ARTICLE: Widodo, the death sentence and Indonesia’s political vacuum – by MAX LANE

I do not know what the prospects are that President Widodo will stop the current implementation of the death sentence for people convicted of drug related crimes. There is nothing in any of Widodo’s statements that indicates a change of mind on this issue. In a recent interview with Al Jazeera he reaffirmed his decision stating that it was necessary also to “remember the victims”. It was not clear whether this was being presented as a means to lessen the criminal activity as a disincentive or simply as punishment. On the other hand, the Indonesian government has now several times announced a delay in the process to await the outcome of legal processes. A positive outcome in one of the legal appeals is probably the best hope of commutation of sentences, although Indonesia is in an unpredictable state and perhaps anything can happen.

Within Indonesia itself there have been people both fighting the executions practically, such as the groups of lawyers, including well known legal figure, Todung Mulya Lubis, who have been assisting in various legal cases as well as speaking out. Human rights and civil liberties organisations have also spoken out. There have been public fora where academics from several different universities have spoken out against the death sentence. These include, among others, academics from the Jakarta State University, University of Indonesia and the Islamic oriented Paramadina University. The English language news media, especially the Jakarta Globe, has strongly editorialised against the death sentences. The Jakarta Globe’s editorial was entitled: “Okay, Mr. Tough Guy. We Get It. Now Stop.” Former foreign minister Hassan Wirajuda has also spoken out against the death sentences.

In an article on March 8 in the Jakarta Globe, the reporter was able to find street vox pop’s both in favour of the death penalty for drug crime convictees as well as those who thought the punishment was too harsh.

Despite these voices, it is probably true to say that they have been unable to make a major impact on the national political discourse. Widodo has announced, or hinted, that there may be an eventual moratorium on the death sentence. This was mentioned at a recent U.N. commission hearing in Geneva.  Such a hint probably reflects a combination of the considerable international criticism Widodo has received, as well as from the dissident domestic voices in society, and perhaps also in his cabinet. Even so, the dominant theme in the mainstream political conversation has not been around the rights and wrongs of the death sentence, but rather around the importance of resisting attacks on sovereignty on this issue, that is of resisting criticism and pressure from outside of Indonesia.

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ARTICLE: Amsterdam students and staff demand self-organisation of universities by Max LAne

The occupation and campaigns are still going as of March 13. This article was first published in RED FLAG newspaper.

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The University of Amsterdam chancellery building, the Maagdenhuis, has been occupied since 24 February, when students broke down the door and took over the ground floor. Since then, there has been a constant stream of teach-in discussions and organising activity.

The occupation followed a demonstration of more than 1,000 students and some staff. They were protesting the arrest of 39 students who had been occupying the Bungehuis building in protest at its impending sale to private interests. The sale of university property has become symbolic of what is seen as the trend to subordinate education to commerce, abandoning a commitment to the university as a place for critical education.

Discontent over university policy has been brewing for at least two years. A group called Humanities Rally was formed by students after a university plan, Profiel 2016, projected deep cuts to the humanities.

Apart from the increasing use of contract staff, the preparation of the Profiel 2016 and other changes have taken place with only pretend consultation with university employees.

Democratisation of the university – wresting power away from a managerial caste carrying out a neoliberal agenda, and shifting decision-making to the university community – has become a key plank of both the student protests, which are organised as New University, and the academic movement ReThink UvA.

These protests differ significantly from student protests in other countries in that they are joint student-staff actions demanding a total restructuring of higher education. They are calling for the self-organisation of universities, with the aim of fulfilling educational, not financial, goals.

While there was a national day of action on 4 March, the primary focus of the two groups over the last several days has been the communication of their demands to the university’s board. A letter has gone to the university with two sets of demands.

The first set calls for an immediate moratorium on restructuring processes and sale of UvA property, the issuing of a detailed proposal on democratisation and an inquiry by an independent committee into the university’s finances. The students and academics are demanding agreement to these demands by 9 March; otherwise protest actions will escalate.

The second set of demands relates to further democratisation and a major shift away from quantitative output-oriented management of education toward policies based on genuine educational goals. There are also demands for more secure employment for staff.

So far, management has been stalling. It is essentially operating within the neoliberal policy framework supported by the government, which is an alliance of the right wing People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy and the Labor Party.

Members of parliament from the left social democratic Socialist Party, the country’s largest opposition party, have spoken at the protests. So have members from the smaller, more middle class Groene Links and even from Young Labor. The minister of education overseeing the restructuring process is from the Labor Party.

While the focus has been on communications with university management, organising activity has continued. New University protest groups have now emerged at five other major Dutch campuses. Teach-in activities by staff and students are planned for the corridors of the Amsterdam campus starting this week. The aim is to expand student involvement beyond those who have come out of Humanities Rally and the immediate occupation actions.

The Netherlands Trade Union Federation (FNV) branches at the university and other campuses have voted to support the student occupations and the demands for reform. The Health Workers Union has also sent solidarity. Apart from further student mobilisations, staff have started discussing the necessity of strike or other industrial action. The FNV is still dominated by the Labor Party, but there are more and more Socialist Party members in the unions, including among organisers.

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Ingatan Revolusi, Aksi Massa dan Sejarah Indonesia

Originally posted on MAX LANE ONLINE:

Sudah terbit dan beredar:

UNFINISHED NATION: Ingatan Revolusi, Aksi Massa dan Sejarah Indonesia

oleh Max Lane.

