This article deals with the background and the consequences of the recent Bali blast from an Indonesian perspective. In a future article the author will deal with the economic situation in Indonesia, developments in the class struggle and the perspectives for the left.

Mass strikes of public transportation drivers started on Monday, January 6, in a number of Indonesian cities. Street protests continue against the IMF sponsored cuts in subsidies which have provoked a price hike. Although still relatively small these protests could become more massive in the coming days. Particularly important is the call for a nation-wide strike for Thursday January 9 (today) by a front of 23 different trade unions which could halt industry in many parts of the country.

May Day is not a holiday in Indonesia. Even if May 1 fell this year on a Saturday it is still a normal working day for most workers on the archipelago. Workers have to take a day off or go on strike to be present. Despite this and other obstacles thousands of workers hit the streets in the main industrial centres like Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya on the island Java, Medan in Sumatra, Palu in Sulawesi and smaller places like Riau and Batam.

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