Massive labor protests
The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
Thousands of workers started to flood the streets near the National Monument (Monas) park at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. The park is expected to become the central point for a large labor demonstration.
A number of labor activists guided them to certain places to minimize their disruption to the traffic, which started to slow due to the presence of the workers on the city's main thoroughfare, Jl. M.H Thamrin, Central Jakarta.
Hundreds of workers from Depok, West Java, gathered in Cimanggis before heading to Jakarta. Hundreds of other workers form South Tangerang, Banten, gathered in Serpong. While waiting for other workers to come, some of them have started to voice their aspiration.
The central point of their aspiration is calling on the government to take action on the economic slowdown that had already affected their purchasing power and they also feared that the continuous economic deceleration would force the factories to lay off their workers.
'We are seriously affected by the condition of the economy,' chanted one of the workers in South Tangerang on Tuesday calling on the government to have a concrete solution as quoted by Antara news agency.
Kompas.com reported that from Depok that the workers took three buses as they parked their motorcycles in Cimanggis. Depok Police chief Sr. Comr. Dwiyono said that he deployed some 500 police officers to guard the demonstration and to escort the buses from the starting point.
Meanwhile, Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama prepared to welcome the workers with accommodations. 'I prepared Monas park for them and City Hall. We have prepared food for them,' he was quoted by tempo.co as saying.
He said that Monas is also equipped with toilets. But chairman of the Indonesian Workers Unions Confederation Said Iqbal said that the workers would use the Hotel Indonesia (HI) roundabout for their protest.
Jakarta city police chief. Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian said that the police would take tough action against the demonstrating workers if any of them violated the regulations. He also demanded that the police arrest anyone going around to the factories and forcing workers to join the demonstration, many of whom preferred to work rather than demonstrate.
'I have ordered all the police precinct heads in the city to arrest those who are forcing others to demonstrate,' he stressed. (bbn)
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