Marching through the capital, protesters demonstrated against price hikes Wednesday before riot police with helmets and truncheons contained the latest unrest born from Indonesia's economic crisis.
About 140 demonstrators were detained after the protest outside the attorney general's office, one of the biggest in the capital since the rupiah began plummeting in value last year.Prices of basic commodities are soaring, along with unemployment, and many companies face financial ruin. There have been scattered riots across Indonesia in recent weeks as tension grows over price hikes.
Ignoring a police warning, pockets of chanting and banner-waving protesters marched office down main roads in Jakarta Wednesday, tying up traffic. Officers hemmed in one group, which promptly held a sit-down protest on a thoroughfare, and led them one by one to nearby police trucks.
In a separate rally, about 100 people marched outside Parliament against President Suharto, who is expected to win a seventh five-year term when a special assembly votes next month.
The armed forces held large anti-riot exercises last week, warning that they would deal forcefully with any unrest ahead of those presidential elections in March.
The demonstrators urged Attorney General Singgih to investigate government officials suspected of siphoning off national wealth for personal gain.