A group of farmers from Kendeng Mountains near Rembang in Central Java cast their own feet in cement in front of the Presidential Palace in Central Jakarta on Tuesday (14/03) in protest against a new environmental permit issued to Semen Indonesia by Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo.
The new permit allows Semen Indonesia to keep its factories running in Rembang, despite the farmers' protest that they had caused untold damages to the environment in Kendeng.
The farmers said they will not shed their cement shackles until President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo grants their demands.
They demanded that President Jokowi revoke immediately the environmental permit issued by the Central Java governor and shut down Semen Indonesia's factories in Rembang.
In October last year, the Constitutional Court ruled in favor of the Kendeng farmers in their suit against Semen Indonesia and the Central Java governor, and ordered all cement factory activities to be shut down in Rembang.
Earlier in August, President Jokowi had ordered an environmental study on Semen Indonesia factories in Rembang and suspended all activities there for at least a year.
The environmental assessment team had concluded that the Kendeng karst area should be protected and cannot be mined.
But flying in the face of the Constitutional Court's decision and the presidential order, on Feb. 23, 2017, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo quietly reissued the environmental permit for Semen Indonesia.