Lampung in revolt

6000 students, youth and microlet drivers protest

Commemoration of International Human Rights Day, 10 December, 1996.

On 9 December, 1996 at Bandar Lampung University (UBL) [in Lampung, South Sumatra], 3000 UBL students, led by the "Students Committee for the Struggle for Democracy (TesaPD)", held a commemoration of Human Rights Day. The TesaPD put forward the demands:
1. Repeal of the 5 Political Laws
2. End the Dual Role of the armed forces
3. For the establishment of independent student organisations
4. Deferral of tuition fees until the end of the next term

During the Open Forum, large numbers of military from the anti-riot brigade and the Gatam 043 District Brigade surrounded the event. The military, however, made no moves against the students, just noting down names and recording the events.

On December 10, 1996 on the campuses of the Lampung Accountancy Academy (AAL) and the Lampung Institute of Economics (STIE Lampung) 1000 students, led by the Pro-Democracy Students Struggle Council (DPMPD) commemorated Human Rights Day. In a statement issued by the DPMPD, the following demands were put forward:
1. To respect human rights as set out in the Declaration of Human Rights
2. Repeal of the 5 Political Laws
3. Abolition of the dual role of the Armed Forces
4. Protest all violations of human rights in Indonesia

On the AAL/STIE campuses the commemorastion took the form of an open forum. At this time the Armed Forces moved to completely surround the campuses because the city itself was in the grip of a massive transport sector strike.

On December 10, i.e. Human Rights Day, there was a transport strike in the city of Bandar Lampung carried out by microlet drivers covering 8 routes. [Microlets and mini buses carrying between 50-80 passengers.] The eight routes were:
1. Rajabasa - Tanjung karang
2. Sukaraja - Tanjung Karang
3. Sukarame - Tanjung Karang
4. Panjang - Tanjung Karang
5. Kemiling - Tanjung Karang
6. Permunas Way Halim - Tanjung Karang
7. Pahoman - Tanjung Karang
8. Ratulangi - Tanjung Karang

The strike by 4000 microlets was protesting the rise in "retribusi" [essentially a road tax] imposed by the city government. The city government had increased the road tax from Rp400 (A$0.20) per day to Rp800 (A$0.40) per day. In addition the drivers have to pay "unofficial taxes" to securirty as well as "plain clothes" operatives at the bus terminals. All this finally made the drivers along these eight routes angry.

The strike lsted from 0900 to 21.00 hrs. and the city of Bandar Lampung was totally paralysed. Thousands of people came out onto the streets. The masses became angry. Students from the SMU high school clashed with the Gatam Military District troops and the Mobile Brigade after the students carried out a sleep-in action. Students from the technical high schools started pulling out the palm trees planted along the streets, pulling out traffic signs, smashing potplants along the street and piling all this into the middle of the streets. The drivers organised a convoy to the Bandar Lampung city government buildings, surrounding the buildings with their microlet buses and carrying out a sit down action in front of the building.

December 10 and December 11:

Two days of mass actions


December 10.
08.00: Drivers from Sukaraja -Tanjung Karang route begin their strike
09.00: Drivers head for city government to put forward their demands
09.15: Drivers from 7 other routes join the strike
09.30: Lampung totally paralysed.
10.00: Drivers from the Rajabasa and Way Halim routes move off towards city government building but are cut off by Gatam 043 and Mobile Brigade troops. At the same time Microlet drivers stop and burn provincial government buses.
10.30: Anti-Riot troops arrive and stand guard on all main roads.
11.15: The drivers start chanting their demands that the road tax be returned the original amount. They authorise a delegation of 5 people to meet government officials. The five representatives are: Fahrul Rozi, Miklisin, Budi, Fendy, Didi.

Their demands are:
1. reduce the road tax from Rp800 to Rp400.
2. an end to all "unoffical taxes" collected by security and other personnel
3. improvement in bus terminal facilities.

