JAKARTA - The Madurese demonstrated at the Surabaya City Hall. This action was highlighted because of the potential for contagion. At the same time, there was a split of opinions. Several strong narratives have cornered the mass action with the label of 'stupidity'. Even though if you go deep into the problem, this mass action is not just a matter of believing or not believing in COVID-19 but about skepticism about pandemic policies.
We are looking into the demands of the demonstrators. There are three. First, for the Surabaya City government to stop discriminatory partitions on the Suramadu Bridge crossing. In his policy, Surabaya Mayor Eri Cahyadi asked the Bangkalan Regency government to stop the movement of Madurese to Surabaya without a swab test.
“Since June 6, the Madurese have been shackled by the policy of isolation and antigen swab in Suramadu every day. The Surabaya City Government asks the Bangkalan Regent not to allow or prohibit residents from entering Surabaya without a swab."
"I read this from one of the media. Eri Cahyadi just wants to protect the people of Surabaya without seeing the impact felt by the Madurese, especially the economic sector," said Ahmad Annur from the Barsatu Madura Community Coalition at the location of the action.
The second demand is that the demonstrators push for the implementation of swab tests to be shifted to entertainment venues and other sources of crowds in Surabaya. The three of them demanded that Eri Cahyadi apologizes to the residents of Surabaya.
Before raiding Surabaya City Hall, the mob also damaged the Suramadu blocking post. The destruction of the Suramadu Command Post occurred in the early hours of Friday, June 18. "They are usually in a hurry to get to work and leave before dawn."
"Then there is a buildup here, so we have to wait. Well, at that time there were those who were impatient and wanted to hurry up until the others were affected," said Deputy Secretary of the Surabaya COVID-19 Task Force for the Acceleration of Handling, Irvan Widyanto, June 18.
Previously, several videos of the destruction of the Suramadu blocking post on the Surabaya side went viral on a number of social media. In the video, tables and chairs are scattered and a number of documents are scattered.
Some officers and health workers were unable to contain the residents. They saved themselves. A number of TNI-Polri officers seemed to try to calm the residents at the location. Soon, the situation was under control.
#suramadu if it's like this there might be a new cluster😄😄😄 pic.twitter.com/0BFk1zkxcG
— tante kesepian (@Jono68535970) June 18, 2021
The importance of directed criticism
Tuesday, June 22, the words "Herd Stupidity" and "Madura" had become trending topics on Twitter. The discussion was dominated by criticism of the mass demonstration at the Surabaya City Hall. Netizens also saw the action as a denial of the Madurese community against COVID-19.
welcome Herd Stupidity,
the covidiots must have fun🎇🎆 https://t.co/k4dPNRvXhx
— #TT Dewi Darmawati (@dewi_darmawati) June 21, 2021
"Herd Stupidity" is a term that was first uttered by University of Indonesia (UI) epidemiologist Pandu Riono. On his Twitter account, Pandu criticized the behavior of the wider community who ignored efforts to control the pandemic, especially during the 2021 Lebaran homecoming activities.
Pandu's words were later linked and raised in many narratives about the demonstrations of the Madurese community. Very relevant indeed in many ways. However, it is not necessarily appropriate for netizens to relate it in the context of the Madura demonstration.
Indonesia has long been in a state of "Herd Stupidity". Human behavior that encourages viral replication, reproduces itself and becomes more infectious. Humans who have the mandate to become officials and other humans who do not behave in 5M and are reluctant to be vaccinated. pic.twitter.com/sDPSESJJZ8— Juru Wabah 🇮🇩 (@drpriono1) June 20, 2021
People blame each other. On the other hand, the government keeps repeating the same mistake: inconsistent and deviating from the science-based concept of pandemic control. In this case, directed criticism is important. Why should the government always be criticized?
Yes, controlling the pandemic is everyone's responsibility. But it is the government that has all the instruments and resources in efforts to control the pandemic. "The government. The government has the authority," said Griffith University, Australia epidemiologist Dicky Budiman to VOI, Tuesday, June 22.
Dicky mentioned at least three repeated mistakes that the Joko Widodo (Jokowi) administration continues to make. The three mistakes are inconsistency in strategy implementation, risk communication to the public that is not well managed, and the most basic: policies that are not based on science.
"Because of the skepticism of this community (because) our pandemic has dragged on for too long. It's dragging on uncontrollably. And this is a real example of the negative impact of a pandemic that doesn't focus on health. And they're being ignored," said Dicky.
The sociologist of UIN Syarif Hidayatullah, Tantan Hermansah, highlighted the social dynamics side. According to Tantan, the mass demonstrations in Madura and several other places, including Bandung, were an explosion of accumulation of public skepticism in the government's handling of the pandemic.
"They are getting tired of the government's scenario in managing this pandemic. They read that the government, with this incident, instead of clearly and properly handling the disaster, has instead moved the community by 'fishing in the murky water'," said Tantan to VOI, Tuesday. , June 22.
"Although this can be very refutable, but with strong resources, the government seems to just let these assumptions crystallize in society. As a result, a small distrust is connected to the discourse that legitimizes it, so what happens next is mass expression."
So how should it be?
First, of course, there is no need to be polarized in judging each other. We, the community, are both victims of the wrong management of the pandemic. The basis is one, the authorities have never really looked at society as a subject in pandemic control policies.
"This community is not an object. I always remind people that this is a subject. So they must have the same understanding. So far, I have seen society as an object. That is dangerous and wrong, of course. This is the root," said Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist at Griffith University.
What does Dicky mean? From the perspective of society as a subject, pandemic control is the art of growing mass movements. Public awareness and participation must be built. Capital is trust. Transparency is the most important thing in every policymaking.
Even government limitations are not a problem when transparency is put forward. "But this government's capacity must be opened. We have this, this strategy, what are the consequences. Even with the limitations. Just open it up. This is for the regional and central governments so that the public can judge."
"In the end, people don't understand what the real situation is, it suddenly spiked. The previous government said it was good, it was effective. So yes, data transparency, our pandemic control management, risk communication strategy," said Dicky.
From a sociological perspective, Tantan Hermansah, a sociologist at UIN Syarif Hidayatullah, has the same opinion that the problem of undeveloped trust is the root of the current situation of public disobedience.
According to Tantan, the government should create a grand design-based scenario. The community needs an overview of the plan that is traceable, systematic, and reasonable, of course. And the policy must be socialized intensively.
"What people are reading right now is just a patchwork scenario. I see that this view is validated by temporal policies such as PSBB and PPKM. In fact, this policy is not showing its titans in the context of pandemic control," Tantan said.
"Actually, this is not a pure rejection. Because if they clearly refused, why not from the start. This became a kind of symbolic message, 'Let the right government take care of the people during this pandemic.'"
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