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Jakarta Post

Genesis of non-state violence: FPI and a threatened democracy

  • Aboeprijadi Santoso

Jakarta   /   Thu, June 12 2008   /  10:18 am

The assault against a peaceful rally on June 1 raises the question about the ease with which a group of protesters attacked another group, even when both protests were lawfully held near the centers of state authority at the National Monument (Monas), Jakarta. So, where was the state before it took action two days later? Had it been unwilling or unable to prevent the violence? Whether committed by a religious militia, a mafia or neo-feudal local leaders, non-state violence reflects the prevailing realities of state and society. Years ago, I discussed the phenomenon of mafia violence in early 20th century Sicily, Italy, with a good friend, the late historian Dr. Onghokham. The acts of violence committed by individual Mafioso were systemic despite the fact that they were dispersed and seemingly disconnected. Insightful as he was, Onghokham replied that this was ve...