Jakarta – Protesters have admitted that they were promised money if they took part in enlivening a protest action critical of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in front of the KPK's Red-and-White building in Jakarta on Saturday September 14.
CNN Indonesia managed to speak with several people at the action although none of them were willing to give their names.
A woman from Cipinang, East Jakarta, said she was invited to take part in the demonstration by a woman named Mbak (Sister) Sri. The 50-year-old woman said she was happy to take part because she wasn't busy and was talked into it with offers of money and food.
"Yes I was given money and a snack", said the woman wearing a black T-shirt. "Yes fifty (50,000 rupiah)", she added when asked how much she got for joining the demo.
The woman admitted that she was invited to join the demonstrations at the KPK which had been going on since Friday. However when asked if she knew about the issue of the revisions to the KPK Law and the replacement of the agency's commissioners she admitted that she didn't know.
"I don't know anything about it. I just took part to enliven it, I was just invited, right", she said with an embarrassed laugh.
When CNN Indonesia wanted to question her further she was pulled away by the action coordinator who the woman confirmed was Mbak Sri.
Another protester who spoke with CNN Indonesia was a teenager who was also reluctant to give their name or any details about their identity.
They admitted to living near the East Jakarta District Court and said that they were hanging out with friends when they were invited to join the protest action. "I was invited by a friend. I was invited, 'Want to join a demo?'", they said.Like the earlier woman, the teenager confirmed that they were promised a payment of 50,000 rupiah to take part in the action for one day, although they would only be paid after the action was over.
As of Saturday evening, hundreds of protesters were still taking part in the demonstration supporting revisions to the KPK Law. Out of this total however, only a few dozen were still standing or taking part in giving speeches. The majority meanwhile had chosen to sit on the sidelines eating the boxes of takeaway food they had been given. (dhf/lav)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Massa Aksi Demo Mengaku Dibayar dan Tak Paham Masalah KPK".]