Sunday, May 12, 2013

Breaking My Habit, Day 6: Trisakti

May 12th 1998.

It's a special date in the bloody history of our country.

I was 10 at that time, still on elementary school, and know nothing about the politic in this country.

On that day, thousands of college students were gathered in Universitas Trisakti. What started as a peace oration turned into a heated mass, as the crowd started its march towards the Legislative Building. 

The crowd insisted to meet with member of House of Representative, while the police denied them of such access.
The crowd agreed to slowly march to the campus, while police forces guard the whole process.

One personnel of the march, Mashud (claimed to be an alumni but actually a Trisakti dropout) provoked the masses by yelling dirty words at them. The masses chased him, thinking that he was part of undercover intelligence. Mashud run towards the police forces, and the situation become heated. Trisakti security staff managed to control the crowd and they returned their march back to campus.

Suddenly, the police released tear gasses and several warning shots. The crowd panicked and ran inside Trisakti campus. Dozens of students who got stuck in the chaose were beaten, while 4 Trisakti students were shot to death. 

Elang Mulya, Hafidin Royan, Hendriawan Sie, Hery Hartanto.

The next several days, Indonesia was having a catastrophic event which now known as "Kerusuhan Mei 1998". Shops were robbed, buildings and cars were burnt, girls were raped, and people were killed.  

Fast forward to now, 15 years after the tragedy.

The reformation movement had achieved its main goal: the resignation of Soeharto. The people are having more freedom of expression than ever. Critiques can be easily thrown via 140-character messages. Our president have twitter account.

The blood of these students have already dried, and yet the justice still hasn't been served. If we cannot help with the investigation, let's honor these heroes by not forgetting their sacrifices.

Compiled from these sources: