Swift response to Indonesian repression
By Vannessa Hearman
MELBOURNE — The news that students at the Jakarta campus of the National Science and Technology Institute had been beaten and arrested by the Indonesian military for protesting against rising course fees on June 24 led to a picket in Melbourne outside the Garuda Indonesian Airways a few days later.
The picket, organised by Aksi (Indonesia Solidarity Action), was attended by around 30 people carrying colourful placards. Speakers condemned not only this instance of repression against students but also the Indonesian government's poor human rights record — one that countries such as Australia would not expose, because of economic interests.
The radical youth organisation Resistance, one of the sponsors of the picket, also expressed its solidarity with students in Indonesia. Petitions addressed to the Indonesian government against the repression of students were signed by passers-by.
Aksi recently launched a 12-page bulletin Suara Aksi (Aksi Voice), a publication discussing Indonesian political issues, with special emphasis on news on the radical student movement in Indonesia. It is available from local Aksi groups, or in Melbourne contact PO Box 4345, Melbourne Uni, Parkville 3052.