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Indonesia Revolutionary (Indorev), Indonesia, August 27, 2021


On August 17, 2021, the Indonesian people commemorated the 76th anniversary of the independence of the Indonesian nation in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, unlike previous years, the Indonesian people of course cannot freely celebrate because the Government has established the Implementation of Community Activity Restrictions (PPKM) which continues to be extended indefinitely and involves joint patrols between the government, the Civil Service Police Unit (SATPOL PP), the Police and soldiers.


Although the pandemic has been going on for 1.5 years, in reality the Government has failed to deal with the pandemic. The people have been deprived of their independence on independence day. Not only health issues that are not in favor of the workers and other workers but also the expropriation of the people's lands, the suppression of freedom of opinion and exploitation of natural resources for the survival of monopoly capitalists continues without stopping. During this pandemic, 3.5 million workers in Indonesia have been affected. Of this number, 2.1 million of them were laid off to be laid off. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed is estimated to be in the range of 7.15-7.35% or 9.9 million to 10.27 million people in August 2021.


The Indonesian health system stuttered in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and finally the Indonesian government chose the capitalist economic path. In its worst face, it has put the government in a situation where it must side with capital even in an emergency situation.


The Indonesian health system, which was supposed to be a public service, was gradually handed over to capital and allowed to work within the logic of capital accumulation. With the enactment of the Omnibus Law or Job Creation which has revised a series of laws related to health, including the Health Law, the Social Security System Law, the Law on Social Security Administering Bodies, the Law on Hospitals.


With this Omnibus Law, the government helps create a climate and makes it easier for capital owners to establish private hospitals and other health businesses in order to achieve maximum surplus. The increase in surplus is of course done by suppressing the working class by cutting wages and restricting access to social services and prioritizing services for those who can afford it. Indonesia's capitalistic health system is oriented only to increasing the surplus, no matter even in a critical situation. This system has given birth to many health workers who are struggling to cope with the pandemic without being equipped with adequate personal protective equipment (APD).


The government has also neglected to fulfill the right to health of its citizens during the pandemic, as guaranteed by the Health Quarantine Law no. 6 of 2018. This law guarantees that during a pandemic, every citizen has the right to receive proper medical services. But what happened was the opposite, many cases died in self-isolation at home. Self-isolation patients are still difficult to get free medicines provided by the government. This is due to the class-biased and inflexible service mode for those who do not have digital devices, are not technology literate or do not have a quota.


Not only that, the scarcity of oxygen stocks has made oxygen and drug entrepreneurs that we can find in the marketplace to increase prices by up to 900 percent. The same thing is also used by a handful of people who have a cremation business. In the midst of high demand along with skyrocketing cases of deaths due to COVID-19, several cremation businesses have increased the price of their services many times, from IDR 2,500,000,00 to IDR 65,000,000 (USD 4,485).


Furthermore, the capitalist style is also dominant in state-owned companies (BUMN). The Minister of BUMN collaborated with the Minister of Health through the pharmaceutical company Kimia Farma to create a paid vaccine scheme by importing 15 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine. Kimia Farma charges Rp375,000 for two injections. This 'mutual cooperation' vaccine is claimed to have 78% effectiveness, slightly higher than the vaccines that are widely available to the public. This paid vaccine is facilitated by the government through the Regulation of the Minister of Health (Permenkes) Number 19 of 2021 concerning the Implementation of Vaccination in the Context of Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic.


Previously, Kimia Farma was also involved in fierce negotiations with the Ministry of Health regarding the production of Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs intended for people living with HIV/AIDS (ODHA). At that time, Kimia Farma and Indofarma insisted on pulling the ARV production rate four times higher than the market price. This conflict caused ARV stocks in several areas to be empty, thus affecting the health and quality of life of 600 thousand people.


In the midst of the deteriorating condition of the people due to the pandemic, capitalists also continue to seek capital accumulation through government development projects. There are at least 41 projects that are included in the list of National Strategic Projects (PSN) 2020-2024. In fact, hundreds of extractive industry projects have been built in areas with high risk of earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and floods. This shows that there is a conflict of interest in the extractive industry oligarchs who are currently in government circles.


Worse yet, apart from being a tool of criminalization, regulations such as the MINERBA (Mining, Mineral and Coal) Law and the Omnibus Law, the Job Creation Law, actually invite disaster itself. It can be seen from; first, the flexibility of spatial changes that make it easier for extractive investments to stand in disaster-prone areas. Second, providing automatic renewal guarantees for large mining contracts so that there is no opportunity to correct the allocation of concessions located in high disaster risk areas. Third, the centralization of authority to facilitate the National Strategic Project (PSN) which subverts regional space and places disaster risk assessment in the regions under the interests of the central government and mere entrepreneurs.


It is these people in power who can make and encourage various pro-extractive industry project-based policies that exacerbate disaster risk, namely the increasing level of disaster vulnerability in Indonesia because the existing ecological infrastructure has been damaged by the exploitation of extractive industries. In fact, this ecological infrastructure naturally functions to deal with the threat of disaster. Such as the ecological function of Mount Tumpang Pitu and Salakan on the coast of South Banyuwangi as a natural fortress and its caves as evacuation rooms for residents when the 1994 tsunami occurred. However, now these two mountains are damaged and threatened by the gold mining operations of PT Bumi Suksesindo and PT Damai Suksesindo.


Recently, residents of Wadas village, Central Java, are also fighting in the State Administrative Court (PTUN) to sue the Governor of Central Java, Ganjar Pranowo, regarding the construction of a dam and andesite mine in Wadas. The refusal of residents and the threat of mining in areas with high risk of landslides were ignored because the plan to mine quarry, andesite stones for the Bener Dam was imposed on behalf of the National Strategic Project (PSN).


The Covid-19 pandemic must be seen as evidence of the failure of the capitalist system in overcoming a global epidemic. The pandemic is not just a health problem but rather shows that the main cause of the Covid-19 pandemic is the destruction of ecological ecosystems due to massive aggression from capital. The existence of agricultural industrialists on a large scale pioneered the expropriation of land and agricultural land belonging to small farmers around the world, causing forest destruction (deforestation). As a result of changes in the ecological function of the forest, bacteria or viruses evolve into very lethal phenotypes and are infectious to domesticated animals and then spread to human communities.


More concretely, this pandemic crisis is a sign of an environmental crisis caused by a very aggressive expansion of capital throughout our current landscape. Therefore, to overcome the pandemic crisis, a radical solution is needed, a solution that aims to prevent more severe environmental damage. This solution requires changing the way the destructive system of capitalism works.


Free Vaccines for the People!

Destroy imperialism ! Build Socialism !


Indonesia, August 27, 2021


Indonesia Revolutionary




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