Thousands of people have rallied in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city, and across the country Sept. 6 and since, demanding the government reverse a 30% jump in fuel prices it imposed amid soaring inflation in this country of 270 million people. Led by labor unions and student groups, the protesters are also demanding the government raise the minimum wage.
“These protests will continue until the government reduces fuel prices,” the president of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions, Said Iqbal, told demonstrators in front of the legislature. Textile factory worker Adi Asmadi, 29, told Reuters that this price increase — the first in eight years — means his daily travel expenses will go up sharply. “If the fuel price is hiked and wages increase too, that’s OK,” he said. “If it’s not, we object.”
Other actions took place in Surabaya, Makassar, Kendari, Aceh, Yogyakarta and other cities. Among those joining the protests are farmers, fishermen, teachers and domestic workers. Similar actions against skyrocketing prices have been taking place around the world, including in Panama, the Czech Republic, India, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and elsewhere.