On 31 October 2013, as promised, the workers of Indonesia held a simultaneous strike throughout Indonesia. Said Iqbal, the President of KSPI, emphasized that the strike was disciplined and peaceful. As many as two million workers in all of Indonesia held a national strike in 150 provinces, and generally the target of the strike was achieved. There are three provinces which have already reached agreement with the government.
However, the national strike action was marred by bloody violence. Dozens of workers were injured because they were attacked by preman (criminal gangs) in Bekasi and Karawang. The President of KSPI has demanded that the Kabupaten Bekasi Police Chief Kombes Isnaini be sacked from his position because it has been proven that the police deliberately ignored the actions of preman who were carrying beams, samurai swords, machetes, and committed acts of violence by stabbing, bashing and damaging workers’ vehicles.
Said Iqbal gave a deadline of 3 x 24 hours for the police to remove Kapolres of Kabupaten Bekasi from his position. If the Kapolres of Kabupaten Bekasi is not removed then the workers will surround the Bekasi police station. He said that the workers will stand up against this violence because it has stained the national strike which was otherwise conducted in a disciplined and peaceful way.
He emphasized, the people who are most responsible for this violence are the Pemuda Pancasila, IKAPUD and ASPELINDO the leaders of which are Hartono and Budianto because it is suspected that they are playing a game with the government and employers.
He explained that 17 people were seriously injured, while 11 people were slightly injured. According to him, 17 people are being treated at Hosana Medika Hospital in Cikarang, among them 2 people who have stab wounds in their left side, 5 people who were stabbed in the back, head and thigh, 1 person’s arm was broken, 2 people were stabbed in their left side 3 cm deep, 7 people were dragged and bashed with metal and wooden beams.
Meanwhile, related with the continuation of the strike tomorrow, there are two agendas which are planned. First, the mass will gather in the Pulo Gadung Industrial Zone and the plan is that 100 thousand workers will surround the Jakarta Governor’s office and demonstrate overnight to fight for the workers demands. This action is the final choice in the workers’ struggle, remembering that the road of dialogue has reached a dead end. (*)