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Indonesian Students on Hunger Strike Against Fuel Price Rise - solidarity needed!



Popular resistance to petrol price rises has been continuously sparking protests around Indonesia. Since the Indonesian government officially announced a fuel price rise on May 23, 2008, resistance has spread across the country.

On May 26, the National Students' League for Democracy (LMND), an affiliate of the National Liberation Party of Unity (PAPERNAS), together with various student organizations started hunger strikes in 14 provinces to refuse fuel price rise as well as to demand the nationalisation of oil and mining industries.
The hunger strike is taking place in campuses in Jakarta, Bandung (West Java province), Salatiga, Purwokerto and Semarang (Central Java province) Surabaya (East Java), Lampung province , Palembang (South Sumatra province), Makassar and Tana Toraja (South Sulawesi), Manado (North Sulawesi), Palu (Central Sulawesi provinces), Kendari (South-east Sulawesi Provinces), Mataram (West Nusatenggara), Labuhan Batu (North Sumatera Provinces), Pekan Baru, Riau Province, Gorontalo (Gorontalo Provinces).
The student actions have gained broad sympathy from students and people living near the hunger strike posts. Students at these posts put up banners proclaiming “Nationalise Mining Industries, Repudiate Foreign Debt and Reject any Government that is Pro-foreign Interest (Golkar and Demokrat party)” received good responses.

In Surabaya at Airlangga University, the hunger strike was opened by riding bicycles around the city. To accompany the hunger strike, some students in the Diponegoro University, Semarang, spread a plain white banner on which people can write their support.
Meanwhile in front of the campus of Social and Political Science Institute (IISIP) in Jakarta, white banner put up at the hunger strike post was quickly filled with writings of support from not only students but also locals who express their grievances of today’s economic situation. Some have even donated some money to support the hunger strike.

A significant number of hunger strikers have had to be taken to the hospital.
May 28: All hunger strikers in Jakarta were ordered to stop their strike after having been diagnosed with digestion problems. “Moreover these strikers were activists that used to actively take to the streets to protest oil price rise, consequently their physiques were weak since the beginning,” said Nugo, Jakarta hunger strike post coordinator.

May 30: In Palembang, 3 out of 6 hunger strikers remain on strike, meanwhile 3 strikers - Reinhard (LMND), Fransiskus (STN), and Tison (SRMI) - in Siantar and one in Semarang had to be taken to hospital. A striker from Lampung, Doni (SRMI), was hospitalised after suddenly fell unconscious.
In Palu, Central Sulawesi, the hunger strike post located at the Provincial House of Representatives building was destroyed during a clash between students and police, when the LMND regional chairperson was beaten and arrested. At the time of writing (May 31), hunger strikes continue in Siantar Riau, Semarang, Salatiga, Kudus, and Semarang.

Please send your solidarity messages to the Indonesian students on hunger strike to: Rudy Hartono arahkiri2009@yahoo.com

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