INDONESIA: Police attack IWD march

Issue 

BY NGLINTING DARMONO

YOGYAKARTA — Two hundred protesters from across central Java gathered in Yogyakarta on March 8 to mark International Women's Day.

The protesters marched from Gadjah Mada University to the regional parliament. Their demands included an end to IMF austerity measures (cuts to subsidies for electricity, fuel and telephone calls), free education, a 100% increase in workers' wages, and the abolition of Dharma Wanita (Women's Duty) — the organisation used by the New Order regime to control women.

At the regional parliament building the protest was ordered to disperse by police, on the grounds that it was disrupting people travelling to Friday prayers at the mosque. The police then moved in, splitting the protest and trapping some activists inside the parliament compound.

Dozens of protesters were beaten, and one activist from the Surabaya branch of the street musicians' union (Sarekat Pengamen Indonesia) was arrested. He was released later in the afternoon after suffering further injuries in custody.

From Green Left Weekly, March 13, 2002.

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