Thousands of taxi drivers attended the demonstrations in Jakarta last Monday. (Antara Photo/Dean Wibowo)

Taxi Drivers Protest Turns Violent as Streets Shut Down


MARCH 22, 2016

Jakarta. A massive demonstration by public transport and taxi drivers against the presence of app-based transportation services, Uber and Grab, has turned violent Tuesday morning (21/03).

Scores of protestors swept the streets, with footage circulating on social media showing dozens attacking still-operation taxis, forcing the drivers to join the demonstration. Some attacked the vehicles, smashing the windows and mirrors of the taxis.

The rally was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at the House of Representatives complex on Jalan Gatot Subroto in South Jakarta, before heading to the Communications Ministry office on Jalan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta.

Jalan Gatot Subroto is currently jammed, as of 10.40 a.m., while NTMC Polri tweeted roads surrounding the House of Representatives complex in Senayan are blocked.

Threats to boycott Blue Bird, alongside video and images of violence, are spreading across social media.

Earlier, Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Muhammad Iqbal said officers would be deployed to the two locations, while security around the State Palace and City Hall, in the same area as the Communications Ministry's office, would also be increased.

The protest comes after a government decision last week to allow the app-based transportation companies to operate as a cooperative, as more than 10,000 drivers are expected at the rally, five times the number of people who staged a crippling protest last week.