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28/03/03 . n/a . AFP . Indonesia
Indonesian protesters unswayed by McDonald's defence
JAKARTA (AFP) - Indonesian protesters rallied outside McDonald's restaurants in Java in protest at the US-led war in Iraq (news - web sites), unswayed by the fast food chain's assertion that its local outlets have benefited Indonesians.
"We warn Indonesians to shun American products because a portion of the profits goes to Israel," a protester told Elshinta radio during a demonstration outside a McDonald's at Semarang in Central Java.
The demonstrators threw away hundreds of leaflets handed out by the McDonald's management there, which said "McDonald's Indonesia has grown in the hands of Indonesian sons and daughters."
"Whatever they say it's still an American product," one protester insisted. McDonald's and other US-franchised outlets have been a target for demonstrators since the US-led attack on Iraq began on March 20.
Hundreds of other Indonesians staged demonstrations in several cities Friday, with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (news - web sites) as well as US President George Bush coming in for criticism.
More than 1,000 members of the Muslim-based Justice Party shouted "God is Great" and "USA go to hell" during a noisy protest at Makassar in South Sulawesi, ElShinta reported.
About 100 people from the Alliance of Muslim Students picketed a McDonald's at Yogyakarta in Central Java, urging Annan to resign as UN secretary general.
"Kofi Annan must resign because he has no power over Bush. We reject all forms of imperialism," one said. Protesters also urged Indonesia to sever ties with the United States and called for a boycott of US goods.
In Jakarta dozens of people massed outside the UN mission and similarly called for Annan to step down. They held anti-war posters, including several reading "The UN has no power".
At Mataram on Lombok island demonstrators urged the UN to "try with any means necessary" to stop the war in Iraq. They later set fire to an effigy of Bush.
President Megawati Sukarnoputri's government has denounced the US-led invasion of Iraq as an illegal act of aggression but has warned protesters against violent demonstrations.