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TWO decades after reformasi (the reform), student protesters have returned. With the civil society’s support, university students again reasserted their historical role as the nation’s conscience. Activists, academicians, artists and concerned citizens worked together to ensure that their act of protest would disrupt those in power. Amid the polarized political atmosphere as of late, with the nation divided into two opposing camps, and the increasingly banal oligarchy, the series of protests by university and secondary school students in over ten cities across the country at the end of September give us hope. They are still here.
Tens of NGOs initially focused on their own distinct issues ended up joining hands. They resisted the House’s plan to pass various bills and law revisions.
Seeds of the student resistance that ended in massive protests on September 23-24, 2019, had been planted long ago. Trisakti University, among the 1998 reform’s motors, again became the center of planning activities.
A group of students worked hand in hand helping their peers during the September protests. Some were threatened with expulsion by their schools.
Randi and Muhammad Yusuf Kardawi fell victim to violence during a protest in Kendari. One of the perpetrators has yet to be found.
Ananda Badudu and the Efek Rumah Kaca band collected money from the public for the protest movement through Kitabisa.com. They gained sympathy, but not from the police.
The student and civil society alliance protests to reject the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) law revision, the Criminal Code bill and a series of other controversial bills erupted in Jakarta and several other cities.