Friday, June 29, 2012

Protest Against Ooi Nuke Plant Restart: Between 17,000 and 200,000 People Gathered at June 29 Protest in Tokyo, Depending on Who You Ask

17,000 is what the police announced, 200,000 is what TBS TV News said, supposedly quoting the organizers.

The photo below is taken from the helicopter (hired by the citizens' groups and IWJ) by the professional photographer Maki Ishii. It is the scene at one street corner. Protesters, many of whom had already learned from Twitter and other social media that there would be helicopters flown by the independent journalists and citizens groups, brought pen-lights and flash lights to wave at the helicopters.

Someone tweeted on this photograph, "At most 3,000. What's the big deal?"

"Hibi Zakkan" (daily random thoughts) blog (6/30/2012) has a summary of the Japanese media reports on the number of protesters at June 29's rally:

TBS TV: 200,000, quoting the organizers
Organizers: 150,000
Asahi Shinbun: 150,000 to 180,000 quoting the organizers, 17,000 quoting the police
Asahi TV (Hodo Station): 40,000 to 50,000
NHK: "More than the last time"
The Metropolitan Police: 17,000
Mainichi: quoting both the organizers (150,000) and the police (17,000)
Yomiuri: (there is no article)

Many news outlets quote Prime Minister Noda as he left the Prime Minister's Official Residence as the protest was going on around it. According to Jiji Tsushin, PM Noda said:

"Yes it is a big sound."


Here's another photo taken by a reporter from the Japan Communist Party newspaper:

As far as the police is concerned, it was a 17,000-strong protest overall.


Anonymous said...

[sarcasm] i hope they turned off the lights before going to the protest [/sarcasm]
good luck!

Anonymous said...

The photos you see in the media (like those above) only show the biggest grouping of protesters. Many, many more people are lined up in the distance, along sidewalks of both streets, five and six abreast along the bigger sidewalks going a long way in the distance (beyond the upper part of these photos).

For most of the protest, the police kept the streets open. At the start of the protest, people were not allowed/were unwilling to block traffic and mob in the street. Instead new arrivals to the protest would have to join the end of a long line of protesters along one of the sidewalks. Very orderly by global standards. People stood in long lines, far from the main actors and the front of the prime minister's residence. But they were there, venting their anger and frustration at the government's failure to listen to the people's demands.

You can't count how many people protested by inspecting the very inspiring photos published here. These photos do not show the long lines of people in the distance along the tree-lined sidewalks. Not faulting the photographers. These are great pictures! It's just not possible to show everyone who was there.

Anonymous said...

If they start any nukes there will be other meltdowns and fuel pool fires. NO NUCLEAR JAPAN FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NYUltraBuddha said...

Demanding a halt to the plan of restarting the reactors is vital, but demanding the gov't cease all burning and disposal of debris outside of the disaster zone is just as important, and an even more immediate threat to the environment. There have been local protests against this issue as well, but they seem to have faded out when the spotlight shifted to the Ooi restart. I hope as the anti-restart protests continue, they can include this issue as well.

Anonymous said...

If this growth continues, in a few weeks time, this Friday afternoon crowd will be so large that it may overwhelm the streets and get pushed from behind into the prime minister's compound. At first the Japanese won't be throwing anything or burning anything or overturning cars. It will just be a large mob of normal people chanting anti-Noda slogans.

However a mob that big moves by itself. People at the back wanting to get closer push a little. The people at the front must move somewhere. If they get caught against a barrier, the individuals have a choice to either go through the barrier, go over the barrier, or become crushed at the barrier.

Noda's police force will have a choice to make: shoot people (including protesters, press, pedestrians) who are pushed through or over a barrier, let them die by being crushed at the barrier, or let them flow through the barrier. They can't be pushed back. The crowd behind them is being pushed by those farther behind, and so on.

I'm hopeful that the barriers will be let down before people start dying, but that means that the prime minister's compound would be overrun by one of these even larger crowds in the coming weeks. The police force will need to decide. I think many of their hearts are with the protesters, and I am optimistic that at least one of the policemen will have the human decency to become the weak link and let the crowd expand before people start dying. But the policemen need to prepare for this decision.

Noda has some choices to make too - (1) give in to the will of the PEOPLE and renounce nuclear power in Japan EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. or (2) let people die by crushing and by police bullets as they are INNOCENTLY pushed over and against barriers by a mob behind them. or (3) let the press show a Japanese mob overrunning his residence and office.

As a politician, Noda should KNOW ALREADY that the anti-nuke movement will win in the end. Japan's days of nuclear power are OVER. It is up to him whether there will also be even greater distrust of the government, and blood in the streets because he delayed acting on the demands of the people.

It's over Noda. You can't win. It's time to limit the damage you and your cronies have done to the Japanese people's faith in their government.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Mr. Noda is not accountable to the general public. He is the prime minister in a parliamentary system, and he is not required to call a general election until middle of next year. He cannot be removed, unless the opposition get enough votes to pass the vote of no confidence. No way that's going to happen, because Noda is doing things that the largest opposition parties (LDP and Komei) are highly in favor of. Opposition within his party is not very big at all, as evidenced by the no votes on the sales tax.

netudiant said...

Japan has a history of very vigorous demonstrations, especially in connection with the remilitarization of the country some decades ago.
Maybe the current generation is not yet as engaged as the demonstrators during the late 1950s, but that appears to be changing rapidly, if the week to week growth in numbers is any indication.
It seems the 'nuclear village' has not shown the needed contrition and change of approach that would be essential to persuade the Japanese public that it is deserving of another vote of confidence. Yet the leadership must be aware that just cramming it down the public's throat is a disastrous strategy for the longer term. Is there no one there who can see beyond the end of his nose?

Atomfritz said...

Thank you Ex-SKF and commenters for reporting about the people movement going on in Japan!

It's so great to see the protests going on in an orderly manner, so the MSM cannot discredit them as "riots" like it was the case when the German anti-nuclear movement had its first success, preventing construction of the Wyhl NPP in 1971.

Anonymous said...

'More than last time'

NHK sh*theads. Who do they think the public are?

However back nearer home we have had our letters regarding rolling blackouts starting July 2nd.

Beppe said...

Asahi TV's 報道ステーション has shown aerial views of the people lining on the curbs, a very long line up to Kasumigaseki. When I joined the line was winding back towards Tameike.

Anonymous said...

People of Japan,
Today we feel inspired and renewed seeing you come together to stop this madness.
No Restarts
No Debris Burning

Nuke Free World Now

Anonymous said...

We would probably get better results if all of those people were brandishing weapons~

Oh wait, I just broke the law for inciting violence and/or terrorist activities...

Anonymous said...

Here's a live streaming of the ongoing protest at Ohi nuclear plant, Unit 3 of which is set to be restarted Sun night, July 1.

再稼働反対!! 再稼働反対!!! [saikadou hantai!!]

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