Urgent statement by PAPERNAS

We will fight for our rights

March 29, 2007 will be a day to reaffirm the struggle of The National Liberation Party (PAPERNAS). At least 2000 members from Jakarta will act to take sovereignty back to the people.

During the past few months, the Jakarta leadership councils and members have been working to prepare the coming mass gathering and rally. For three months, we have been holding daily meetings among the urban poor, distributing leaflets and campaigning in support of the nationalisation of the mining industry. The members at the base have been making daily contributions to gather the money for transport and food on the day of the mobilisation, today 29 March.

We will rally outside the Education Ministry as well as the Labour Ministry to protest their anti-poor policies. Later we will rally outside the Shangri-La hotel where a high level meeting is being held to review the UN's Millennium Development Goal Programme, organised by the Indonesian and Norwegian government.

The day of protest will climax with a rally at the site of the Independence Proclamation Monument where we will put forward our demand for the nationalisation of the mining industry. The rally will also be attended by other popular figures, including economists and artists who
support this demand as a means to rescue people from the current crisis.

The true face of Indonesian democracy

Although the peoples' political and economic rights are guaranteed under the constitution, the realisation of such rights still does not meet the peoples' expectations.

In accordance with regulations, Papernas submitted a formal letter to inform the police of the mass gathering. Normally, the police should issue a receipt to us stating they have received these incoming letters. Papernas faces many political obstacles that hide behind bureaucratic rules.

First we submit our letters to the local police station who then tell us to submit the letters directly to the national police. Then the national police request us to obtain a recommendation letter from Jakarta Regional police station.

On March 26 we finally met regional police. The heads of security intelligence division stated that security is their main concern. They identified that various organizations -- FBR (Betawi forum) FPI (Islamic Defender Front), communication forum of 1966, GERAK (Anti communist
movement) will mobilize thousands of people to stop the PAPERNAS gathering.

They hope there will not be any "horizontal conflict", they said. This made them rethink the decision as to whether to issue the receipt for our letters.

We argued that it was our political right to hold such activity. We urged the police, as state apparatus, to ensure we could implement our rights. However, they keep saying that they are in a dilemma. They cannot do anything about the other groups.

It is exactly the same as what happened in Jogjakarta and Surabaya during Papernas congresses when militia groups threatened to disperse the congresses. The police did nothing even though they could see that the militia were armed with knives and machetes.

On March 29, 2007 staff of the National Police contacted me and asked me to submit additional requirement: Legalization of the Party, permission from the venue and the programme of activity (which we had faxed earlier except the legalization of the Party). At the very last minute, police ask us to sign the statement that we will disperse our mobilization if
the situation becomes insecure. We are absolutely rejected their request. They are supposed to disperse the violent group; they should not disperse us who are organizing a peaceful gathering.

It is only in the afternoon of the 28th that the national police call and promise to give the letters. Three hours later, we were able to collect the letters.

Both national and regional police will not take any action to stop the other groups. Instead, they tried to convince us to respond "wisely" to any developing situation that might lead to provocation or violence.

The threats and police ignorance do not only indicate there will be no effort to protect the Papernas activities from disruption. This is also an action to stop democracy from flourishing, to stop the people winning their rights. Despite this repression, PAPERNAS will continue the
struggle to win the peoples' rights.

Katarina Pujiastuti
Heads of International Relations
The National Liberation Party of Unity (PAPERNAS)
Jl Tebet Dalam 2 G no 1
Jakarta – Indonesia
Phone : +6221 8354513, +62 815843 68608 (mobile)