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Jakarta Post

More than public space, Car Free Day serves as arena to voice political dissent

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, September 22, 2019   /  12:44 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
People eat meals sold by street vendors on Car Free Day in Central Jakarta on May 5, 2019.(Antara/Aprilio Akbar)

For many Jakartans, the weekly Car Free Day (CFD) is the highlight of the weekend. For five hours from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. every Sunday, pedestrians claim the capital's main thoroughfares as their own. While private vehicles reign supreme on weekdays, people can roam the streets freely on Sunday mornings. Launched in 2002 to promote cleaner air and restrict the use of private vehicles, the CFD has offered room for many activities amid limited public space. However, the event is used not only to exercise or stroll the streets but as a stage for civil society organizations to voice their concerns over current issues. For instance, the Community Alliance for Democratic Justice on Sept. 15 held a protest against the revision of the Criminal Code (KUHP) and demanded that the House of Representatives not pass the bill as it contained many problematic articles. The alliance has ...