Jakarta has protestors for hire. Want a picket posted for a day, hire a protestor or a bunch. Your cause may make the evening news.
In the US, we know May 1 as May Basket Day…delivering baskets of goodies to friends and loved ones. For the majority of the world, it’s Labor Day. It was a legal holiday in Indonesia. The police were in riot gear early around the regular location for protests. Those that did work found alternate routes…a normal routine to avoid the traffic jams that follow. Reporters were ready for the ensuing story. Rumor had it that the Indonesian government was withdrawing price support payments from gasoline and the people weren’t happy. Mother Nature squelched the protest with a major downpour that came and stayed for several hours. The protestors went home. The police stayed. The riot gear went back on the shelf.
One day, I entered a building near the protestors favorite protest point to find the TV cameras on the lobby floor. Often in the morning as I’m heading to work, I spot a TV crew preparing for a live feed with the square in the background. Connecting the dots, the TV folks cut a deal with the owners of the building to leave their equipment in the lobby so they can be live in the morning on the daily protest.

Back to Lou's Homepage