Some 2,000 anti-riot police officers safeguard Jakarta labor rally

Some 2,000 anti-riot police officers safeguard Jakarta labor rally

Police officers guard the Parliament Building as workers stage a protest on Wednesday (Oct 2, 2019). (ANTARA/Katriana/FA)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Over two thousand police officers have been deployed to guard a demonstration held by Indonesian laborers in front of the Parliament Building in Senayan area, Jakarta, on Wednesday.

"We, from Sabhara (the police's anti-riot) unit, reach one thousand officers. I do not really know how many are there from the police's Brimob (mobile brigade unit), but I think it is almost the same number," Wisnu, a Sabhara officer, stated here.

Moreover, police officers from North Sumatra, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), and West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) will support the Jakarta police to ensure security during today’s demonstration.

The Sabhara officers have guarded the front line since the start of the rally and only if the protest were to spiral out of control, would the mobile brigade officers step in to support them.

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Tens of thousands of laborers from 10 Indonesian provinces rallied to express their rejection to a bill on the revision of Law No. 13 of 2003, as the workers believe the bill will prove disadvantageous to them.

"Tens of thousands of workers from 10 provinces are staging the rally," Said Iqbal, president of the Confederation of Indonesian Labor Unions (KSPI), noted in a statement on Wednesday.

The demonstrators were from Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Semarang, Batam, Medan, Banda Aceh, Bengkulu, Makassar, Manado, Gorontalo, Banjarmasin, and Ambon, among others.

The demonstrating masses voiced three demands: opposing the Bill revising the Law on Manpower, disapproving the government's plan to hike the fee for BPJS health insurance, and seeking an amendment to Government Regulation (PP) No. 78 of 2015 on Wages as earlier pledged by President Joko Widodo.

Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Panjaitan had stated on Wednesday that the people can demonstrate, though public facilities should be damaged in the process.

Panjaitan believes that the government has aptly assimilated the demands of demonstrators.

In the course of the past week, Indonesia has borne witness to a string of demonstrations by university students, as they expressed rejection to the enactment of the amended Law on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and several controversial bills and demanded the government to tackle forest fires on the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan and riots in Papua. Related news: 212 alumni organize "Mujahid 212 Save NKRI" rally in Jakarta
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