Occupy Jakarta Starts Off Slowly

It’s official. Today marked the kick off of the Indonesian version of Occupy Wall Street: Occupy Jakarta.

A small number of people gathered in front of the Indonesia Stock Exchange’s building on Wednesday morning, putting up a banner calling on people to wake up and realize that the end of capitalism is near.

One of the initiators, Bob Sulaiman Effendi, said the movement is aimed at asking the middle class to care about today’s economic conditions, including the severe crisis that hit the West.

“Capitalism has failed,” Bob, who is a director of an international oil company based in Jakarta, said. “If we look at the world, many countries are now thinking of what new system they can apply. But why are we not? While in fact our founding fathers had already set it — it is Pancasila.”

The opening of Occupy Jakarta was marked by Bob reading Pancasila, the state ideology.

Bob said China and Russia are now doing fine because they do not fully rely on capitalism, but socialism-capitalism. According to Bob, Pancasila’s core concept is socialism-capitalism, because it puts the public’s interests above all.

Sari Putri, another Occupy Jakarta activist and a nutrition expert from an international school in Jakarta, said the movement is a continuous one and will not stop today.

“We need to tell people who are not yet aware of today’s economic problems,” she said. “The middle class will suffer the most once the economic crisis hits Indonesia.”

She said people better realize that the crisis will eventually hit Indonesia.

“We have been blinded by capitalism, with the system that so easily gives you loans. How many cars in Jakarta do you think are all paid? Many of them are under loans.”

No more than 20 people have gathered so far. But Sari said although they are still small, they won’t stop fighting and raising awareness.

Pitono Adhi, a writer, told the Jakarta Globe he came to the kick off because he belongs to the 99% majority, not the 1% wealthy.

“Occupy Wall Street was also supported by a small number of people, but then it grew bigger. It doesn’t matter that we are still small,” he said.

He said he found out about the event from Facebook and Twitter.

More people are expected to join, including the director of the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation and some public lawyers.



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