Protests begin well before President Obama's planned trip to Indonesia

Groups of protesters have been gathering in several major Indonesian cities to protest President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaWebb: After the debate Why not Gary Johnson? Donald Trump, the Russian candidate MORE’s visit to the country in two weeks, saying that he has not changed the U.S. war policies of President George W. Bush.

In Jakarta and surrounding provincial capitals, scores of activists organized under the banner of the Campus Islamic Proselytization Institute Coordinating Board shouted slogans decrying Obama and labeling him as an anti-Muslim president, according to local media reports.

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The demonstrators, many of whom were students, were reportedly seen throwing shoes at large pictures of Obama’s face, a dramatic symbol of disrespect that made international waves when Bush dodged a shoe thrown by a local journalist in Iraq two years ago.

Obama spent four years in the predominantly Muslim Indonesia when he was a child. March 20 will mark the first time he has visited the country as president.

Some have speculated that his trip could result in an increase of investments by U.S. companies into the Indonesian economy, a prospect that was met with fervent applause by Indonesia’s investment agency earlier this week, as reported by Reuters.

But the protesters taking to the streets over the past 24 hours said they did not see Obama’s visit as a boon to the country and that any initial U.S.-driven economic boost would eventually come at a cost to Indonesia and be seen as American-centric in nature.

“We reject Obama's planned visit to Indonesia, which will bring no advantages to predominantly Muslim Indonesia,” said the group’s coordinator, Ahmad Kardi, to the local Antara News agency.

The activists said they were planning to organize other rallies in the next two weeks before Obama’s visit.