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People's Democratic Party (Indonesia)

Indonesia: People's Democratic Party relaunched as `open, mass-based cadre party'

PRD members at the January 28, 2010, Jakarta rally to protest the first 100 days of the  presidency of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Photo by Ulfa Ilyas.

By Peter Boyle

March 11, 2010 -- An historic decision to relaunch itself as an open party was made at the seventh congress of the People's Democratic Party (PRD) of Indonesia on March 1-3. The party's socialist politics will be expressed within the five principles laid out by Indonesia's first President Sukarno's June 1, 1945, speech on “Pancasila” (nationalism, internationalism, democracy, socialism and belief in god).

“For the last decade and a half we have organised both above and below ground because of repression”, the new Secretary-General of the PRD, Gede Sandra, explained to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal and Green Left Weekly. “But since the fall of the Suharto dictatorship there has been more democratic space and we need to maximise the opportunities this presents to build our party.”

The congress resolved to do this through:

Indonesia: Thousands protest Yudhoyono's 100th day in office


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Photos by Ulfa Ilyas (above) and PRP International (below)

Jakarta, Indonesia -- January 28, 2010 -- Thousands of Indonesians staged a mass protest in front of the presidential palace. The protesters criticised the government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's neoliberal policies and corruption on its 100th day in office.

Indonesia: Anti-corruption protests follow bank bailout


On December 9, 2009, protests against corruption were held in Indonesia. Above are those organised by the People's Democratic Party. Photos by Roso Suroso, Ririn Sefsani, Ulfa Ilyas and Rudi Hartono. Made with Slideshow Embed Tool.

December 9, 2009 -- The great photos above are of a mass demonstration in Jakarta on International Anti-corruption Day December 9, 2009, just one of many demonstrations against corruption have been sweeping Indonesia protesting allegations that a US$600 million government bailout was given to Century Bank on condition that some of the money be used to fund President Yudhoyono's re-election campaign.

Indonesia: President's inauguration marked by anti-neoliberal protests


Street Parliament Alliance protest, Jakarta, October 20. Photos by Ulfa Ilyas.Made with Slideshow Embed Tool

By Ulfa Ilyas, Surabaya

October 20, 2009 -- Berdikari -- Thousands of people protested at the national parliament building in Jakarta today, during the inauguration of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as Indonesia's new president and Boediono as vice-president. Protesters demanded that the president put an end to neoliberal policies during his second term, because they have been proven to be a failure and have brought suffering to the people of the world, including Indonesia.

East Timor: The struggle for full independence — 10 years on

Oil rig in the Timor Sea. Timor Leste's oil wealth has not benefitted the people.

By Mericio Akara, translated by Vannessa Hearman

September 30, 2009 -- Dili -- What is commemorated as Timor Leste’s (East Timor) “liberation” is the United Nations-facilitated referendum on August 30, 1999. 

East Timor, which had been a Portugese colony, was already an independent country, as a result of the pro-independence political party Fretilin declaring East Timor independent on November 28, 1975. But barely days after the independence proclamation, on December 7, 1975, the Suharto dictatorship in Indonesia used all its military firepower to invade Timor Leste.

The invasion was brutal and the occupation lasted 24 years before the UN referendum in 1999. During the occupation, the Indonesian military tortured and slaughtered our people. Such terrible acts became an everyday spectacle in Timor Leste.

Indonesia: Parliament of the Streets demands free education and health care, housing for the poor


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Photos and text by Ulfa Ilyas

On August 25, 2009, a demonstration was held in Jakarta, Indonesia, organised by the Parliament of the Streets Alliance at the inauguration of newly elected members of parliament. The protesters demanded free education for all citizens, free health programs, employment and housing programs for poor people.

Henri Anggoro, a leader of the Poor People’s Union (Serikat Rakyat Miskin Indonesia, SRMI), which organises in the sprawling shanty towns, said that experience has shown that parliament ignores the interests of the people. "They only represent the interests of a handful of people, rather than representing the people who elected them", he said.

Indonesia: Protest napalm bomb attack on farmers' settlement!

