Mass protest movements have increasingly become a feature of Indonesian democracy. The massive #ReformasiDikorupsi (“Reform Corrupted”) protests in 2019 were hailed as the largest democratic reform protests in the country in two decades. Nearly three years earlier, Islamist groups also showed their ability to mobilise through their “Defence of Islam” protests, which called for the prosecution of Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, the Christian Chinese-Indonesian governor of Jakarta, on blasphemy charges.
Meanwhile, mass protest movements have emerged to oppose authoritarian regimes in Indonesia’s neighbouring countries of Myanmar and Thailand.
How do these movements mobilise and how effective are they at bringing about change? How has protest changed in the age of social media, and how has the state responded to mass protest? Are there parallels also that we can draw between protest movements in Indonesia and its regional neighbours?
In this week’s Talking Indonesia podcast, Dr Dave McRae discusses these issues with Dr Yatun Sastramidjaja, assistant professor in anthropology at the University of Amsterdam and an associate fellow with the ISEAS Yusof-Ishak Institute in Singapore with the media, technology and society program.
The Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Annisa Beta from the University of Melbourne’s School of Culture and Communication, and Dr Charlotte Setijadi from the Singapore Management University.