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Jakarta Post

Students lead the way, again

  • Kharishar Kahfi, Ghina Ghaliya, Dyaning Pangestika and Karina M. Tehusijarana

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, September 25, 2019   /  11:38 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Flooding the streets: Ten of thousands of students from various universities demonstrate in front of the House of Representative/People's Consultative Assembly compound in Senayan, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday.(JP/Anggie Angela)

"You have to reject this colonial-style bill!" Maria Catarina Sumarsih told thousands of protesters staging a rally in front of the House of Representatives complex in Senayan, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday. At 67 years old, Sumarsih might have been the oldest person among the crowd, mostly made up of university students from various schools both inside and outside the capital. But the scenes outside the House would have been familiar to Sumarsih; her son, Atma Jaya University student BR Norma Irmawan, also known as Wawan, was shot and killed while taking part in prodemocracy protests in what became known as the 1998 Semanggi Tragedy. Over two decades later, students have once again risen up in a protest that many describe as the largest student movement since the downfall of the New Order regime, to prevent what they perceive to be the resurgence of authoritarian rule. ...