JAKARTA - Police fired tear gas and water cannons Tuesday to disperse thousands of rock-throwing students protesting a new law that they said has crippled Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency.

The university students are enraged that Indonesia’s Parliament passed the law last week that reduces the authority of the Corruption Eradication Commission, a key body in fighting endemic graft in the country.

They demonstrated in front of the Parliament building in the capital, Jakarta, and in large cities all over the country.

The demonstrators, who have been protesting for days, are demanding that President Joko Widodo issue a government regulation replacing the new law on the corruption commission, known by its Indonesian abbreviation, KPK. The protests have grown over the past two days and turned violent in some cities.  Corruption is endemic in Indonesia and the anti-graft commission, one of the few effective institutions in the country of nearly 270 million people, is frequently under attack by lawmakers who want to reduce its powers.

 In a demonstration in Makassar, the main city on Sulawesi island, thousands of protesters blocked streets, set fires and pelted police with rocks. Riot police responded by firing water cannons and tear gas. Clashes between protesters and police also occurred in other cities, including Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Malang, Palembang and Medan. The protesters also urged Parliament to delay votes on several bills on a new criminal code and on mining, land and labor. Opponents say the proposed criminal code threatens democracy and discriminates against minorities. Widodo met Tuesday with lawmakers, whose terms finish at the end of this month, to urge them to delay votes on the bills after considering public concerns. Lawmakers then delayed their votes on the proposed laws in their last plenary session.