Despite the police stating yesterday that they would not allow a third major protest against Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama on December 2 due to concerns that it could disrupt public order (and might be connected to treasonous political actors that want to overthrow the government), the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), the hardline group at the forefront of the anti-Ahok protesters are still pushing for the demonstration to take place.
But don’t worry, they promise it’s going to be peaceful this time. In fact, not just peaceful but super peaceful.
“On 2 December, it will not just be a peaceful demonstration, but super peaceful. We want our country to be full of peace,” said FPI leader Habib Rizieq yesterday while meeting with Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Wiranto, as quoted by Merdeka.
Rizieq is also the chairman of the National Movement to Guard the Fatwa of the Indonesian Ulema Council (GNPF-MUI), the organizer of the massive November 4 protest against Governor Ahok for his alleged blasphemy.
The Nov 4 protest, which was attended by over 100,000 people, was held mostly peacefully, though violence broke out after nightfall when a small percentage of the protesters refused to leave the area around the State Palace after the official demonstration period ended.
Some supporters of the Dec 2 protest have argued that stronger action needs to be taken to ensure the protest’s goal of having the police arrest Ahok (who has already officially been named a suspect by the police). Celebrity musician and aspiring politician Ahmad Dhani said he thought it would be a good idea for protesters to bring one million wooden spears to the protest to prevent police repression.
With GNPF-MUI not backing down from their plans to hold the Dec 2 protest and police remaining firm that such an action will not be allowed to take place, we will have to simply wait and see how it all plays out.