Workers and Trade Unions Supports Peasants and Their On Foot Marches to Jakarta Demanding Land for People

Workers and Poor Urbans Saluted The Peasants

Jambi Peasants Long March finally reached Jakarta, after more than one month being launched at December, 12th, 2012, the peasants have walked through four provinces and more than 20 cities/counties in Indonesia. It has been a militant act since no one ever walk for 1.000 Kilometers before, demanding “Land for People”, “Carry Out UU PA 1960”, dan “Carry Out Article 33rd of UUD 1945”. Jambi Peasants organized by STN (Serikat Tani Nasional/National Peasants Union) is doing the act since Jambi local government has done nothing when the peasants suffered land grabbing by mining and farming corporations. These tens of peasants from Jambi also being supported and joined by Lampung peasants who suffered same land grabbing problem.

The number then grows to hundred peasants who reached Jakarta on January 22nd 2013, initiated to march to the presidential palace after taking short break. The peasants militancy gathered solidarity from activists in and around Jakarta, especially trade unions, political parties, and alliance such as FPBI, SBTPI, PPBI, SPTBG, PROGRESIP-KASBI, SPCI-KASBI, KPO-PRP, PPI. The workers greeted the peasants who arrived in front of the presidential palace on 1.30 pm by chanting, “land for people, now!” Though that day the rain was heavilly falling, the struggle keeps on burning.

Activist from FPBI (Front Perjuangan Buruh Indonesia/Indonesian Workers Struggle Front) stated, “Now we see that the workers and peasants have united since we have common enemy: capitalist regime.” The protest’s atmosphere was  burned by orations and protest songs sung by workers and peasants. Mika from KPO-PRP (Komite Penyelamat Organisasi-Perhimpunan Rakyat Pekerja/People Working Association – Organization Salvation Committee) said that the history of land grabbing in indonesia is the history the entry of capitalism that is the main cause of peoples’ poverty, “The government inability to carry out UU PA 1960 (regulation instructing land reform) and article 33rd UUD 45 and also other articles (relating to mineral sources are nationalized and utilized to create social justice) is because SBY regime and all MPs are Imperialist’s collaborators in Indonesia. This is why the unity between workers and peasants is the basis of peoples political unity to build their own government; a people government which is free from capitalist!” On the other hand Irwansyah from SBTPI and Workers Joint Secretariat Presidium said that the workingclass in Jakarta support the peasants struggle 100%. He also added information that the peasants from Blitar, Western Java, Medan, and Sulawesi also conducting the same walking act to Jakarta and will join the peasants who already being in Jakarta immediately. “We will occupy Jakarta if land problem is unfinished!,” Ilham further stated.

Protesting in Front of Presidential Palace

The protest not only joined and supported by the workers and trade unions but also KPA (Konsorsium Pembaruan Agraria/Agrarian Renewal Consortium), Solidaritas Perempuan (Women Solidarity), Institute of Global Justice, PRD (Democratic People Party), and SRMI (Indonesian Poor Urban Union). Hundreds of masses stays until the rain stop falling. Before the protest over, the peasants promised they would remain in Jakarta, especially in front of Forestry Ministry, until their problem is solved. Meanwhile the supporting organizations also will keep on working in joint campaign on land conflicts in Indonesia.

Source:
Rakya Pekerja Online, Pertemuan Buruh dan Petani di Jakarta, January 24th 2013, http://www.rakyatpekerja.org/pertemuan-buruh-dan-petani-di-istana-negara/

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