Rice and bread may be necessities of life, yet to many people energy, more particularly petrol, is the real essential requirement. And access to it a fundamental right. A real expensive one though :(.
The price of petrol is rocketing. When I bought my first car I paid the equivalent of 2400 Rupiah per litre. Now it’s over 22000 Rupiah at the filling station:(. But we are addicted to that liquid drug. So we groused and grumbled at each hike, but accommodated.
Indonesians are no different. People hate expensive petrol.
Papua’s bad luck is not over yet.
One and a half month ago the workers at the Freeport mine went on strike. Since than the situation went from bad to worse. At least partly because of passivity on the part of the government in Jakarta. And now it’s is running out of control in Papua.
Indonesia is a rich country. It has a huge amount of talents and intelligence the size of millions and millions of youngsters at it’s disposal. It only needs the right educational policies to open up this goldmine. Educational policies which provide an educational system. An educational system which produces schools. Schools which turn children into valuable citizens.
But do they really? No not by definition.
This is a liberal age. And in spite of the neo-liberal causes of the present financial and economical crises which did and do hit Europe, the US and Japan, the solution tend to be more (neo-)liberal policies. It looks like Noami Klein‘s assumption she wrote about in “The Shock Doctrine”, is still valid; neo-liberals use this crisis to realize their harsh ideology. Which in my opinion is silly – no, dangerous. Instead of more free market and making the masses pay for the damage the banks created, we should look in other directions for escaping the abyss.
And what do we find there?
Yesterday was Labour Day. The President of Indonesia said: “We all celebrate the International Labour Day. On behalf of the state, people and government, I congratulate workers across the country”. At the same time in the vicinity of the Presidential palace water canons dispersed people who were protesting against appalling labour relations.
Originally May the 1st used to be a celebration day for socialists all over the world. It was about the ideals on emancipating deprived working classes. Part of the rituals were huge crowds, red flags, revolutionary songs and parades. It was a stage for the working classes to communicate their alternative of socialism and international solidarity. The masses reminded capitalists and their helpers that ‘times they are a changin’. The men in power, the rulers, should shake and tremble like leaves. And hurry to introduce capitalism-with-a-human face – if only to avoid revolution. In a few parts of the world some improvements did take place actually.