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Workers in Semarang say government sides with capitalists, not workers

CyberNews - May 1, 2011

Semarang – Hundreds of people from groups such as the National Workers Union (SPN) and the Indonesian People's United Resistance (PPRI) commemorated International Labour Day (May Day) on Sunday in the Central Java provincial capital of Semarang.

The SPN held its action in the vicinity of Jl. Pahlawan while the PPRI started their action at the Baiturrahman Mosque in Simpanglima then marched to Jl. Pahlawan.

The march by the PPRI, which is composed of the SMI, the Lengkong Youth, the Indonesian Cultural Society Union (Sebumi), Indonesian Parliamentary Youth (PPI) and the Indonesia People’s Movement (GRI), took up the entire road forcing vehicle behind to trail slowly behind. The march resulted in several minutes of traffic congestion.

One of the PPRI activists, Rendra, said that the current administration does not side with workers but with capitalists. "We are demanding three things, the nationalisation of state assets for the people's welfare, building a people-based national industry and the implementation of genuine agrarian reform", he said.

As of 11am the PPRI protesters were still holding free speeches on Jl. Pahlawan. The previous night they also held a cultural contemplation at the same location. The action was guarded by hundreds of police. (Adhitia A, Krisnaji Satriawan/CN14/JBSM)

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski.]

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