Unspun can understand and empathize with the seeming act of solidarity and defiance in the face of the Jakarta bombings with the Indonesia Unite movement, where Twitterers and Facebookers daub their avatars in red and white, the colors of the Indonesian flag. At the same time Unspun thinks that Anita has raised an important question in her blog, Finally Woken.
“But here I must ask one question. Is that it?
I think most Indonesians are deeply traumatic by the media coverage on the previous attacks that sent the country into a despair for a long time. We all suffered from the damage in the economy, travel warning, the crash of national tourism industry, lack of foreign investments and many other impacts on the bomb blasts since 2002. It has taken years to build the confidence and positive sentiment about Indonesia. No one wants to suffer like that again, to lose face so badly like that, hence the strong message sent that we do not agree with the attack.
Not that I disagree with the movement. I do appreciate the initiation, but I don’t see the long term benefits we would make by putting red-and-white flag in our avatars. And it seems that The Jakarta Globe agrees with me: But some Web users were skeptical that the swelling of online patriotism would have any lasting impact. “This incident has had much bigger impact on patriotism among the young than 30 years of propaganda,” technology journalist Aulia Masna wrote on Twitter. “But yesterday’s call for unity needs to be followed up by offline activities.”
I think the most important thing we should do from this so-called Indonesia Unite pressure group is to push the government, our government, to find who did this. We are too scared that the impact of the attack would be like the bombs in 2002-2004, we have forgotten to keep pestering Indonesian government to be committed 100% to find the terrorist and would not rest until we do. We’re having too much fun pointing our fingers to A or B as the mastermind of the attacks, forgetting our duty as citizens is to make sure our government does the job right. No, I haven’t seen any single message in twitter – or I might have missed it? – that urges the government to keep reporting their findings, and what the progress they have made since the attack. Wouldn’t it be more important for us to unite to monitor what they have been doing – rather than making visits to the victims and giving emotional and moving speech to the nation? Have they formed special task forces to handle the victims, the search, and more importantly, the security in the country’s capital city? – and to make sure those behind the attack will be punished? And it is not just that, we also need to be consistent on our pressure and make sure they don’t waste their energy accusing who did this and that without actually doing anything to find the evidence.
We all have to do something, something real, to minimize the future attack possibility, starting from daily activities. For example, the government must improve the registration system so people wouldn’t be able to create fake IDs easily, but we – Jakartans especially – also must stop being ignorant to our surroundings and alert the authorities if we see something suspicious.
On the same day as the bomb blasts in JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Jakarta on Friday July 17th, BBC broadcast a pretty interesting news about 20-year-old middle-class, British-born man, educated at some top independent schools, who converted to Islam in 2006 and was ready to commit the suicide attack in Bristol, England. It has emerged it was Muslims who alerted police in Bristol and counter-terrorism officers from Scotland Yard to Ibrahim’s activities. The BBC understands that his arrest was the first major one following a community tip-off.
Why can’t we do that?
Really, having our national flag attached to our avatar is nice, but it takes more than that to create peace in Indonesia, don’t you agree?”
Expressions of solidarity and defiance are a great way to cope with the shock of the bombings. But unless they are transformed into something more enduring and constructive, they may not mean much in the long run. In addition to Anita’s suggestions Unspun thinks that one of the ways Twitterers can contribute is to become the de-facto guardians of security. How may times have we all experienced the inane and utterly motions that “seurity guards” go through in check in our bags and vehicles. How many of us thought it totally ridiculous that security guards can poke a metal detector into the car, which is made mostly of metal, and register nothing? Or the perfunctory walk through metal detectors that are not switched on, of if they are switched on and buzz, they are too lazy or intimidated by a well dressed person to frisk them? Or the stupidity of guards going through hand carry bags but waiving through roll-on lugguage?
Wouldn’t it make sense to harness the power of Indonesian Twiterers to be the watchdogs that these guys are doing their job properly? If, for instance, someone found that the security procedures at a hotel or public place is wanting, they would tweet about it and hashtag it, say, #laxsecurity. Newspapers and other news organizations can then check for these and shame the offender into putting their security measures right, or the Polce could get off their ask and sanction them for having lax security.
Yes there’s no denying that a real-time activity is good. But pressuring the gov. to give up details of investigation that regular peps know nothing whatsoever (and wud only add more confusion) is somewhat foolish, as it can jeopardize the investigation. Loose lips sink ships, remember? Beside, the press have done a pretty good (selected press that is) job of spreading the info abt the invest. IMHO what reg.peps like us should do is do something to rise the spirit, instead of meddling in an ongoing INTERNATIONAL invest. CMIIW please, thanks..
Yes it would make sense to do all that you suggest. A great idea. So, what are you waiting for??
The Indonesia Unite thingy is just there to keep morales up, with shared stories and experiences. Yes, there’s no point to flags on twitters, but surely not less so that a black and white facial image that isn’t recognizable anyway??
*do not have the flag on my avatar, do not subsribe to #unite, but is tired of ‘commentators’*
Thanks for the support on IndonesiaUnite. We are preparing for some real life actions. IndonesiaUnite has been started, and we shall not stop here.
Some of actions that you can do for now:
Raise Indonesian flag full mast. Now. Not because you have to or because the tragedy happened, but because you CARE and PROUD. No terrorist can/shall/will take your nationalism
Spend on local business. Keep up with your normal life and activities. That way, Indonesian economy will sustain and the world will see that we are not shaken
Visit other cities, not only the main tourism spots, but places you hardly visit, take pictures, show the world the beautiful Indonesia
Start to convey positive messages about Indonesia through your networks
VIsit http://www.indonesiaunite.com for more details.
@Lenafd: Whoa! Said avatar and twibbons are good for now but what needs to be asked is what next. No need to get defensive and emotional.
@Alex: Thanks for sharing the information. Grateful if you could consider also enlisting Twitterers to be the watchdogs of security standards – they will be on their toes now but give them a month or two and bad habits return. Let me know if I can help.
IMHO FTW the movement should be called “TANGKAP TERORIS”, and focused on encouraging people & communities to give tip-off about suspicious movements…
Hi … don’t forget with all corruptors and greedy officers in all levels in your state institutions. Tangkap and Execute them if you dare and care with your country because they are also “Terrorist” for your people..
Telling people to go out and spend, Alexander? That sounds remarkably Bush-ish.
hmm, MHiggo, lets not take Alexander’s word out of context.. The point is to spend it wisely, not blindly. Sooner or later we WOULD have to spend our hard earned cash. Then why not spend it on something locally made? I don’t see anything bad about that.. do you?
If you want to know ‘what’s next’ for Indonesia, check out this massive ‘twibute’ we’ve created of 10,000 supporters who have visually affiliated themselves with the cause – Indonesia Unite!
Maybe blog on the subject if it grabs you!
IndonesiaUnite ‘s Official Twitter.
indonesiaunite = Indonesia Bersatu.
KAMI TIDAK TAKUT.
We Are Not Afraid.
Best regard to Indonesian Young Generation of All,We care our Nation,Don’t be affraid of terrorist who destroy our nation life,remember God’s supporting you guys….!!
is it ok if i link this post to a post im writing on my blog related to the indonesia unite movement?