The Jakarta Post
University students are planning to return to the streets in Jakarta on Tuesday in yet another chapter in a string of protests against the government and the House of Representatives.
In a written statement received by The Jakarta Post, the Indonesia Alliance’s student executive body (BEM) said it was set to continue its protests in front of the House’s compound in Central Jakarta, with an estimated 1,500 protesters set to join the rally.
Jakarta State Islamic University (UIN) student council chairman Sultan Rifandi said the student protesters would start their rally at around 1 p.m. and end the protest at 5 p.m. to prevent the reoccurrence of clashes that may risk students’ safety.
“We will gather at the meeting spot at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, and march together to the House of Representatives building,” Sultan said as quoted by kompas.com on Tuesday.
Sultan said the students had acknowledged that some of their demands, namely the halting of the passage of some controversial bills, including a revision of the Criminal Code (KUHP), had been accepted by the House and the government.
However, he said the students still had other demands that had yet to be fulfilled, including on the country’s anticorruption commitment and the demand for law enforcers to take strict measures against those responsible for forest fires.
Sultan added that the students would also voice on Tuesday their criticism of alleged excessive use of force by the police against fellow student protesters nationwide during a string of protests since last week.
“We will probably also help to erase some graffiti on walls, as well as collect garbage,” he said.
Tuesday's planned protest comes as 575 newly elected members of the House were sworn into office to sit as lawmakers for the next five years until 2024.
Sultan asserted that the student protest was not intended to disrupt the inauguration ceremony.
Jakarta Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Argo Yuwono also confirmed that the protest would continue. “We have yet to make an estimation of the number of protesters,” Argo told the Post.
Security has been heightened around the House compound on Tuesday, with the police installing a blockade around 100 meters from the legislative complex’s front gate on Jl. Gatot Subroto.