Protests against the controversial Job Creation Law have continued across the nation since Monday, when the omnibus bill on job creation received the final approval of the House of Representatives (DPR). Thousands of workers and students have taken to the streets in a series of demonstrations from Tuesday to Thursday, with some turning violent in clashes between protesters and the police.
The protests have demanded the government and the House to revoke the law, which many scholars and activists have said would do more harm than good to workers’ rights and the environment. This is despite the government’s claims that the law was urgently needed to boost investment and create more jobs.
In Central Jakarta on Thursday, a clash between protesters and police led to a blaze at the Hotel Indonesia Transjakarta bus shelter. Another fire occurred later in the evening in Senen, also in Central Jakarta.
Similar incidents occurred on the island of Sumatra in the North Sumatra capital of Medan and in Jambi, the capital of its namesake province. Protesters threw stones and plastic bottles at regional councils while police formed riot lines.
Clashes also occurred on the first two days of the planned three-day demonstrations, with dozens of protesters detained by the police.
In the latest developments, civil society and rights organizations on Thursday urged police to stop using “repressive” measures, citing reports that alleged the police were using excessive force in quelling the protests. (vny/vla)