Thursday, July 12, 2012

It's Friday in Japan, It's Protest Time From Hokkaido to Kagoshima

(UPDATE: For people going to the Kantei Demo in Tokyo, only No.4 exit at Kokkaigijidomae Station will be open. Better walk from the neighboring stations. Also, the police will set up metal fences and try to confine the protest areas. Asahi Shinbun has the map of the "designated" areas of protest by the police.)

For those of you who want to watch USTREAM live video, IWJ has 9 channels. Nico Nico Video has one channel you can view without subscription. See my latest post for channel links.


But people who plan to participate in the protest at the Prime Minister's Official Residence in Tokyo, watch out. The Metropolitan Police has announced that they will use (for the first time since the protest started in March this year) metal fences to prevent the protest walkers from spilling into the road and confine them to the sidewalks. Bad move. Some suspect the Police, under the direction of the Noda administration that seems to worship the US, wants to emulate the police in the United States. Bad move.

More "Friday Protests" seem to be cropping up in various parts of Japan, and the following may be just a partial list:

Time: 6PM
Event: Anti-Nuke Action against Hokkaido Prefectural government
Place: in front of the Hokkaido Prefectural government office

Time: 6PM
Event: protest against the restart of Ooi Nuke Plant
Place: near Prime Minister's Official Residence in Nagata-cho, Tokyo

Time: 6PM
Event: protest against the restart of nuclear power plants
Place: in front of Hokuriku Electric Ishikawa Office

Time: 6PM
Event: Action against KEPCO
Place: in front of KEPCO Nagoya Office

Time: 6PM
Event: protest against the restart of Ooi Nuke Plant
Place: in front of KEPCO headquarters

Time: 5PM
Event: Protest against KEPCO
Place: KEPCO Kyoto Office

Time: 6PM
Event: Occupy KEPCO Kobe Office
Place: in front of KEPCO's Kobe Office

Time: 12:20PM to 12:50PM
Event: Lunch time protest walk "Hydrangea action"
Place: Nagasaki City Hall Water Department - City Police - Nagasaki City Hall (長崎市役所水道局前→県警前折り返し→長崎市役所前)

Time: 6PM
Event: Goodbye Nuke Plant Saga
Place: at a park on the east of Saga Prefectural Government Office 佐賀県庁東側の城内公園

Time: 6PM
Event: Emergency Action against Kagoshima Prefectural Government, against the restart of Sendai Nuke Plant (in Kagoshima) 対鹿児島県庁、川内原発再稼働反対の緊急抗議行動
Place: unknown

(Ugh. Hydrangea.)

There is one thing that has made me stop and think about the protest that's been on every Friday in Tokyo. It has swelled to 150,000 (according to organizers), and the organizers is pressing the participants to adhere to their guideline that this is a "single issue" protest. The single issue is to protest against the nuclear power plants, including the restart of Ooi Nuclear Power Plant.

The most telling, if this is true (I have no reason to doubt), was the tweet from someone who was either at the scene or watching the live netcast of the protest:


During the protest at Prime Minister's Official Residence, one woman made a speech. She was talking to the policemen in front of us, telling them and to us that young policemen from all over Japan have been sent to the areas contaminated with radiation without adequate protection against radiation exposure. I was listening to her, and thinking what a wonderful speech. Right after she was finished, the organizer said something like "Do not make speeches on irrelevant issues". I was taken aback a little.

If the radiation contamination and effect of radiation exposure on people are "irrelevant" to the organizers, what is relevant to them? From the tweets of some of the members of the organizers (coalition of organizations), it is pure "anti nuclear" movement, without even considering what has happened as the result of the nuclear accident at Fukushima I Nuke Plant. Thus their tweets about excluding "Kinoshita-esque" elements and "Hayakawa-esque" elements from the protest movement, as both Mr. Kinoshita and Professor Hayakawa do worry about radiation contamination and radiation exposure effect on people.

I wonder how the sheer majority of people who have joined the protest on Friday in Tokyo respond to the request by the organizers to focus only on "anti nuclear" and not speak about anything else. As the people so good at following orders and even outdoing what the orders require of them, I'm afraid they will simply follow the order this time, too. "Well I didn't know we shouldn't be talking about such a thing..." was the next tweet by the person whom I quoted above.


Anonymous said...

