Demonstrators clash with police

May 21, 1997

Demonstrators clash with police

By Robbie Hartono

JAKARTA — On May 14, there were confrontations with the military and police in several main streets and neighbourhoods, including in Dewi Sartika, Otista, Matraman, Kemayoran and Kalimalang.

In Temanggung, Central Java, a local leader of the PPP was attacked and stabbed by a "ninja" group in the evening. That afternoon there was a confrontation between PPP supporters and the police and military which destroyed police stations, government offices, police cars and banks.

The PPP supporters yelled, "The referee is not fair", underscoring the point that the police, armed forces and civil servants, who are supposed to remain neutral, in fact side with the ruling party.

In Ciracas, East Jakarta, a police station and four police cars were destroyed. In Kudus, Central Java, thousands of PPP supporters, carrying coffins — symbolic of "dead democracy" — fought with the police and military. Some people, including police, were injured.

In Yogyakarta, the PPP headquarters was attacked with stones and cocktail bombs by a "ninja" group, allegedly from Pemuda Pancasila, a youth organisation affiliated to Golkar.

In Malang, East Java, there was a confrontation between PPP supporters and the police, two of whom were reportedly sent to hospital.

On May 15, in Jakarta, thousands of students from Borobudur University fought Golkar supporters campaigning in the street of Kalimalang. In North Jakarta, 10 cars of Golkar supporters were burned. In other parts of Jakarta, there were clashes between Golkar and PPP supporters.

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