The Jakarta Post
Labor protesters who gathered in the capital to commemorate May Day on Monday have burned floral arrangements sent to Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama and his deputy, Djarot Saiful Hidayat, at City Hall after being blocked from protesting in front of the State Palace.
The floral arrangements, which Jakarta residents dedicated to Ahok and Djarot as an expression of gratitude for their work, were piled up and burned by the protesters on Jl. Merdeka Barat.
Of the 40,000 protesters, hundreds of them had flocked in front of City Hall on Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan.
Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) head Jupan Royter said the alleged perpetrators apologized, saying it was a spontaneous act.
"I think they felt uncomfortable with the presence of the [floral arrangements]. Therefore, they wanted to get rid of them," Jupan said.
During the protest, the workers demanded a salary increase and the revocation of the outsourcing practice. They were unable to reach the State Palace as the police had fenced off the area with barbed wire.
After months of a divisive Jakarta gubernatorial election heavily marred with sectarian issues, Ahok lost the election to Anies Baswedan, a former education minister.
The fires have been extinguished by Satpol PP and firefighters. (wit)