Support the Punks in Aceh, Indonesia
I’m sure that many of you have seen or heard that the Police in the Province of Aceh, Indonesia have, under orders of a religious fundamentalist government, rounded up punk rock fans and have shaved the punks heads, taken their dog collars, necklaces and chains and thrown them into pools of water for “spiritual cleansing.” The punks will now ‘spend 10 days getting rehabilitation, training in military-style discipline and religious classes, including Quran recitation. Afterward, they’ll be sent home.’
I’m sure you can easily imagine how tit might feel to receive this treatment and perhaps, if you’re a fan of punk, metal or any music subculture it hits a close to home in a way that is slightly little different than the ‘average’ human rights abuses we’ve sadly grown accustomed to ignoring. I can easily empathize with the complete frustration and humiliation these ‘punks’ must feel as I have had a few brushes with bully ‘authorities’ who pretend they’re acting ‘in the name of the law’ but I have never, and hopefully never will, experience this type of human rights abuse by authorities of a state.
In the past Propagandhi has received letters from people in Banda Aceh and all over Indonesia so any one of these people could be the same people who have contacted us. I imagine that they feel complete rage and isolation inside at the moment. In the off chance that they might see this post I’d like to say to all the Punks who’ve been victimized by authorities in Indonesia that we, the members of Propagandhi, are supporting you and admire that you have expressed yourselves even at your own expense. You are definitely people to look up to and honor.
For us here in North America, and anywhere in the world where we are allowed to dress how we want (but clearly not to publicly demonstrate or protest), let this be a reminder of what happens when society follows fundamentalists and allows ‘morals’ to be dictated. There are a lot of people in all our countries who would love to give the ‘spiritual cleansing’ treatment to punks as well as people of other religions, fans of Harry Potter and countless other groups they may label as ‘deviants’.
To everybody: If you believe in human dignity, autonomy, and the right for people to be able to make their own decisions- keep fighting for your rights and freedoms, as well as the rights and freedoms of others.
Hopefully within the lifetimes of the punks arrested in Aceh they will have the liberty to express themselves the way they choose.
Change.org has made a petition to advocate for their release.
The record label Aborted Society is collecting mix tapes and burned CD’s (no cases) to send to their fellow punks to help with morale. Maybe you can help out?
Check out this 100% ruling documentary about the Indonesian punk ‘scene’.
If anyone else has any ideas, or has anything on the go to help out send us a message about it. Thanks.
Keep the spirit alive everybody.