Affrontements à Jakarta – 20 octobre 2010

Clashes erupt in anti-govt Indonesia protests


JAKARTA, Wednesday 20 October 2010 (AFP) – Indonesian police fired tear gas to disperse protesters who took to the streets Wednesday to mark the first anniversary of the swearing in of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

A group of about 60 demonstrators blocked a road in the Menteng neighbourhood of central Jakarta with wooden benches and attacked police who tried to remove them.

They hurled rocks and sticks at the riot police, who responded with tear gas. Local media reported that police also fired several shots but this could not be immediately confirmed.

One of the demonstrators shouted « this is the source of the mess in this country » as they set a poster of Yudhoyono alight.

« We had to fire tear gas to disperse the protesters as they set fire to the president’s poster, » Jakarta police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said.

« We’ll take firmer action against them if they start to burn cars or buildings. »

He added that no arrests were made.

Thousands of protesters took part in other anti-government rallies Wednesday in Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Palu and Bogor, where students reportedly clashed with police.

Almost 20,000 police were on standby in the capital to deal with any unrest, the Antara state news agency reported.

Police, protesters clash in Jakarta; 4 injured


October 20, 201

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) — Clashes between police and dozens of protesters in Indonesia’s capital left four people injured Wednesday.

Three police officers and a protester were hurt in Jakarta, where students, workers and activists took to the streets to mark a year since President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was re-elected.

Tear gas was fired on a crowd of protesters in front of a legal aid institute after they refused to disperse and hurled rocks at officers, police said.

« We fired warning shots after the crowd got violent, » said Untung Yoga, National Police vice spokesman. « Water cannons and tear gas were also being used to disperse the protesters in front of the palace. »

Protesters believe the Indonesian government has failed to deal with corruption and human rights abuse and that the economic growth has not trickled down to the general population.

There has been a growing public dissatisfaction over investigations into a bailout of Indonesia’s Century Bank, and critics accused the president and some of his political allies of benefiting from the bailout.

There were demonstrations in other cities and local media reported skirmishes.

In December, thousands of protesters gathered in several cities in Indonesia to push the government to deal with rampant allegations of corruption.

~ par Alain Bertho sur 21 octobre 2010.

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