Indonesia: The Continual Anarchist Witch Hunt & the Scenario of State Incompetence

The Continual Anarchist Witch Hunt & the Scenario of State Incompetence

Only a few weeks ago comrades in Tangerang were arrested for graffiti and the media sensationalized the arrests followed by false information from police declaring that on the 18th of April the Indonesian anarchists had planned mass looting nation wide. This was proven false. Moreover police were trying to make a ridiculous scenario in which a petit criminal they caught was forced to do a live video declaring himself as “The sole leader of the anarchists”, fortunately this  video has become a national joke. Even before, many of the activists and journalists criticized police evidence concerning books. Police confiscated books and showed them off to the media and it was mostly non-political books, many of these books were fiction or non-fiction reports that were published legally. Hence, it is concluded that this evidence — books —are not court materials. But the Indonesian police are more than ready to exaggerate their own stupidity. Mass looting, prison riots, and even people dying of hunger has already happened throughout Indonesia. 

The Absurd Arrests and the Isolation of the Defendants

Most of the defendants concerning the case were mostly doing graffiti. While it is clear that the graffiti was to incite riots, the state and the police seem so myopic or they’re consciously doing it to divert from the real issues as part of their strategy to veil the whole incompetency of the state in dealing with the crisis. Young anarchists were arrested in West Java and more recently in the city of Malang, East Java. This case is different to that of the Tangerang anarchists, the anarchists in Malang were arrested just because they were directly involved in social struggles against land grabbing, state corporations, and other grassroots struggles, one media report went as far as saying that the prosecution of these anarchists is just because, or as the police statement to the media said: “they are anti-capitalist.” These state scenarios smell like rotten eggs coming from idiotic bureaucrats. 


One of the more outrageous arrests that occurred just a few days before was of a journalist who is very critical of government policy. Ravio Patra wrote about the state’s falsification of information about COVID-19 and published a comprehensive article on an independent news portal. Afterwards, his Whatsapp account was hacked — Whatsapp officials stated that it was true, his Whatsapp account was breached — and that all of a sudden he received messages via his account saying that “its already crisis, its time to burn, lets loot on 30th of April”.  Before this Ravio already contacted some experts about why he couldn’t seem to control his own account. Not many hours after, he was out of contact. Until most of his friends and advocacy groups confirmed that he had already been arrested. 

We can say that the bureaucrats and police acted recklessly but in this time of pandemic it seems they can do whatever they want to prosecute anyone, especially people connected to the anarchists. In this latest scenario, we can see how the Indonesian state acted in a totalitarian manner. We will not go down in silence. This anarchist witch hunt has got to stop and we cannot beg the state to do it for us. Their absolute incompetency and their rotting infrastructures will go down.  Down with surveillance and the society of control, decompose the state right now! 

PS: The funny thing is that most anarchists in Indonesia are and were involved in countless public kitchens in a form of mutual aid and the state are and were always trying to criminalize everything. 

We are the criminals, we don’t fucking value your laws. We’re going to help you die soon.

– Circle of Marvelous Individualists

Indonesia: The Continual Anarchist Witch Hunt & the Scenario of State Incompetence