Twelve years since the magnificent movement that overthrew the hated Soeharto regime in Indonesia it is time to draw a balance sheet of what was achieved and what the state of the movement is now. As the crisis of worldwide capitalism begins to bite, Indonesia too is faced with a new situation, one where the working class and youth will seek to learn the lessons of the past. This two-part document attempts to draw those lessons.

We also publish an excerpt from a monologue written by Ratna Sarumpaet (translated to English by Robyn Fallick). This monologue was written in her memory in 1997 and it has since become a tradition to perform the monologue at every May Day celebration. “Marsinah Accuses” has also been performed in many other countries.

Marsinah (1969-1993) was an Indonesian worker who was kidnapped by the army and brutally murdered on May 8th 1993 because of her involvement in the strike action at her workplace. She led a strike with 500 of her fellow workers, knowing full well that under the dictatorship of Soeharto her life was in danger. Marsinah has since become a symbol and inspiration for the workers’ struggle in Indonesia. Let us celebrate International Working Women’s Day and remember Marsinah by rolling up our sleeves to fight for socialism, the only way out of the misery of capitalism.

We are proud to announce the launching of the www.militanindonesia.org website in Indonesia. Its aim is to defend and promote the ideas of genuine socialism within the Indonesian labour and youth movement. We wish it every success and invite all Indonesian readers to check it out, send in articles and reports and support it.

On April 9 of this year Indonesia held its fourth 'democratic' elections since its independence in 1945. What has been lacking throughout this period had been a genuine labour movement based mass workers' party. This has coloured debate on the left including the question of "boycott". What is required is a return to Lenin and a study of how he dealt with the question in the Tsarist Duma.

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