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Workers in Bandung bring giant red-and-white flag to May Day rally

Merdeka - May 1, 2016

Andrian Salam Wiyono – The commemoration of International Labour Day or May Day was marked by a protest action at the governor's office in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung on Sunday May 1 where workers unfurled a 100 metre-long red-and-white flag.

The national flag was held up by several workers so it faced directly at Governor Jabar Ahmad Heryawan's office. Prior to giving speeches, the workers sung the national anthem Indonesia Raya.

After singing the national anthem, a worker from the Indonesian Metal Trade Workers Federation (FSPMI) gave a speech conveying the workers' demands. During a break in the action, FSPMI action coordinator Yayo Winaryo explained the reason for bringing the giant flag to the May Day rally.

"Our intention was so that the government knows that we also have a love for Indonesia", said Winaryo, who wore an FSPMI T-shirt and bandana on his head.

He said however that he feels that the current government is not pro-worker. Through the momentum of this year's May Day with the symbol of the giant flag workers are calling on all elements to join forces under the name "The House of the Indonesian People".

"The aim is to increase the power of [our] forces. To develop this country. If we come together we could put forward a political party from the working class where our representatives could become leaders", he explained saying that they could sit in the executive or legislative branches of government.

Winaryo added that workers still often haunted by all kinds of problems. The most obvious one is the problem of healthcare and retirement insurance. Through May Day which is commemorated every May 1, he hops that the very best pick of people from the working class will be present.

From Merdeka's observations, the protest action proceeded in a peaceful manner escorted by hundreds of police. An estimated 1,000 workers attended representing a number of different organisations who took turns in conveying their demands through a megaphone. Jl. Diponegoro, in front of the governor's office, was closed off in both directions. (rhm)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was May Day di Bandung, buruh bentangkan bendera merah putih 100 meter.]

Source: http://www.merdeka.com/peristiwa/may-day-di-bandung-buruh-bentangkan-bendera-merah-putih-100-meter.html.

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