Tondano – District police officers have "secured" protesters from the Student Struggle Centre for National Liberation (Pembebasan) who were holding a rally at the God Bless Minahasa Park in West Tondano, Minahasa, North Sulawesi, on Monday February 18.
During the protest by around 12 students, they gave speeches and handed out pamphlets with demands such as "Stop the criminalisation of students and the people", "Golput [abstain from voting in] the 2019 elections", "Fight militarism", "Build and alternative political party", "Reject the involvement of the military in civil affairs" and "Try the perpetrators of human rights violations in 1998".
The students also handed out the leaflets to the drivers of cars and motorbikes passing by the action, after which Iskra, Simon, Iksan and action coordinator Johnson took turns in giving speeches.
A speech by Pembebasan called on people to golput in the 2019 elections, to fight militarism and build an alternative political force.
Following this intelligence and security head (Kasat Intelkam) Inspector Jose Trisko, tactical police unit head (Kasat Sabhara) Inspector Lili Setiono and personnel from the Tondano sectoral police (Polsek) moved in and directed the students to disband the protest.
Upon ending the rally, the students were taken back to their respective places of residence using Polsek Tondano patrol vehicles. (Tribunmanado.co.id/Andreas Ruauw)
Golput – Golongan Putih, White Group. The term first emerged as a campaign by students in the 1971 elections and derives its name from marking the white section of the ballot paper rather than a party symbol or candidate's picture thereby making the vote invalid. In recent years the term has broadened to include not just intentionally casting an invalid vote but also vote abstention. Under new electoral laws introduced in 2003, golput, defacing a ballot paper or simply not voting is no longer an electoral offence. Although it is widely believed that publicly advocating golput is illegal, unless money or other enticements are offered simply campaigning for or encouraging others not to vote is not in fact a crime.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Polisi Amankan Orasi Golput di Lapangan God Bless Minahasa".]