By Ali Syarief, Political analyst
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, The November 4 (411) protest was one remarkable history of Indonesian democracy. It taught Indonesians many lessons, but the highlight is how the government has been maturing itself in responding a protest.
It was a surprise, and definitely a smart move, of the Police to use much more cooperative and humanist approach to deal with the protesters by beginning their security routines with praying and dhikr. The way the security officials handle the protesters must be highly appreciated.
Their effort to resist repressive actions, during the day, especially was a breakthrough. It was something new in our democracy. This was the key of the success of the government in 411 rally.
Despite some clashes between the protesters and the police, the overall protest has been very peaceful. What happened on November 4th was maybe beyond what the government may expect. The violence level was relatively low with small number of casualties.
One of the protesters dead because his previous asthma history, and not related to any attack or accidental shooting. What happened in Penjaringan area was a criminal activity done by rascals, not protesters, but again the government has shown its readiness to handle such unexpected situation not to spread in other areas.
In fact, it was actually not related to the protests. It was done by some irresponsible people who take advantage of the protest. Yet, the government could promptly took needed action to bring back situation to normal in relatively short time.
All in all, the government has done a marvellous job in dealing with this protest. What was feared was not occurring and all situation could be handled very well and wisely. We hope that this will be a new era of Indonesian democracy, which is more mature and humanist. Bravo!