Youth Voices

Indonesian Football Brawls – Solidarity? Nonsense.

By Maria Listuhayu Prajna Pratita

Monday, 4th June 2012, on a silent dawn, another Indonesian football supporter died. The victim came from Surabaya (East Java). His name is Tomi, a 12th grade student. He was founded lying in the stadium stands right after a brawl between supporter and police. Tomi died on arrival at the hospital with some bruises mark on his cheeks and back waist. The cause of his death remains unknown, but most likely he was trampled to death.

This incident did infuriate me.

Indonesian football supporters always glorify the cohesiveness and solidarity of each group. In my every discussion with fanatic supporter, I ask them about the reason of their fights, clashes, and attacks. The one and only answer is solidarity! They said, “How could we be silent while our fellow supporters are being harassed and our pride is abused by other supporter groups?”

They may give me strong and fiery arguments, but I also will never forget that the bodies of victims killed in supporter brawls are always being left alone, lost, away from the group! Some of the victims were found dead on the spot, another died on the way to the hospital, or even died in the hospital because of delayed rescue.

Hellooo, you who idolize solidarity among supporters! Where were you guys when your fellows are dying in the gutter, beaten by your enemy? Where were you guys when your comrades are suffering in agony, struggling alone, almost naked, hoping for their crushed bodies to breathe much longer? Where was your god of solidarity when your own colleagues are under your shoes, when you’re running on their dying bodies to safe your own life? Where were your ears when they’re screaming for help? Those people are the people who are standing with you in the stands, supporting your beloved team. As you told me, these kinds of people should be defended till dead, right?

Ah. Nonsense. Solidarity is no more than a lip service that is used to cover your ego. The death of your comrades will be your excuse to declare war. Again, and again, and again. I’m sure you know very well that they will not die without you leaving them. Deep inside your heart, you know that you’re the one killing them. That’s the only truth, isn’t it?

This is the english version of my previous article, written on June 2012: “Solidaritas? Sampah.”