National Peasants Day Commemoration in East Java: Rallies to Decline Jokowi-JK Fake Agrarian Reform

Surabaya – Hundreds of peasants joined in East Java Peasant Alliance (ALIT JATI) rallied by delivering oration in turn in front of National Land Agency (BPN) of East Java office in commemorating 2016 National Peasant Day (HTN 2016), on Tuesday (27/9).

The rally participated by peasants and students who started to march from Taman Pelangi Bundaran Dolog, Surabaya to East Java BPN office.

Peasant Day, which annually is commemorated every September 24th, is actually the birthday of 1960 Basic Agrarian Law (UUPA) No. 5 of 1960. The momentum is a symbol of Indonesian resurgence as a nation, especially for peasants, from colonialism and land grabbing, as it was determined by Presidential Decree No. 169 of 1963.

Jokowi – JK started their regime by promising agrarian reform implementation through Nawa Cita and RPJMN 2015-2019. It was than interpreted into two scheme, which were asset legalization and land redistribution by targeting 9 million hectares for peasants. The practice was assessed to continue previous government’s policy which tended to open land market (red: market-led land reform).

Approaching two years of the regime, condition described above become more complicated. It was marked by a lot of deviations from Jokowi-JK through policies which are against principles of genuine agrarian reform. Such were policy of land procurement for the interests of infrastructure, plantation, mining, forestry and reclamation; not to mention food import, pro-capital economical policy package volume I-XIII, tax amnesty, and Presidential Regulation on Development Acceleration of National Strategy Project Implementation which definitely are not in accordance with the mandate of 1960 UUPA.

The real condition is equally worrisome. Sugiono, General Coordinator of ALIT JATI, said that according to data in recorded in KPA, “agrarian conflicts escalation in various sector and region keeps arising, which in turn ended in repressive and criminalization acts against people struggle for their rights. In 2004-2015, there were 1,772 agrarian conflicts recorded on 6,942,381 hectares area upon 1,085,817 households.

As a consequence of repressive acts by apparatus (police/army/PP municipal police) and security force of corporations against people who were fighting for their rights on land, it was recorded 1,673 peasants/fishermen/indigenous people were arrested, 757 were persecuted/injured, 149 were shot, and 90 died.

ALIT JATI Alliance, which was consisted of KPA East Java, API East Java, SPI East Java, Cakrawala Timur, FPPI Surabaya, PMII Unsuri, LDF, Cemara and University of 17 Agustus (Untag), urged government to immediately: 1) implement genuine agrarian reform; 2) resolve agrarian conflicts; 3) implement food sovereignty; 4) reject agricultural corporation.

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