Tue, 14 Nov 2000

City Council removes protesting squatters

JAKARTA (JP): Some 60 protesters, who had stayed in the City Council compound on Jl.Kebon Sirih, Central Jakarta since Monday, have been finally removed by authorities to the city-owned Kedoya rehabilitation center in West Jakarta.

No clashes were reported during Friday's expulsion which was carried out by dozens of officials from the Central Jakarta mayoralty administration office and police personnel.

"It's just a public order operation to check these people's ID cards. We found that most of them have no Jakarta identification card (KTP)," said a police officer at the scene.

At least 47 of them, he added, held ID cards issued by the Brebes administration office in Central Java.

The people stayed at the council building to protest the action of the authorities, who they claimed forcibly removed them from their shanties at several locations, such as Pondok Kopi, Kebon Sawah, Cipinang Cempedak and Kebon Jagung.

During the one-hour operation that started at about 10:30 p.m. Friday, the officials also seized tents, utensils and banners from the protesters.

Upon their arrival at the Kedoya rehabilitation center, which is officially used to temporarily detain public order violators, the people were later picked up by executives from the Urban Poor Consortium (UPC), who coordinated the activities of the demonstrators. (07)