PEMESANAN langsung VIA SMS Diandra Distributor
(CV. DIANDRA PRIMAMITRA MEDIA)
HUB. 085712906056, 081229111727, Telp. 0274-485222,
email: diandramitra@gmail.com (hari kerja)/ diandra.online@yahoo.co.id

BANTU PROMOSI BUKU INI DENGAN SHARE ATAU RETWEET INFORMASI INI

Terima kasih.

Kalau tidak ada minta toko buku kesayangan anda memesannya. Penerbitnya aalah Djaman Baroe dan distributor adalah Diandra Books. Komentar di buku:

Buku ini dengan sangat baik menggambarkan betapa penting peran kelompok pelopor mobilisasi massa dan aksi massa dalam menggerakkan sejarah Indonesia. Itu sebabnya buku ini hampir sepenuhnya berlawanan dengan pandangan peneliti tentang Indonesia selama ini, baik dari Indonesia sendiri maupun luar negeri, yang selalu menghilangkan peran massa, mobilisasi massa, aksi massa dan ingatan akan revolusi dalam melihat sejarah Indonesia paskakemerdekaan. Pradipto Niwandhono, Pengajar Sejarah Universitas Airlangga Unfinished Nation ditulis dari sudut pandang seorang aktivis…manfaat buku ini tidak terbatas hanya…

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Ingatan Revolusi, Aksi Massa dan Sejarah Indonesia

Sudah terbit dan beredar:

UNFINISHED NATION: Ingatan Revolusi, Aksi Massa dan Sejarah Indonesia

oleh Max Lane.

PEMESANAN langsung VIA SMS Diandra Distributor
(CV. DIANDRA PRIMAMITRA MEDIA)
HUB. 085712906056, 081229111727, Telp. 0274-485222,
email: diandramitra@gmail.com (hari kerja)/ diandra.online@yahoo.co.id

BANTU PROMOSI BUKU INI DENGAN SHARE ATAU RETWEET INFORMASI INI

Terima kasih.

Kalau tidak ada minta toko buku kesayangan anda memesannya. Penerbitnya aalah Djaman Baroe dan distributor adalah Diandra Books. Komentar di buku:

Buku ini dengan sangat baik menggambarkan betapa penting peran kelompok pelopor mobilisasi massa dan aksi massa dalam menggerakkan sejarah Indonesia. Itu sebabnya buku ini hampir sepenuhnya berlawanan dengan pandangan peneliti tentang Indonesia selama ini, baik dari Indonesia sendiri maupun luar negeri, yang selalu menghilangkan peran massa, mobilisasi massa, aksi massa dan ingatan akan revolusi dalam melihat sejarah Indonesia paskakemerdekaan. Pradipto Niwandhono, Pengajar Sejarah Universitas Airlangga Unfinished Nation ditulis dari sudut pandang seorang aktivis…manfaat buku ini tidak terbatas hanya pada pembaca yang memiliki perhatian yang sama dengannya. Saat mengetengahkan peran kekuatan rakyat dalam mengarahkan alih-ubah Indonesia, penulisnya merujuk dan memberikan ilham yang sangat bernilai…Unfinished Nation adalah kajian yang bernilai…Sangat kaya secara empirik dan menunjuk hal-ihwal yang penting bagi kalangan luas pembaca…” J.D Kenneth Boutin, Deakin University, Australia2014 3 “Unfinished Nation…adalah karya yang menakjubkan dalam berbagai segi yang menawarkan tinjauan mengenai Indonesia dengan padat dan menyeluruh sejak kemerdekaan…Ini adalah sebuah bahan yang bermanfaat; Saya membeli karya ini di Inggris dan membacanya tanpa henti hingga kembali ke Amerika…Bagi mereka yang tahu dan tidak tahun tentang Indonesia, inilah buku yang hebat. …Unfinished Nation tentu saja salah satu karya sejarah dan analisis politik terbaik saat ini. Max Lane berhak mendapatkan penghargaan dari kita karena telah menulisnya…” James Peacock, Profesor Antropologi di University of North Carolina “Kesepakatan para sarjana ilmu politik pengamat Indonesia ditandai oleh ketidakpercayaan pada kemungkinan perubahan revolusioner ataupun kemampuan transformatif dari kelompok-kelompok tertundukkan. Pada studi politik Indonesia di Australia kita lantas menemui sedikit sekali perbedaan pedapat mengenai dinamika dasar dari politik Indonesia, sifat dasar masyarakatnya atau arah dari transformasi demokratik yang sebaiknya dijalani. Namun Max Lane merupakan satu-satunya penulis Australia ahli Indonesia yang berdiri di luar kesepakatan para ahli tadi.” Edward Aspinall, Knowing Indonesia, Monash, 2012

TRUE STORY PIECE: The Sawangan Incident, 2001 by Max Lane

Originally posted on MAX LANE ONLINE:

I never liked sitting in the room at seminars and conferences where I was the organiser. I had organised some very big conferences, with speakers who were not just boring academics, but national liberation leaders from East Timor, communist radicals from India, trade union militants from the United States, men and women who had been in and out of jail and torture houses in Indonesia, poets and dramatists. But even so, I still hated being inside listening. Nervous tension. Would things go wrong – but then if I was sitting outside I had to be nearby in case something did go wrong.

So it was in Sawangan, West Java, Indonesia in 2001. I was not an organiser actually, but had been helping out. I shared the stress.

One drop and then two drops of sweat splashed on the table top, and I wiped them away and then my forehead. It…

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