Nuri Yatul Hikmah (Warta Kota), Jakarta – Thousands of workers joined the Indonesia Farmers Union (SPI) in a demonstration in front of the State Palace near the Horse Statue in Central Jakarta on Saturday September 24. The action was held in the context of commemorating National Farmers Day (HTN).
According to Warta Kota Live's observations at the location at 10.45 am, the thousands of workers held a long march from the Jakarta City Hall via Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan in Gambir sub-district, Central Jakarta.
The workers and farmers brought two command vehicles and unfurled two flags, one with the words "Labour Party" in orange and another with "SPI" in yellow.
They demonstrated wearing labor and farmer's clothing and walked hand-in-hand carrying agricultural products such as vegetables, bananas, rice, brown sugar, palm sugar, cassava and other products.
Several of the farmers also wore traditional woven bamboo caping hats. The women farmers meanwhile arrived wearing house dresses or traditional cingkrang or ankle length trousers.
The police meanwhile had already formed up in ranks in front of the Horse Statue to get ready for the demonstrators.
Earlier, SPI General Secretary and Labour Party National Board Chairperson Agus Ruli Adiansyah said the action had three demands.
First, workers are asking that the government implement agrarian reform and urging the government to return the land to the people which is being controlled by corporations.
Second, the workers reject the Omnibus Law on Job Creation which they see as only serving the interests of investors and government strategic projects such as food estates.
Third, the workers oppose the government's decision to increase the price of fuel or BBM.
"We ask the [government] to recalculate how the state should address the people's problems, for the greater public good, including BBM so this must be controlled by the state in the interests of the ordinary people", said Adiansyah.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Hari Tani Nasional, Ribuan Buruh dan Tani Tuntut Reforma Agraria di Depan Istana Negara".]