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May Day protest at Yogyakarta university ends in chaos, 69 arrested

Kompas.com - May 1, 2018

Wijaya Kusuma, Yogyakarta – A demonstration by hundreds of protesters calling themselves the May 1 Movement (Gerakan 1 Mei) at the Sunan Kalijaga Islamic State University (UIN) intersection in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta has ended in chaos.

The action, which began peacefully ended in chaos with several people arrested by police. Yogyakarta regional police chief Brigadier General Ahmad Dofiri said that the demonstration started peacefully.

"Initially the demonstration proceeded peacefully and there weren't any problems", said Dofiri when speaking with Kompas.com at the UIN intersection on Jl. Jogja-Solo on Tuesday afternoon May 1.

Dofiri said that he regretted that the initially peaceful demonstration was marred by anarchy. In addition to this, the issues taken up at the protest were different from those usually aired on Labour Day.

"We regret [what happened], [we] don't know which group it was, the issues being articulated were not related labour issues", he explained.

A separate rally by Yogyakarta workers which was centred at the Abu Bakar Ali parking area and the zero kilometre point in the centre of the city meanwhile proceeded peacefully.

"The action here [UIN] happened without warning and there was no prior notification and the issues were not about Labour Day. The other action by workers was peaceful and orderly", he explained.

Dofiri said that the UIN protesters brought Molotov cocktails and several demonstrators hurled them at a police post. "They brought Molotov cocktails, meaning they had prepared themselves to act in an anarchic way", he explained.

Dofiri said a number of protesters were arrested and several Molotov cocktails were seized by police. "We arrested several people. We also seized several Molotov cocktails", he said.

The Yogyakarta regional police will conduct an investigation into the police post that was vandalised, which was burn down after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at it.

"Yes of course we will investigate. In fact earlier it was local people who drove them away because they felt upset about the road blockade, as well as throwing Molotov cocktails at the police post", he asserted.

Yogyakarta regional police public relations chief Assistant Superintendent Yuliyanto meanwhile said that as any as 69 people were arrested. "Currently there are as many as 60 people under arrest. Fifty-nine men and 10 women", he explained.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was "Aksi Demo Hari Buruh Ricuh di Yogyakarta, Polisi Amankan 69 Orang".]

Source: https://regional.kompas.com/read/2018/05/01/20253171/aksi-demo-hari-buruh-ricuh-di-yogyakarta-polisi-amankan-69-orang.

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