Indonesia: Socialism is the only true path to liberate the working class

A translation of a leaflet and poster being circulated by the Working People's Association (Perhimpunan Rakyat Pekerja, PRP) in Indonesia as part of a campaign by radical Indonesian trade unions to highlight class issues and socialism on May Day.

The people must unite to fight to solve the people's problems. Only through socialism will the people prosper!!!

Hunger, malnutrition, the high price of basic commodities, evictions of the poor, low wages, mass dismissals, unaffordable education, expensive healthcare, unemployment, contract labour and outsourcing - and the people's many other problems - have become a daily "portrait" of the situation facing the Indonesian people today. After 10 years of reformasi, ordinary people are falling further into poverty.

More and more working comrades are opposing contract labour and outsourcing systems, whether they are honorary teachers in government institutions, transport workers or others. Working people in Indonesia have begun to be aware that contract labour and outsourcing system policies turn out to undermine their position as workers.

The promises that were repeatedly made during the 2004 general and presidential elections have not been realised in the lives of ordinary people. Moreover we are now seeing that the people must often queue up for hours in order to be able to get cheap kerosene [widely used as cheap cooking fuel by the poor]. Was this the picture and situation that the people imagined when they elected their leaders in the 2004 elections? Is this situation something that had in fact to happen in and of itself and cannot be opposed by the people? Or are these conditions the "fruit" of the policies of the government that is currently in power?

Then what about the role of the government that promised to solve the problems of the ordinary people? Isn't this the responsibility of the government that is in power? Of course this is the responsibility of the government that is in power, because these conditions are the result of the policies that they have applied in Indonesia. The government prefers to import rice, so that the price of rice produced by Indonesian farmers falls. But the impact of this is that the price of rice is steadily increasing, because it must be imported from overseas.

Only if working people take power, will the ordinary people prosper.

Likewise also for low paid workers under systems of contract labour and outsourcing. The people know that these policies will only burden their lives in coming days, and of course the government should also know that these problems are because of the policies they have applied. Why then, if the government knows these policies bring suffering to the people, does the government not revoke them? It is of course, because they prefer to side with those who profit from these polices - employers and the owners of capital.

If the capitalist government that is currently in power only sides with employers and the owners of capital, and not with the people, what then must be done? What must the people do in order that their lives are more prosperous? What will solve the people's problems?

How can the ordinary Indonesian people make their dreams of prosperity a reality and achieve:

  • Cheap basic commodities;
  • Labour systems that are just and equitable, and an end to contract labour and outsourcing systems;
  • Free education, that is scientific and democratic;
  • Free healthcare services;
  • Adequate employment opportunities for all Indonesian people to bring unemployment to an end;
  • Gender equality between men and women, and an end to violence against women and children.

These things can only be achieved if Indonesia is under a climate of SOCIALISM. Only through socialism, can the people enjoy prosperity. Only with socialism, will the country's leaders side with the ordinary people, rather than with a handful of people who own capital and money. Only through socialism, can equity and equality for all Indonesian people become a reality. Can the people of Indonesia make these dreams become a reality? It is only the Indonesian people who can answer. Only if the Indonesian people unite to resist these injustices, will socialism become a reality and bring prosperity to the ordinary Indonesian people.

The Indonesian people therefore must immediately unite within movements that are more solidly struggling for socialism. The Working People's Association (PRP) therefore is inviting all Indonesians to be involved in commemorating International Labour Day (May Day) on May 1, 2008. This will be a test for us in uniting the ranks of all Indonesian people to struggle for the same ideals - winning prosperity through SOCIALISM.

Working People's Association
Address: JL. Gading Raya Gang IX No 12
Phone: 021-47881632

[Originally published in English in the INDOLEFT news service and translated by James Balowski.]