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Chapter 2 describes how student activists laid claim to the city through spectacular displays of political participation, most evident in organized marches and demonstrations. Student expertise brought together middle-class university activists with rural and urban poor in a reformed nationalist body politic and influenced the spatial politics of popular democracy in post-Suharto Indonesia. Throughout the chapter, the memories of Reformasi in 1998 and the resistance poetry of disappeared activist poet Wiji Thukul punctuate present-day demonstrations with memories of insurgency, reminding activists of the connective tissue between populism and urban space.

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