20 years ago, a regime that seemed unmoveable, that had ruled for decades, while standing on the bones of millions of people massacred between 1965-66 and with its police and soldiers present at every corner, collapsed in the blink of an eye. On 21 May 1998, all over Indonesia, on TV and radio, a voice familiar to the ears of 200 million people proclaimed: “I have decided to declare that I have ceased to be the president of the Republic of Indonesia.” The people cheered and a new chapter in the modern history of Indonesia opened.

The dictator of Indonesia, Suharto, resigned on 21 May 1998. As Alan Woods and Ted Grant wrote at the time, this bloody tyrant ruled Indonesia with a rod of iron, having come to power over the corpses of over a million people. But he was blown away like a dead leaf in the wind by a mass movement of the students and workers. This momentous event opened up a revolutionary opportunity in Asia, one that was sadly never grasped. Nevertheless, the collapse of Suharto's regime was a tremendous victory for the Indonesian masses.

On a bright Sunday morning, Indonesian people were shocked by a string of bombings in Surabaya, the second largest city in the country. But there was something different this time compared to past bombings, which made the tragedy difficult to fathom. The perpetrators were three families, with parents who brought along their young children in a string of suicide bombings. The involvement of innocent children in such a barbaric act has multiplied people’s natural anger and disgust towards terrorism. Many feel we are entering into a 'bizarre' epoch – and they are not far from the truth.

Those who rule through deceit, hypocrisy and violence always look over their shoulder for the creeping spectre of truth. They do so more restlessly as they begin to feel the march of history catching up to them and the antiquated system they rest their privileges on. And such is the epoch that we are entering today as capitalism has dug itself into the deepest crisis in its history. The crisis is so deep that it is no longer in the realm of absurdity for the ruling class to think that the only way out is to keep digging until they come out of the other side.

After being in jail for 3 months for the crime of defending workers’ interests, comrade Abdul Hakam (a member of Militan Indonesia, the IMT section in Indonesia, who is also a labour organizer for FSPBI-KASBI Gresik) and Agus Budiono (FSPBI-KASBI Gresik trade union activists) are free at last. They can finally be with their wife and kids again, hug their fellow comrades, and free from the steel bars that seek to crush their spirit. Militan Indonesia and IMT would like to send our deepest respect to both comrade Hakam and Agus for their bravery and self-sacrifice.

On the morning of April 7th, 2016, comrade Abdul Hakam, a member of Militan Indonesia, the IMT section in Indonesia, was sent to jail for three months for his trade union activity. Hakam is a labour organizer for FSPBI-KASBI Gresik, one of a very few radical trade unions in Indonesia. Along with Agus Budiono, who is also from FSPBI-KASBI Gresik, he is charged under the “Unpleasant Act law” (Read Fight the Criminalization of Workers! Free Abdul Hakam and Agus Budiono). Their only crime is to be on the side of the workers.

Join us!

Help build the forces of Marxism worldwide!

Join the IMT!

Upcoming Events

No events found