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Students take to the streets across the country over fuel price hike

Kompas.com - September 5, 2022

The government's policy of raising fuel (BBM) prices has attracted opposition from many parties with student groups in different parts of Indonesia holding demonstrations on Monday September 5 to articulate their opposition.

As reported by regional Kompas.com offices on Monday, the following is a roundup of protest actions against the fuel price hike in different parts of the country.

Padang students demand investigation of oil and gas mafia

Hundreds of protesters from the Padang Islamic Student Association (HMI) held a demonstration at the West Sumatra Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) office on Monday.

The demonstrators arrived at the West Sumatra DPRD offices at around 1.30 pm carrying a number of placards with their demands.

"The main thing is that we reject the increase in fuel [prices]. We consider that the increase in fuel prices will have a multiplying effect, after the increase in fuel prices this will of course be followed by an increase in the price of basic necessities", said HMI Padang Chairperson Nabusfanando.

In addition to this, Nabusfanando said that the action is also urging the government to revoke the increase in basic electricity tariffs and immediately investigate the oil and gas mafia.

Students in Banten say the people were tricked

Around 1 thousand students held a protest action against the hike in the price of subsidised fuel in front of the Banyumas regency reception hall in Central Java on Monday.

General Soedirman University (Unsoed) Student Executive Council (BEM) President Alfan Maulana Akbar questioned President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's recent pledge not to increase fuel prices.

"The reason is clear, we all saw together Jokowi's statement in early July, 2022 that the government would not increase BBM prices", said Akbar. "Then we saw several days later the people being tricked by the government with the sudden increase in subsidised BBM in the afternoon", he added.

According to Akbar, the fuel price hike will make things even more difficult and weaken the economy.

Students in Banten close off road, burn tyres

Students from the group Gempur Banten held an action in front of the Banten provincial DPRD on Monday.

Scores of students took turns giving speeches while others set fire to tyres in the middle of the road in front of the DPRD. As a consequence, the flow of traffic from Palima towards the Pakupatan Terminal was blocked.

Banten Gempur public relations officer Muhammad Nur Lathif said there were three demands being articulated by the students at the action, namely rejecting the fuel price hike, calling for a reduction in the cost of basic food and the elimination of the BBM hoarders mafia.

Student demonstration in Cirebon ends in clash

An alliance of several different student groups in Cirebon, West Java, held a protest action against the price hikes on Monday.

The students from Cipayung Plus came from the Indonesian National Students Movement (GMNI), the HMI, the Indonesian Muslim Students Action Front (KAMMI) and the Cirebon Islamic Union Student Association (HIMA Persis).

During the action, students and police pushed and shoved each other and exchanged punches in front of the Cirebon municipal DPRD building.

The chaos broke out while negotiations were taking place. The students were asking to be able to convey their demands on the grounds of the Cirebon DPRD while the police maintained a line of officers blocking them.

During the arguments and negotiations, all of a sudden a party caused the two sides to start pushing each other. Several students were even hit by police. Fortunately, the two sides succeeded in breaking up the fight and the protest action proceeded in an orderly fashion.

Student demo in Pematang Siantar ends in chaos

Students protested against the price hike in Pematang Siantar city, North Sumatra on Monday. The action began when scores of students held a peaceful rally in front of the Pematang Siantar DPRD on Jalan Adam Malik at around 11.30 am.

Pematang Siantar Mayor Susanti Dewayani and DPRD Speaker Timbul Marganda Lingga were able to meet with the students on the DPRD grounds at the entrance gate.

The students however were not satisfied with the explanation by the two officials and called on Dewayani and Lingga to make an official statement opposing the price hike in the form of a video conference. They did not however agree to the request.

Following this, the students left the DPRD complex but stayed on Jalan Adam Malik giving speeches and setting fire to tyres.

Several minutes later, police officers who were on guard at the DPRD put out the fires and several students were forcibly taken away by police to the DPRD office complex.

One of the students at the location, Dofasep Hutahaean, said that police suddenly fired teargas towards them while taking the students away.

Authors: Padang contributor Perdana Putra, Banyumas contributor Fadlan Mukhtar Zain, Serang contributor Rasyid Ridho, Kompas TV Cirebon contributor Muhamad Syahri Romdhon, Pematang Siantar contributor Teguh Pribadi. Edited by Reni Susanti, Khairina, Teuku Muhammad Valdy Arief and Gloria Setyvani Putri.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Mahasiswa Gelar Demo di Berbagai Daerah, Tolak Kenaikan Harga BBM".]

Source: https://regional.kompas.com/read/2022/09/05/201733478/mahasiswa-gelar-demo-di-berbagai-daerah-tolak-kenaikan-harga-bb