Police say that they will not allow another massive anti-Ahok protest on Dec 2 in order to protect public order

The police have already issued several warning for citizens not to participate in the December 2 protest being planned by the National Movement to Guard the Fatwa of the Indonesian Ulema Council (GNPF-MUI), the body led by hardliner groups such as the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) that also organized the massive November 4 protest against Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama for his alleged blasphemy. Law enforcers have argued that, with Ahok having already been formally named a suspect in the case last week, there was no longer any need for such a protest and that the motives behind further demonstrations would be political in nature.

But with GNPF-MUI supporters continuing to not only push for the Dec 2 protest but for even more drastic measures be taken this time (such as musician/political candidate Ahmad Dhani suggesting that protesters bring a million bamboo spears to prevent police repression), National Police Chief Tito Karnavian today made it clear that there would be no 2/12 protest at all (or at least nothing on the scale of 4/11 protest), citing the need to protect public order as well as hidden dark agendas hiding behind the protest.

“So we will ban (the December 2 protest), if anybody tries to fight us on it they will be dispersed,” Tito said today at a press conference at National Police Headquarters as quoted by Detik.

Tito confirmed that Jakarta Police Chief M Iriawan would soon issue an edict prohibiting the planned protest. 

In explaining the police’s reasoning behind preventing the protest, Tito said while all Indonesians have the right to protest and voice their opinions in public, it is not an absolute right and must be tempered by considerations of the public good.

Tito said the Dec 2 protest, which included plans for participants to do their Friday prayers along Jalan Sudirman and Thamrin, would violate the rights of others in Jakarta to use the capital’s main streets and generally disrupt public order.

Of course, the Nov 2 protest also shut down several major roads in Central Jakarta, but TIto did not make clear the distinction as to why that protest was allowed but the Dec 2 would not be.

However, Tito did note that there was also an action planned for November 25 that intelligence suggested would involve protesters attempting to take control of the House of Representatives (DPR) building, an act of treason that he promised police would also take firm action to prevent in any way possible.

There is a chance that a protest could go ahead on December 2, but on a smaller scale that would not involve shutting down major roads. But it seems likely that GNPF-MUI would not be content being denied another major protest before their objectives are met.



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