A PROTEST in front of the Australian embassy in Jakarta has erupted in violence, with flags burnt and one banner calling for war.
Hundreds of demonstrators, some dressed in militia fatigues, arrived at the embassy to protest over the spying controversy.
The demonstrators arrived carrying signs with the words “Merah” meaning “red” and sprayed red paint on the front wall of the embassy.
One banner held by protesters read: “PPM, GM, FKPPI Ready!!! War with Australia.”
While another had: “Even The Sky Fall, Law Must be Uphold”.
A banner was hung on the overpass near the compound, demanding an immediate apology from Australian prime minister Tony Abbott.
“Indonesian People Demanding … Australian PM Tony Abbott must immediately apology to all Indonesian people,” the banner read.
“Australia must never ever try to attack the dignity of our nation.”
Others called Mr Abbott arrogant.
The protest then became physical with police moving in to restrain a number of the protesters.
A paper print out of the Australian flag and the US flag have been burnt in front of the embassy.
Protesters are angry over claims Australia tapped Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s phone in 2009.
A senior member of Laskar Merah Putih (Red and White Brigade) shouted over a megaphone as the Australian flag burned: “If the government can’t declare war, we can declare war on media, on hacking.”
Ruhut Sitompul, an MP with Dr Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, was also at the protest where he called for more firm action to be taken by Indonesia.
“I come here not only to support the Red and White Brigade,” he said.
“Indonesia has been tapped since Suharto time, since Habibie time, since Gus Dur time, since Megawati time and now in SBY by those imperialists.
“If Abbott still not apologise to us, President could make more harsh action.”
Another protester, from Pemuda Panca Marga, a group which represents the children of veterans, said Australian citizens living in Indonesia would be targeted unless an apology was forthcoming.
“Within 24 hours, if the Australian government does not apologise, we’re ready to attack this place. We’re ready to (target) Australians.”