Shackled But Not Beaten

'Down With Cement Factories,' a graffiti on a wooden box where Kendeng farmers keep their cement-shackled feet says on Tuesday (14/03). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

By : JG | on 9:29 PM March 14, 2017
Category : Eyewitness, Multimedia, Photos

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.

Eleven farmers joined the cement-shackling protest in front of the Presidential Palace on Tuesday (14/03). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro) Eleven farmers joined the cement-shackling protest in front of the Presidential Palace on Tuesday (14/03). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

 

Rain did not diminish the spirit of Kendeng women who had their hearts set on delivering their demand to President Jokowi. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro) Rain did not diminish the spirit of Kendeng women who had their hearts set on delivering their demand to President Jokowi. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

A Kendeng farmer, both his feet shackled in cement, delivered a speech directed at President Jokowi in front of the Presidential Palace. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro) A Kendeng farmer, both his feet shackled in cement, delivered a speech directed at President Jokowi in front of the Presidential Palace. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

A Kendeng farmer sings 'Ibu Bumi' (Mother Earth), a rallying cry for farmers in Rembang who have been protesting against environmental destruction wreaked by Semen Indonesia. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro) A Kendeng farmer sings 'Ibu Bumi' (Mother Earth), a rallying cry for farmers in Rembang who have been protesting against environmental destruction wreaked by Semen Indonesia. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

This is the second demonstration in front of the Presidential Palace when Kendeng farmers cast their own feet in cement. The first one was in April last year. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro) This is the second demonstration in front of the Presidential Palace when Kendeng farmers cast their own feet in cement. The first one was in April last year. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

A Kendeng farmer, feet still cast in cement, is lifted into a police truck. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro) A Kendeng farmer, feet still cast in cement, is lifted into a police truck. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

The Kendeng farmers demand President Jokowi revoke new environmental permits quietly issued by Central Jakarta Governor Ganjar Pranowo for Semen Indonesia, in contravention of a Constitutional Court decision and the president's own order. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro) The Kendeng farmers demand President Jokowi revoke new environmental permits quietly issued by Central Jakarta Governor Ganjar Pranowo for Semen Indonesia, in contravention of a Constitutional Court decision and the president's own order. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

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