By Papernas (National Liberation Party of Unity, Indonesia)

December 18, 2008 -- About 1000 thugs sent by PT Arara Abadi and directly led by 500 police, under Riau regional police commander Alex Mandalika, unsparingly attacked, destroyed and burned houses using napalm bombs in Suluk Bongkal village, Riau Province, Indonesia. A two-year-old girl died in the attack.

The attackers said the villagers were newcomers who must be evicted. They were also falsely accused of having ilegally cleared state-owned forest. According to our information, Suluk Bongkal village has been legally acknowledged in the state map made after the Dutch cooperated with the Siak kingdom (around 1940), and in 1959 (after independence) the area was designated as customary rights forest (for Sakal tribe); Suluk Bongkal was included in it. Suluk Bongkal villagers have lived peacefully with the other citizens and surrounding tribes.

Indonesia: Activists debate electoral tactic

Dita Sari will stand in the 2009 election

Indonesia: Tracing a path towards parliament

By Kelik Ismunanto

November 29, 2008 -- After such a long period of time in a vacuum, uncertain of how to respond to changes caused by neoliberal economic policies, little by little, democracy movement activists have been able to wrest back the political podium.

In the last few months, several national television stations provided a political stage for activists such as Dita Sari, Budiman Sujatmiko, Pius Lustrilanang and other young activists who are contesting the 2009 elections, to explain their reasons for choosing the parliamentary tactic.

Among young activists, there are opinions in favour and against this tactic.

Indonesia: Anti-communism in the age of reformasi: the case of Papernas

By Vannessa Hearman

May 20, 2008 -- In 2006, some long-term Indonesian activists in the People’s Democratic Party (PRD), such as Dita Sari and Agus ``Jabo’’ Priyono, reflected on how the post-1998 reformasi movement would respond to the 2009 general election. In June 2006, a number of activists and organisations, including eight national organisations such as the Indonesian Buddhist Students’ Association (HikmahBudhi), the National Students’ League for Democracy (LMND) and the Urban Poor Union (SRMK) met in Jakarta to agree to establish Papernas (the National Liberation Party of Unity). Around 40 local groups of farmers, workers, students and advocacy groups in Flores, Sumatra, Maluku, Java and Kalimantan also supported this initiative. PRD activists have made Papernas their key political project in the last few years, which also has created debates and splits inside the PRD over the question of electoral alliances in coming elections.

Conference reaffirms Marxism in the 21st century

By Margaret Allum

"In the world, the tendency today is to bury Marxism and communism. The equation is simple: the collapse of the European socialist bloc is the end of the ideology and the theory that inspired their existence. But Marxist and communist ideas have today, perhaps more than ever, the possibility of demonstrating their viability.”

With these words Maria Luisa Fernandez, the Cuban consul-general, opened the Marxism 2000 conference in Richmond, just outside of Sydney, from January 5 to 9. Her speech followed a welcome by Colin Giles, a representative of the local Darug Aboriginal people.

Marxism 2000, initiated and organised by the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP), was the second Asia Pacific Solidarity Conference; the first was held in April 1998, also in Sydney.

Far from being a collective international obituary to the ideas and practice of Marxism, Marxism 2000 was instead a vibrant reassertion of the urgent need to build an alternative to the capitalist system and a reminder that such an alternative is the only way to solve massive global inequalities.

Police raid Asia-Pacific Solidarity Conference in Jakarta

By Sundaram

This article originally appeared in the July issue of Liberation, the central organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist).

The Asia-Pacific Solidarity Conference, scheduled June 7-10 at a site 50 kilometres outside the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, was meant to discuss ways of fighting neo-liberal policies and militarism in the region. But thanks to a draconian attempt by police and paramilitary groups to scuttle the event, the participants turned it into a real battle against the neo-fascist forces that are making a bid for power again in Indonesia.

It all started on June 8, the second day of the conference, when more than 100 policemen armed with carbines and tear gas barged into the venue to arrest foreign participants for alleged ``visa violations''. Sealing off the conference hall, switching off the lights and using megaphones to bark out their orders, the gun-toting policemen presented, to the more than 40 representatives of left groups from around the world, a taste of what former Indonesian dictator Suharto's New Order regime must have been like.

The political situation of Indonesia

This article is taken from the June 2002 international edition of Pembebasan, published by the People's Democratic Party (PRD) of Indonesia.

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