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.