65k Labor Activists Expected for May Day Rallies in Jakarta
Lenny Tristia Tambun
Jakarta Police expect more than 60,000 laborers and union members to stage rallies and marches across the capital to mark May Day on May 1, a police official said on Tuesday.
“We are estimating that about 65,000 workers will take to the streets across Jakarta,” said Sr. Comr. Agung Budi Maryoto, who heads the Jakarta Police’s operational bureau.
The capital’s police and administration met on Tuesday to discuss preparations for the day, also known as International Workers Day and celebrated worldwide.
More than 16,000 police officers, members of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and personnel from the city administration will be deployed at strategic points across Jakarta, including the legislative complex and the State Palace, Agung said.
Police will also work with labor unions to determine where and when they plan to hold May Day rallies as well as how large the gatherings might be.
However, Agung said so far, no labor unions or organizations had submitted notifications to the police on their plans to hold rallies.
As in the past, most workers will likely gather at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle and then march to the State Palace in Central Jakarta. Many will afterward head toward Bung Karno Stadium in South Jakarta to watch performances by musical acts, Agung said.
“There will be some performances by Rhoma Irama and Slank there [at Bung Karno Stadium]. We’ll [take] some anticipatory measures because traffic will surely be congested,” he said, referring to the veteran dangdut artist and one of the country’s biggest rock bands.
“We’ll announce any traffic diversions later. But at least now the public know about this and they can prepare to take alternative routes.”
The city administration is also planning concerts and bazaars for the industrial zones in North, West and East Jakarta, secretary Fadjar Pandjaitan said.
Fadjar also said the city administration was convening a coordination meeting of municipal leaders to anticipate the day’s rallies and protests.
The city will deploy 530 of its law and order personnel to help safeguard the day, he added.