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Jakarta Post

Face of Joker appears in Mataram as student protests continue

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 29, 2019   /   09:53 am
Face of Joker appears in Mataram as student protests continue Student protesters take to the streets with their faces painted like Joker, the iconic character played by Joaquin Phoenix in the box office hit of the same name. (kompas.com/Idham Khalid)

Box office hit Joker appears to have inspired participants of yet another student protest in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), with a number of protesters taking to the streets with their faces painted like the iconic character played by Joaquin Phoenix in the movie.

Monday saw the continuance of a string of protests against the government and the House of Representatives with hundreds of students in several cities staging rallies, amplifying demands for the state to commit to continuing political reforms.

In Mataram, dozens of students participated in a protest in front of the NTB Legislative Council (DPRD) building wearing the clown makeup of Batman’s arch-nemesis Joker.

“We choose this appearance to attract more public attention [to the protest],” said Bayu, the coordinator of Monday’s rally.

Bayu said he and his friends only used baby powder and lipstick, which they borrowed from their female friends, kompas.com reported.

However, he asserted that the main message of the protest remained the same as the previous rallies, namely to demand the President issue a regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to revoke the new and controversial Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law.

A student protest in Palopo, South Sulawesi, also amplified demands for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to revoke the new KPK Law, which many believe undermines the antigraft body’s power.

“We demand […] President Joko Widodo immediately issue a Perppu to revoke the KPK Law. We also reject all bills that don’t take the side of the people,” said Ari Putra Daliman, one of the protesters.

In Jakarta, meanwhile, university students joined workers to stage a protest in which they made seven demands under the tagline #Reformasidikorupsi (Reform has been corrupted), which came to prominence during the recent nationwide rallies and has become a thread connecting the movements of students, farmers, fisherfolk and other members of the public.

Among the seven demands are the scrapping of several controversial bills in the House, the withdrawal of the Indonesian Military (TNI) from restive Papua and the resolution of human rights abuses cases.

In addition to the seven demands, protesters also called on the government to create an independent team under the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) to investigate the deaths of protesters during a string of rallies between Sept. 23 to 30.