14, 2006

Padang, West Sumatra – More than 200 sidewalk vendors staged a protest at Padang City Hall on Monday, demanding that the city's public order personnel stop abusing them during raids.

The vendors, calling themselves the Sidewalk Vendors Coalition, along with a number of activists from the Padang Legal Aid Institute (Forkas), the Social Study Forum (Forkas) and the West Sumatra chapter of the Indonesian Environmental Forum, attempted to meet with Mayor Fauzi Bahar or other city officials, but to no avail.

Andi Desmon from Forkas, which represents the vendors, condemned the abusive behavior and discrimination on the part of the city public order agency against vendors, and demanded that the mayor immediately put a stop to evictions before a definite alternative location had been found for the vendors.

"We also urge the city council to revise Bylaw No. 11/2005 on public order, and review policies related to public rights that have the potential to promote thuggery among city personnel," said Andi.