An important political development has taken place in the left movement in Indonesia with the split of the Democratic Socialist Faction from the PRD (Democratic People's Party) during the first few weeks of November 2000. Although small in numbers (some 22 national leaders and organisers based in the capital Jakarta) the political reasons behind this split relate to fundamental questions of revolutionary socialist strategy for Indonesia.

Since the fall of the dictator Suharto, the Indonesian working class has been in a constant struggle to build up its own organisations. But they are seriously hampered in this by the economic crisis and the resulting mass unemployment, even more than before. On top of that comes the ongoing repression by the employers, the government and the military.

Today, we the Democratic Socialist Faction, a faction inside the People's Democratic Party, declare to split from the People's Democratic Party (PRD). We do hope that this split will give a new way for strengthening revolutionary movement in Indonesia, considering the fact that the internal conflict in the PRD has lead to fundamental difference and accordingly irreconcilable.

"Swastanisasi" means privatisation in Bahasa Indonesia. Four important universities in Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bandung and Bogor are on the menu for the voracious multinationals and the International Monetary Fund. But the students, encouraged by the successful overthrow of Suharto are moving into action against the imposed "otonomie versie rektor" (the rector's version of autonomy).

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