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Jakarta Post

Route to State Palace blocked off for May Day rally, workers getting agitated

  • Winda A. Charmila

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, May 1, 2017   /   02:10 pm
Route to State Palace blocked off for May Day rally, workers getting agitated Graffiti on Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan in Central Jakarta, a remnant left by workers after the May Day rally on May 1, 2013. (JP/Jerry Adiguna)

Tens of thousands of workers staging a rally in commemoration of International Labor Day, or May Day, on Monday, have so far only been able to voice their aspirations on Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat as the route to the State Palace is fenced off and fitted with barbed wire.

The workers initially planned to express their demands related to the revocation of wage regulations and outsourcing practices in front of the palace, but they could not get close enough to it due to the blocked road. 

They screamed and asked security guards to open the blockade and let them in.

"Let us in, Let us in," they shouted. 

(Read also: Yogyakarta Police prepare 2,000 personnel to guard May Day)

Things heated up when labor union leaders threatened to break the fence. 

"Let us to go to the State Palace or we'll break the fence," said Confederation of Indonesian Worker Unions (KSPI) chairman Said Iqbal on Monday. 

According to the Jakarta Police, around 40,000 workers are participating in the rally. So far, no violence has erupted.

To entertain themselves, the workers play musical instruments and sing songs together.

They are still trying to reach the State Palace. (wit)