Prior to the October I, 1965 coup attempt, the leaders of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) controlled the largest Communist organization in any non-Communist state. The Party itself, with some three million members, was the center of a web of mass organizations claiming 15 million members and seeking to mobilize specific segments of the population: workers, peasants, youth, women, students, cultural workers, university teachers, and even village officials. D. N. Aidit, M. H. Lukman and Njoto, the triumvirate that had led the Party since January 1951, were honored by President Sukarno at home and by the major Communist parties abroad. A Djakarta-Peking axis was the base of a vociferous confrontation against the West, and Communist youths spearheaded government-sponsored demonstrations against “neo-colonial” establishments within the country. Meanwhile, several non-Communist politicians and military officers appeared to be plotting their own opening to the left in preparation for a Communist takeover.

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