Thousands of students staged protests against President Suharto in two cities yesterday despite new moves by the Government to hold a meeting with them. In one protest, in the hill city of Bandung, witnesses said nine people sustained head injuries and dozens were bruised when police prevented 5,000 students from marching. The students had gathered in the Bandung Institute of Technology and were trying to march to a nearby campus when they were blocked by about 800 policemen, the witnesses said. Police with canes charged the students, who responded with heavy stone-throwing, the witnesses added. In Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, several thousand students held a peaceful rally at the August 17 University, named after the day the country declared independence in 1945. A 100-metre-long poster saying 'Suharto, the Cause of All Disasters', was on display. Students made speeches blaming the President for Indonesia's economic crisis and said he should step down. The protests came as the defence force indicated it would hold talks with students tomorrow. The dialogue, expected to be attended by up to 20,000 people, is the second attempt by the armed forces to speak with students after the youths boycotted another meeting earlier in the month. But students from the biggest state-run university said they had not yet been invited. The head of external affairs on the University of Indonesia's senate, Harry Novrinda, said student leaders from his campus had not been invited. 'How can we have a dialogue if we are not invited? There is a big implication if the dialogue is in Jakarta but we are not invited,' said Mr Novrinda. The university was the site of major demonstrations this week. He said students from other major universities might boycott the talks if they discovered the University of Indonesia had been excluded. The military, however, claimed they had sent the university an invitation. 'Don't trust that information, the University of Indonesia has also been invited,' said Lieutenant-Colonel Panggih Sundoro, of the military's information unit. Mr Novrinda said his senate was sceptical about the dialogue. 'The culture of a dialogue in Indonesia is more of a monologue, or a discussion with an arranged script,' he said. Mr Suharto regularly holds dialogues with farmers and small businessmen where people pose screened questions to the President and he answers. The dialogues run for many hours. Twelve ministers, military intelligence officials, military commanders and police representatives will attend tomorrow's discussion. One of the moderators, military analyst Salim Said, said armed forces Chief General Wiranto wanted the dialogue so he could pull his troops back to barracks. 'They don't want to spend their whole time guarding all the campuses. It is very tiring,' said Mr Said.