Twitter Movement #SaveKPK Moves to the Streets for Demonstration Against Corruption

Hundreds of people in the name of the Save KPK movement gathered at Bundaran Hotel Indonesia, Jakarta, yesterday. They demonstrated their support for the Corruption Eradication Commission ( KPK ) after Indonesia’s National Police raid on October 5th. This movement begun as the news broke that police had threatened to arrest the KPK investigator, Novel Baswedan, for something related to a 2004 case that was recently reopened.

Since Friday night, around 1,000 activists joined in the demonstration in front of the KPK building with various Save KPK banners. This movement is also gaining steam on Twitter with the #SaveKPK and #dimanaSBY hashtag [1] . At its peak, #SaveKPK became a Twitter trending topics with 39,997 tweets (as recorded by Topsy.com on October 5th).

Online petitioning

The buzz around KPK on Twitter continued to spill into the streets at the Save KPK demonstration and concert, held in the center of Jakarta on Sunday morning. As it coincided with ‘car free day,’ people on foot and with bicycles gathered around the stage and shouted, “Save KPK, save Indonesia!” Onstage was the daughter of former president Abdurrahman Wahid, Anita Wahid, and the campaign director of Change.org Indonesia, Usman Hamid.

The demonstrators demanded a number of things of Indonesia’s president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, such as stopping police intimidation of KPK investigators and their families, and removing the head of the National Police Timur Pradopo and his associates.

The Save KPK online campaign doesn’t only rely on Twitter. Anita Wahid created an online petition called "Serahkan ke KPK” (meaning:leave it to the KPK) on Change.org, while Rendi Ahmad from @simponii (Inhabitants Music Syndicate) was responsibled for the Save KPK petition. Together, online petitions on Change.org Indonesia have collected over 10,000 supporters. Usman targeted around 100,000 e-signatures for this KPK case. Usman said:

All the hashtags can be used to spread the online petition and ask people to sign it. Each signature will be sent directly to the president’s and the National Police email account. So, if there are 10,000 signatures for the petitions, 10,000 emails will be sent to the National Police and the president.

KPK investigator, Novel was accused of involvement in an assault case while serving as an official with the Bengkulu municipal police in 2004. According to KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto (speaking to the Jakarta Globe) the case was already settled in 2004 as a subordinate of Novel was found to have committed the crime. Yet it was reopened, with an arrest order letter brought by the chief detective of the Bengkulu provincial police, Sr. Comr. Dedy Rianto, on Friday night. Anti-corruption activists claim that Novel is being targeted for his continuous efforts to investigate driving simulator project corruption which is linked to former National Police traffic unit chief inspector Gen. Djoko Susilo.

The support for the KPK seems to come from both netizens and people on the streets. Save KPK demonstrations spread across cities like Bandung, Yogyakarta, Banda Aceh, and Bali. On Facebook, the Save KPK Save Indonesia fanpage has past 15,000 likes. It’s another interesting use of the web to tackle endemic corruption and raise awareness

  1. #dimanaSBY is asking “where is Mr. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono?

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