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Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across Indonesia in recent weeks as tensions have risen following the passage of a controversial “omnibus law” on 5 October 2020 that demonstrators fear will destroy jobs instead of creating them. Demonstrators have clashed with riot police across the country, as the authorities deployed tear gas and water cannons in an attempt to quell the unrest.

On this week’s episode of Southeast Asia Dispatches, Aisyah Llewellyn talks to Damai Pakpahan, the country representative of Protection International, and Dr. Ian Wilson, Senior Lecturer in Politics and Security Studies at Murdoch University. They discuss the recent protests, the historical background and impact of demonstrations in Indonesia, and what the future may bring with the upcoming regional elections.

Aisyah Llewellyn is a British freelance writer based in Medan, Indonesia. She is a former diplomat and writes primarily about Indonesian politics, culture, travel and food.