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FPI Fails to March on Bali from East Java

Police Disperse More than 100 FPI Members at East Java Ferry Crossing to Bali to Disrupt Miss World Contest

(9/15/2013) Tempo.com and The Jakarta Globe report that around 100 members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) from East Java unsuccesfully attempted to cross from Java to Bali on the ferry crossing from Ketapang to Gilimanuk, on Saturday, September 14, 2013.

The protestors were intent on disrupting the Miss World Competition being held at Nusa Dua, Bali.

The 100 or so FPI members held prayers on Saturday afternoon in front of Stasiun Banyuwangi Baru and then marched to the ferry crossing at the port of Ketapang. The port's location is around 100 meters from the station.

Before entering the area of the port, the FPI members were confronted by an estimated one thousand members of the Police Mobile Brigade led by a phalanx of policewomen blocking FPI's progress towards the waiting ferries. The FPI demonstrators unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate their passage with the police.

East Java police told the group to disperse because they did not hold the required protest permit.

In speeches delivered by the local coordinator of the FPI, Sasmito, proclaimed a desire for "sacred struggle" or "jihad" aimed at disrupting the Miss World Contest being held in Bali.

In his speech before the FPI crowd, Sasmito asked: "Are you ready to die? Are you ready to sweep Bali clean from evil?"

Confronting an unrelenting blockade of police, the protestors eventually decided to cancel their plans to enter Bali, boarded waiting buses and cars, and returned to their homes.