11.30: Gatam 043, Mobile Brigade and Anti-Riot troops surround and attack the drivers. There are at least 8 people identified as wounded:
1. Nasib, vehicle 023, eye injury due to being hit with M16 barrel.
2. Hermin, eye injury due to being hit with M16 barrel.
3. Toni, vehicle no. 277, his vehicle taken and eye injury due to being hit with M16 barrel.
4. Name unknown, car no 140, forehead injury due to being hit with M16 barrel.
5. 4 other drivers, not yet identified. When a check was done in Abdoel Muluk General Hospital, they were not found. (They may have been taken to the army hospital.).
11 drivers were also arrested and taken to Bandar Lampung police headquarters.
12.15: The situation stablises and drivers carry out a sit down action. At the same time, high school students leaving school and the next shift going to school gather and destroy and pull out traffic signs and palm trees and other planted pot trees. Other students carry out a sleep in action on the streets and clash with troops.
13.00: Students from the Taman Siswa school carry out a lie-down action on Kartini Street.
13.30: Gatam 043 military trucks pick up the pupils to take them to school, but the trucks are attacked with stones.
14.30: Some microlets are still carrying out convoy actions and blockading other transport tryng to operate.
15.00: Those drivers outside the city government office disperse without achieving any results.
15.00: till evening Only military trucks operating to pick up passengers.

Second Day, December 11

2000 youth and university students unite with drivers
December 11 the strike continues with drivers from the Natar - Rajabasa route also joining.
Lampung is again totally paralysed. The drivers are supported by students from Lampung campuses, led by three committees, i.e.:
Student Struggle Committee for Democracy (TesaPD)
Pro-Democracy Students Struggle Council (DPMPD)
Students United for Justice (PERMAK).
They were supported by students from the general and technical high schools. Students marched the 5 kilometers from the University of Lampung (UNILA) to Bandar Lampung University (UBL).
09.00:The action was began with "Political Oration" in front of the UNILA Law Faculty. The students then marched around the campus and then left onto the main road.
09.15:Outside the campus the hghschool students and microlet drivers and some microlets were waiting to join the students. There was a total of about 2500 people. The atmoshpere was very tense because of the presence of military troops trying to stop another action by the drivers. But the action was able to be carried out in an orderly manner, with the masses kept in order within marshal's ropes. The crowd shouted slogans and acrried posters with such slogans as: "don't repress and oppress! give us our rights back! end militray intervention! release our friends! reduce the road tax that squeezes the people! and so on. There were also such posters on the microlets.
09.30: The military forbids the drivers to jojn the action and the march is split into two: one with thedrivers and the other the youth and students.
09.45: Clashes breakout between the high school students when the students anger explodes seeing the military beat the microlet drivers who try to join the long march. They are also angry about the students who suffered the head injuries the day before when beaten with rifle buts by the soldiers.
10.15:The mass action arrives at the UBL campus. There is a total traffic jam because the microlet drivers have brought their vehicles and parked them on mass on the road outside the campus. They make speeches from the top of their microlets. The military surrounds the campus.
11.05:The masses begin to get hysterical and try to enter the campus but are stopped by the University Regiment [Student military cadets] Push and shove takes place between the masses and the University Regiment and other military forces. An open forum starts outside the university administration building. besides seeches people also read the poems of Wiji Thukul.
11.50: The masses leave the campus and join together with more microlet drivers who have arrived.
12.30: The masses disperse while the drivers drive around the city carrying posters critical of the New Order government.

The incident of December 10 is till felt today on December 12. The road tax has been reduced back to Rp400 per day.
The buses and trucks that the military brought out to transport passengers were attacked by the microlet drivers and students, so that they all ahd to be guarded by troops.
We the students of Lampung, based on three campuses, state:
1. we support the drivers strike.
2. deamnd that the road tax be withdrawn.
3. condemn the military intervention against the drivers strike.
Bandar Lampung 11 Desember, 1996 issued by:
Student Struggle Committee for Democracy (TesaPD)
Pro-Democracy Students Struggle Council (DPMPD)
Students United for Justice (PERMAK).

One struggle, one change!

This English version is based on a release by PEMBEBASAN (Liberation).

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