Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan met on Friday with around 1,000 poor capital dwellers following controversial evictions in North Jakarta.
The Union of Indonesian Poor People (SRMI) met with the governor at City Hall in Central Jakarta.
SRMI head Wahida Baharuddin Upa, who was among those invited to meet with Anies, said the governor promised that a follow up meeting involving low-income unions would be held in the near future. "Pak Anies said he would not evict us," Wahida said.
The fear of eviction has gripped the city's poor again after the North Jakarta administration dismantled a quarter of illegal settlements in Sunter, causing the public to question Anies' campaign promise of not conducting forced evictions in slum areas, and instead hold dialogue with people before relocating them.
Wahida said representatives of SRMI met with Anies on Friday to remind him that there other ways to manage to the poor community.
Advocating for poor people living in West Jakarta, Wahida said 3,314 of them lived in 873 houses across three districts, namely Kebon Jeruk, Kembangan and Grogol Petamburan.
"Forced evictions will only result in people becoming homeless and feeling vulnerable. They will be isolated from their families and community, as well as lose their right to social security," she told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.
It will also affect their children's education, cause trauma and create financial losses.
Wahida said some of the group's members were also evictees. "We are glad Anies has given us an opportunity to speak with him," she said.
Wahida said this was not the first time the union met with Anies. Members of the group also spoke with him during a visit Anies made to Kembangan Park in West Jakarta.