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Students and workers in Medan blockade Polonia Airport

Viva News - May 1, 2012

Ismoko Widjaya, Harry Ondo Saragih, Medan Ė Around 2000 workers blockaded a road directly in front of the Polonia Airport in the North Sumatra provincial capital of Medan on the afternoon of Tuesday May 1. As a result traffic from the city center was paralyzed causing a 5 kilometre traffic jam in both directions.

The workers and students blockaded a length of Jl. Imam Bonjol with the demonstrators concentrating the action immediately opposite the airport's main entrance.trance.

The Polonia Airport had already prepared for the demonstration and closed the main entrance and a water cannon and Barracuda armoured vehicle were also deployed. As a result, passengers had to proceed on foot from the main entrance to the departure and arrival terminals.

North Sumatra police chief Inspector General Wisjnu A. Sastro then held a dialogue with the demonstrators. "Don't cause a riot. We hope that the action will proceed peacefully. If there's a riot it could disrupt airport activities", he told the demonstrators.

The protesters, which as well as workers also included students, came from a number of groups including the Indonesian Youth Solidarity Movement (GSPI), the 1992 Indonesian Prosperous Labour Union (SBSI) and the Indonesian Student Union (SMI).

[Buruh Blokir Jalan Bandara Polonia - VIVAnews. Selasa, 1 Mei 2012. Abridged translation by James Balowski.]

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