Defying Indonesia's ban on street protests, thousands of students marched onto a traffic-clogged road in the capital Thursday to shout for an end to President Suharto's three-decade reign.
Thousands of students held demonstrations for political and economic reform in at least seven other cities in Indonesia, which is weathering its worst financial crisis in decades.In Bali, police faced down stone-throwing students with tear gas and sticks. Police and witnesses said several officers and at least 12 students were injured at Udayana University in Denpasar, capital of the international tourist haven. There were no arrests.
"Bring down Suharto!" the students in Jakarta chanted, beckoning drivers and bus passengers to join them. It was the largest demonstration since students launched near-daily protests for political and economic reform earlier this year, as Indonesia's economic crisis built.
The protesters sat in the road outside Indonesian Christian University, while hundreds of police with sticks and shields lined up nearby. The demonstrators eventually retreated behind the campus fence.
Student protesters are becoming more daring in their campaign to oust Suharto, whose standing has been damaged by the worst economic slump since he took power.