The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Police have apprehended seven alleged provocateurs at a rally protesting the controversial omnibus bill on job creation in front of the House of Representatives complex in Central Jakarta on Friday.
The police initially netted more than 100 people who allegedly infiltrated the rally to incite riots, Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Yusri Yunus said. Of those detained, seven faced questioning while the rest were released.
The seven people were apprehended for carrying items deemed suspicious, such as flags bearing the sigil of a so-called anarcho-syndicalist group, rocks and bottles that the police claimed resembled Molotov cocktails.
"[We suspect that] five of them are members of the anarcho-syndicalist group and one is a former member," Yusri told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.
"We are still questioning and investigating them."
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In April, the police claimed that the group had committed acts of vandalism and provocation to trigger social unrest across the island of Java amid public anxiety over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thousands of protesters comprising students and laborers gathered at the legislative complex in Senayan on Friday to demand the House and the government end deliberation of the omnibus bill on job creation. They condemned contentious articles stipulating manpower affairs, fearing the bill, if passed, would take away workers' rights.
They protested outside the House during the annual People’s Consultative Assembly meeting attended by the country’s executive, legislative and judicial branches. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo delivered his state of the union address at the meeting, held ahead of Indonesia’s 75th anniversary on Monday.