Trying To Keep Indonesia's Pot From Boiling Over

Suharto asks factories to limit layoffs--and beefs up security

Three weeks ago, Supryanto, 21, lost his $7-a-week job making trousers in a Jakarta sweatshop when it went out of business. He couldn't afford a bus ticket back to his East Java village--where he has a family to support and where the crops have failed. So, with nothing but a Betty Boop T-shirt and threadbare jeans, Supryanto joined other ditchdiggers searching hopelessly for work in the dead construction industry. They sleep under an elevated highway, where a food vendor feeds them on credit. "Everybody's angry at everybody else because we have no money," he says. "If all the people attack the President, we'll do it, too."

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