A coalition of Indonesian social movements march in Jakarta in 26 January, 2008 as part of the International Global Day of Action coordinated by the World Social Forum in order to confront the neoliberal World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland.
The action itself mainly consisted of around 800 women and men from coalition of workers union, fisher folks, peasant, women, environmentalist and youth. People are oppressed by current economic policies that put land, water and sea under the control of transnational companies and that undermine workers rights. Protesters raise key national issues such as the rejection to new investment law (UU No. 25/2007), import and liberalisation of food products are killing peasants, labour law, global warming and anti-debt. They march around 2 kilometers from Thamrin to Presidential Palace.
The demonstration is organised by Gerak Lawan, Indonesian Movement Against Nelocolonialism-Imperialism. Among the most active members is Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI), member of the international movement La Via Campesina, Serikat Buruh Indonesia (SBI), Serikat Nelayan Indonesia (SNI).
Henry Saragih from SPI gives the main message, “What happened in Indonesia in terms neocolinialism-imperialism is also felt by other people around the world. Neoliberal-globalisation and free-market liberalism have put peasants, workers, and fisher folks life in danger. Transnational Corporation is now controlling land, water, oil, education, and health-which is human rights.”
These reflect on day-to-day reality in Indonesia: rice and soybean import surge in 2007 have killed millions of farmers. Domestic price and market are doomed due to TNC role in food.
Sutrisno from SBI highlights the new investment law, which is not from, by and for the people. “Investors and big industries are free to exploit workers under the new law. Outsorcing is also part of this process, and we are suffering a massive loss because it does not guarantee our normative rights.” A lot of manufactures and industries are abandoning worker’s right, and investors are given the freedom to flight their capital.
In the context of globalisation where the main government concern is private sector’s interest, privatisation on the sea is inevitable. Therefore it neglects social and ecological aspects. Muhammad Reza from SNI said, “Mangrove in coastal area is destroyed for building aquaculture industry, trawlers are free to sweep off our sea. This leads to a huge decline of fish resources and also caused biodiversity-ecological problems.”
This action also brings the message that Gerak Lawan have underlined in Bali, a month ago. The current neoliberal mode of production, distribution and consumption has been actively devastating people’s life. Therefore, it must be stopped. People demand policies and implementations from Government of Indonesia, which based on social and ecological justice.
Gerak Lawan consist of: Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI), Serikat Buruh Indonesia (SBI), Serikat Nelayan Indonesia (SNI), Serikat Buruh Migran Indonesia (SBMI), Sarekat Hijau Indonesia (SHI), Koalisi Anti Utang (KAU), Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI), Solidaritas Perempuan (SP), Indonesian Human Rights Committee for Social Justice (IHCS), Institute for Global Justice (IGJ), Lingkar Studi-Aksi untuk Demokrasi Indonesia (LS-ADI), Front Perjuangan Pemuda Indonesia (FPPI), Komite Mahasiswa Anti Imperialisme (KM-AI), Solidaritas Anak Jalanan Untuk Demokrasi (SALUD).