May Day commemoration

Amsterdam 1st May 1997

Comrades and friends,
In the name of the Supporting Movement for the Democratisation in Indonesia [GPDI] I wish to convey to you greetings of international solidarity. Today, on labour day, we can see for ourselves that the modern world we live in is a fact attributable to the working class. It is thanks not only to the working class of The Netherlands, but also to the workers in all neo-colonial countries, such as Indonesia, Iran, Turkey and the Philippines etc. The labour movement has thus an international character.

As a result of exploitation by capitalism and imperialism, it is precisely in neo-colonial countries that the workers are paid badly and have no free trade unions. There the workers celebrate May Day in an atmopshere reigned by terror, violence, imprisonment and so on. In fact the workers live without rights, both in the economic and political spheres.

Indonesia has become one link of the chain of the international production process created by the so-called globalisation. Foreign investments have an increasingly free hand there thanks to all kinds of legislations by which the fleecing of workers and the exploitation of natural resources become cruder and cruder. Moreover, the role of the police (the army as well) and the courts of justice have been reduced to that of mere watchdogs of the State serving the interests of international finance.

Comrades and friends,
Indonesia under Suharto's military-fascist rule has about 80 million workers, mostly concentrated in Java. The official, "yellow" trade union SPSI is the only union that caters to the interests of the capitalists: this explains the fact that the wages of workers are the lowest in the ASEAN region. With a pay of about fl. 3.50 a day, a worker even cannot afford food containing the necessary amount of calories, let alone paying house rent, sending his children to school and so on.

The recent sentence meted out at comrade Budiman Sujatmiko, chairman of the People's Democratic Party, cannot be seen separately from the struggle of workers, peasants, the urban poor, students and other social forces. Before long, Comrade Dita Sari, leader of the PPBI (an independent workers' organisation) would be sentenced under the subversion law (with a minimum penalty of 13 years imprisonment and the maximum penalty being the death sentence). Despite the terror and other forms of repression by the state apparatus, the workers and the people as a whole will keep on fighting! They will go on struggling hand-in-hand until there is no more exploitation of man by man and there is no more destruction of nature!

Long live the proletariat!
Long live internationalism!

Off with the military fascist Suharto!
Boycott the '97 general election!

Freedom for all political prisoners!
Freedom for East Timor!

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