Anarchists in Indonesia have established an Anti-Authoritarian Network, and currently a number of members are being penalised by University authorities for their activities. Thus a number of students attending HKBP Nommensen, a Batak-Protestant Christian University (founded in 1954; slogan ‘For God & Country’) in Medan, North Sumatra, have been kicked out, and a number of others have been threatened with more severe penalties. Not coincidentally, the students who have been agitating for change on campus have also been protesting against the militarisation of the University (as well as military violence in northern Sumatra), and the Rector is a high-ranking military official.
Elsewhere in Indonesia:
In our network, there was a student organization, Semapur, that was involved through the years in farmers’ struggles. Our comrades on South Celebes (Sulawesi, different island), Makassar, were [recently] arrested because of graffiti and were accused of subversion. Luckily, there are no charges and they were released. The graffiti read “I Love You Sweetheart, Let’s Smash the State” (in Indonesian of course)…
Another anarchist collective, called, Affinitas, is in central Java, and is involved in the peasant struggle against the cement industry that is planned in a small village, Pati.
The story of the Nommensen students continues:
SEVEN OF NOMMENSEN STUDENTS WERE ARRESTED ACCUSED OF BURNING AND DESTROYING THEIR UNIVERSITY
WE DEMAND THEIR UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE!
It all started on August 2007 when PENMARU (new students orientation) were taken over by the rectorate. This causes anger on the behalf of students. When the student orientation were started, on Gelanggang Remaja Medan, around twenty students came in to boycott and taking over the microphone stating that the event are not legitimate because student were in no part in organizing it. After that, the rectorate decides to stopped the student orientation.
The frequent flows of boycott led to scorsing of twenty students and the firing of twenty-two students. According to Nommensen students, only twenty people were participating in the boycotting, so there are other students who don’t know anything about it and were accused of participating. When the rectorate issued this scorsing and firing letters, the students are getting anxious. Students starting to create a massive pressure and forced the rectorate to make statement. This time the statement is somehow doesn’t make any sense. The rectorate accused those students of impossibility for academia, gamblers, and drug addicts. And this statement held no connection with the boycotting of the student orientation that led the scorsing and the firing.
The occupation of HKBP University started on October and at the same time they continue to spread solidarity campaign among students and other campuses. On November, the parents of these students met with the rectorate, but the meeting ended up wasting their time. It’s getting more suspicious when they find out that there are no legal letters about the scorsing and firing. Until February 2008, fed up with the useless protests and compromises, the angry students started to destroy the university. On February 20th, seven of them were held into custody
and accused of “property destruction”.
Most of the students involved are student activists. They were part of Nommensen Discussion Group (KDN) who serve as a catalyst for student radicalization in their campus. These active students were disturbing the rectorate plan to militarize the campus. One of the fact is that the rector is a high military official. So it is obvious that these student group are a threat for the university. The reclamation of student orientation were a plan to militarise the campus and to cut student organization from having direct control to it.
Therefore, we, Solidaritas Anti-Otoritarian, urge you to express your solidarity with the arrested students and to demand the unconditional release of the seven accused students.
The students in questions are Jhoni Walinton Butarbutar, Chandra Manurung, Bernard Simaremare, Bernard Marpaung, Horas Simanjuntak, Joshua Nababan and Dian Sinulingga. Solidaritas Anti-Otoritarian urge others interested in supporting the seven to contact their local Indonesian Embassy or Consulate and demand that the seven are freed immediately and that all charges are dropped.
Email : affinitas[at]riseup[dot]net | arm_da_spirit[at]yahoo[dot]com