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Student action at Gibran's office highlights freedom of expression, political dynasties

Kumparan News - December 18, 2023

Student Executive Councils (BEM) from a number of campuses in greater Solo (Surakarta) held a protest action in front of the office of Solo mayor Gibran Rakabuming Raka, who is President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's eldest son and is running as a vice presidential candidate alongside Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto.

The protesters highlighted freedom of expression, inclusive education and political dynasties.

The BEM students arrived at the Solo City Hall on Jalan Jenderal Sudirman at 4 pm. They formed a line in front of the City Hall Plaza holding a white banner with the message "Evaluation of 9 years of the Jokowi regime" and "Throne for the People".

The protest created traffic congestion on Jalan Jenderal Sudirman and a number of Surakarta municipal traffic police were deployed to direct traffic.

The demonstrators also brought corn cobs that were half pealed symbolising Indonesian democracy that is still in its infancy (seumur jagung, the age of corn or three-and-a-half years referring to the Japanese occupation).

They also wore T-shirts with the writing "A Republic that feels Like a Monarchy".

During the action they took turns in giving speeches on the side of the road in front of the City Hall Plaza.

BEM Central Java and Yogyakarta province regional coordinator Raafila Anbiya said that this was the third such action that they have held. The first and second actions were held in Jakarta and Yogyakarta.

"This time we are holding the action in Solo at the Solo City Hall offices", said Anbiya.

Anbiya said that the action was held to address issues related to the 2024 election contestation, and is a symbol of continuing to safeguard and speak out so that the 2024 elections proceed as they should.

"At this action we conveyed several demands that up until now have not yet been resolved, particularly freedom of expression, inclusive education and political dynasties that will be guarded going forward", he concluded.

As of this article being published, the protest action was still continuing.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "BEM Soloraya Demo di Kantor Gibran sambil Bawa Jagung, Tolak Dinasti Politik".]

Source: https://kumparan.com/kumparannews/bem-soloraya-demo-di-kantor-gibran-sambil-bawa-jagung-tolak-dinasti-politik-21nGqhyEkR