Jakarta – Several religious mass organizations, including the hard-line Islam Defenders Front (FPI) and the 212 Alumni Brotherhood (PA 212), took to the streets in Jakarta on Tuesday to reject the newly passed Job Creation Law.
Apart from expressing opposition to the law, protesters also recited chants voicing their desire for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to step down.
Kompas.com reported that hundreds of protesters had gathered on Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan in Gambir, Central Jakarta – around 1 kilometer from the State Palace – since around 12:30 p.m. They recited prayers and voiced demands for the government to revoke the omnibus law.
"The omnibus law will cause Indonesian citizens to be colonialized in their own country. We're here to defend the workers," a protester said in his speech during the demonstration, as reported by Kompas TV.
"It's a shame that [Defense] Minister [Prabowo Subianto] said that these protests were backed by foreign forces."
The 212 Alumni Brotherhood is best known for initiating the 212 rally in November 2016 to demand the imprisonment of former Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama for alleged blasphemy.
During the 2019 elections, the group held several events attended by large numbers of people to support Prabowo in his presidential campaign. Some events were attended by Prabowo himself.
Novel Bamukmin, the deputy secretary-general of the 212 Alumni Brotherhood, claimed the group had voiced its stance against the omnibus law since the start of its deliberations.
At least 9,332 police officers, soldiers and Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) officers were deployed to the capital to enforce security during Tuesday's demonstration. (aly)