Indonesian activist speaks


Indonesian activist speaks

By Anthony Benbow

PERTH — Dita Sari, general secretary of the Indonesian Centre for Working Class Struggle (PPBI) was here last week as a guest of the International Women's Day Collective.

"Women of the world, unite!", was Sari's message at the IWD celebrations on March 11. She gave greetings at the IWD breakfast, and was one of the main speakers at the rally which followed.

Sari spoke of the oppression faced by women in Indonesia — the exploitation of women as workers, the effects of the dominant Muslim religion — and of the courage of those who struggle against it. Union movements also work with organisations that focus on women's issues.

The question of rebuilding the women's movement in the First and Third Worlds was covered further at a public meeting on March 15. Sari and Julia Perkins from the Democratic Socialist Party discussed the differences and similarities of both. Many ideas were raised, including the best way of building a movement that could involve as many women as possible and also link up with the struggles of other oppressed groups.

Sari was a guest speakers at a meeting organised by Aksi — Indonesia Solidarity Action, where she discussed the struggle for democracy in Indonesia and its relationship to the struggle for freedom in East Timor. Also speaking was Indonesian scholar Dr George Aditjondro and Nelson, an East Timorese activist.

Sari met with students at several campuses and also spoke with organisers and officials from several WA unions, as well as to union members on some work sites. Aksi is campaigning to provide funds for PPBI to support extra organisers.

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