“Thousands” of FPI members to protest against Ahok in front of City Hall today

The hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) group is planning a major protest in front of Jakarta City Hall today to show their disapproval for Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama after the governor’s controversial purportedly anti-Islamic speech (even though it has been established that the speech was edited out of context).

Habib Novel Bamukmin, Secretary General of FPI Jakarta’s Syuro Council, said that tens of thousands of FPI members will show up this afternoon to protest against Ahok.

“We will gather when we go for Friday prayer together at Istiqlal Mosque,” he said, as quoted by Okezone.

From there, they are scheduled to march to the National Police headquarters in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, before marching to City Hall in Gambir, Central Jakarta.

FPI have been known in the past to well overestimate their protesters’ numbers. The Jakarta Traffic Police is estimating that there would only be 5,000 FPI protesters today.

Nevertheless, the police are deploying over 500 personnel to maintain security around the protest.

Several roads will also have to be diverted this afternoon to accommodate the protesters when they reach City Hall. Here are police-suggested diversion routes and routes to avoid this afternoon as per Okezone:

Bundaran Air Mancur to Monas

– Vehicles coming from Jalan Abdul Muis towards Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat will be diverted to Jalan Abdul Muis Fachrudin
– Vehicles coming from Jalan Abdul Muis towards Sudirman and Thamrin will be diverted to Jalan Fachrudin

Kebon Sirih

– Vehicles coming from Jalan Abdul Muis towards Kebon Sirih will be diverted to Jalan Fachrudin, continuing towards Jalan KH Mas Mansyur
– Vehicles coming from Jalan Agus Salim will be diverted to Kebon Sirih via Tugu Tani

Bundaran HI

– Vehicles on Jalan Sudirman going to Bundaran HI will be diverted to Tanjung Karang, Kendal, and Latuharhari, or towards Tanjung Karang and turn left and back again to Sudirman and Bundaran HI
– Road from Kendal to Tanjung Karang will be closed and vehicles will be diverted towards Blora, which connects to Sudirman and Semanggi.

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