Protests against US President George Bush were staged in several cities across Indonesia on October 21, one day ahead of his brief visit to Bali.
In Jakarta, about 300 protesters rallied outside the US embassy, burning an effigy of Bush, as well as US flags. The protesters displayed banners and posters with slogans such as "Bush is a liar", "Bush — Vampire", and "Bush: Number-one terrorist". The students pelted the embassy compound with tomatoes and urged President Megawati Sukarnoputri to reject Bush's visit.
Similar protests were also held in Yogyakarta, Bali, East Java, West Java, South Sulawesi and Solo and Semarang in Central Java. In Denpasar, the capital of Bali, scores of university students and supporters of various political parties rallied outside the US consulate.
Bush visited Bali for four hours on October 22. The Indonesian government mobilised 5000 troops and police, with seven warships and an aircraft carrier deployed off the resort island's coast, while four US-made F-16s will be on standby.
Undeterred by the massive security presence, a small number of protesters led by the the newly formed Party of of United Peoples Opposition (Popor) demonstrated against Bush.
Popor is a progressive umbrella organisation for the National Front for Indonesian Workers Struggle (FNPBI), the National Student League for Democracy (LMND), the Farmers and Fishermen Union (STN) and 53 other mass organisations.
From Green Left Weekly, October 29, 2003.
Visit the Green Left Weekly home page.