A protester stands behind a barbed wire fence in front of the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) in Central Jakarta on Wednesday. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Game of Cat and Mouse

BY : YUDHA BASKORO

MAY 23, 2019

Police officers, many from the Mobile Brigade unit, defended staunchly against a large group of protesters in front of the Election Supervisory Agency, or Bawaslu, headquarters on Jalan Thamrin in Central Jakarta on Wednesday evening.  

Supporters of losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto descended again to the city center, this time chanting "Turunkan Jokowi, turunkan Jokowi sekarang juga!" ("Down with Jokowi, down with Jokowi now!")

The protesters rolled out a huge Indonesian flag in front of the Sarinah Mall, across the street from the Bawaslu. Prabowo's right hand man Fadli Zon gave a fiery speech standing on the roof of a car, begging officers not to use violence on protesters. "Your pistols and shields are bought with taxpayers' money," he said. 

Tensions rose throughout the night, culminating in more cat-and-mouse games between the protesters and riot police officers from 8.40 p.m. The mostly young protesters threw firecrackers and molotov cocktails to the police barricade, but they held strong, protecting their bodies like hedgehogs with their heavy riot shields.

After Tuesday's violence, the police seemed to be in no mood to retaliate. Mobile Brigade officers shot flares which sailed over the roof of the nearby Jaya Pub just to give a warning. 

This clash lasted for around 40 minutes. Most of the protesters retreated to areas around Jalan Sabang to regroup.

Police personnels run to avoid firecrackers and molotov cocktail during May 22 riot in front of Election Supervisory Agency, or Bawaslu headquarters in Central Jakarta on Wednesday (22/05) (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Police officers retreat from a barrage of firecrackers and molotov cocktails. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Mobile Brigade Corps personnels hold their shield on defense position on a clash againts May 22 protesters in front of Bawaslu headquarters in Thamrin, Central Jakarta on Wednesday (22/05) (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Police Mobile Brigade officers in their defense formation. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Mobile Brigade Corps personnels stand on guard behind barbed wire on May 22 riot in front of Bawaslu headquarters on Wednesday (22/05) (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Behind the barricade. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Mobile Brigade personnel shots a flare gun to give a warning to May 22 riot protesters in Thamrin, Central Jakarta on Wednesday (22/05) (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Riot police shoot flares into the crowd. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Firecrackers explode in Thamrin sky during May 22 riot in front of Bawaslu headquarters at Central Jakarta on Wednesday (22/05) (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Firecrackers thrown by protesters light up the sky. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Police personnel bleeding on his face after a firecrackers and molotov cocktail explode in front of him during May 22 riot in Thamrin, Central Jakarta on Wednesday (22/05) (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Blood on a police officer's face. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

 

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