Sunday, March 04, 2007
Appeal for solidarity as right-wing militias attack Indonesian left conference. posted by Richard SeymourNot for the first time, a conference held by the new left-wing political party, the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas), is being attacked by right-wing militias calling themselves the Front Anti Komunis Indonesia (FAKI). The founding conference held in Yogjakarta more than a month ago was attacked, and several activists who tried to fend for themselves were hospitalised. The militias had reportedly come armed with swords and various weapons, but did not get the opportunity to use them. Today's regional conference, being held in East Java, has been attacked by about 100 of these militia men, who have been fighting with the conference members.
Papernas, uniting left parties and democracy activists who were central to bringing down the Suharto dictatorship, including the courageous labour activist Dita Sari, is clearly causing some alarm. With branches in 100 cities and towns, they are demanding nationalisation of the oil and gas industries and the cancellation of the foreign debt, and they will use the revenue to pay for free healthcare and education. Their strategy combines parliamentary and extra-parliamentary action, but they must have 250 branches in two thirds of Indonesia's regions to even be permitted to contest elections.
FAKI are not the only ones who have been attacking Papernas meetings, and when Papernas activists protested against the repression, their gathering was violently broken up by police, who arrested protesters.
Papernas activists are asking for urgent messages of protest to be faxed to the Chief of Police, General Sutanto +62 818 315703.