There is also a protest in Nagoya on the 15th (Sunday) also info in English here:

Anonymous said...

The organizers should step out of the way and stop acting like this is all just another J Pop "music" production. Let the movement flow naturally. Of course the effects of everything nuclear (nuclear power AND weapons), from health to the economy to national stability and defense/security, are all intimately related. Are they stupid??

Anonymous said...

I think they are young. (It probably means they are stupid, as their brains haven't matured.)

Anonymous said...

官邸前の原発抗議行動、地下鉄出入り口制限 警視庁方針

 13日夜に予定されている関西電力大飯原発(福井県)の再稼働に対する抗議行動について警視庁は12日、首相官邸周辺の歩道を抗議行動エリアに指定し、 地下鉄駅の出入り口の利用を制限する警備方針を発表した。抗議行動が大規模化していることから、混乱を防ぎ、参加者の安全を確保するため異例の措置を取 る。



Anonymous said...

Saikado Hantai!!!
To NOT discuss the effects is to ignore the issue.
One can't be anti-nuclear and NOT discuss the effects.
As the effects make the case to be anti-nuclear.

Anonymous said...

Rise up now Japan. Everybody can work together to end nuclear madness in Japan. Another form of protest is to install solar, conserve energy, switch to efficient light bulbs. If everybody in Japan conserved energy all the nukes would be shut. Stop nuclear poison that will contaminate gardens, forests, water, farms, food and families. Get up now and change the world! No nuclear Japan forever. To hell with corporate poison power!

John said...

And of course, without discussing the causes is to ignore the issue. The Japanese government has always wanted the ability to assemble nuclear weapons within minutes and to supply America with weapon's grade enriched uranium/plutonium. And, of course, another cause is the scam to transfer tax money from the poor to the rich because nuclear power generation has never ever been profitable with taxpayer subsidization. But I guess the organizers would condemn me. We definitely do not want an intelligent, informed, articulate public that understands cause and effect, can assert themselves, and argue with passion and logic. Simple chanting of slogans and home by bedtime. Noda is safe. The organizers are safe. The rich are safe. And absolutely nothing, NOTHING changes.

John said...

sorry... typo... should read "never been profitable without taxpayer subsidization."

Anonymous said...

Looks like the movement has been already infiltrated. I knew that when people started talking about naming their "revolution" and looking for "symbol".

I guess they weren't paying attention to all those phony "color revolutions".

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

If any of you are going to any of these protests, be safe.

Little Canary said...

I stopped going to those protests, since the organizers at Tokyo, seem to me very childish, yes quite young too.

For example, one of them you can find in youtube was picking a fight with the cops, then arrested.
Later on someone asked, on the streets, his name and he was using a surprissingly bad language and refusing to say his name, that reminds me of TEPCO or cops behaviour.

At the end in the top both sides have a lot in common, the good thing is that they are not well organized and people cares more about radiation than the organizers.

Scott said...

I hope the police barriers don't cause more trouble. Keep it orderly and make your statement by occupying the designated areas. Negative press is not what this movement needs. It's just one way for the media to misguide the rest of the unknowing public. I look forward to seeing videos of the protests tonight. I hope the skies stay clear. Last week's protest was really wet.

Anonymous said...

I found the same problem at the Oi protests. The organisers weren't young, but during their pre-protest prep talk they were outlining what we should do if taken into police custody and not to take any ID or our phones, not to give any names. No matter how desperately we all want the nuclear reactors stopped, protests must remain peaceful and respect everyone's (non-violent) input. The media will love any bad press they can show, and it will waste everyone's hard work.

Lena said...

I was at the demonstration today. It was peaceful but impossible to create a real crowd anywhere and the police didn't stick to the plan as announced in a map in Asahi newspaper.My impression is the strategy was to send everyone around for a walk. I got there around 18:00 coming from Nagata-cho station. The sidewalk in front of Sangiinkaikan and Dainigiinkaikan was supposed to be "protest area" but they were not letting protesters go that way. So I went down the side of the Diet library to the next big crossing. The sidewalk opposite the Diet building was also supposed to be protest area but they asked everyone to walk the other way, a far way around. But it was possible to negoitiate with a policeman . He said the sidewalk is blocked in the center (where the so called 2nd stage was) so it will not be possible to go through. I said ok but I just want to go in and look. That was ok. And it was blocked. I could hear the 2nd stage and there were people staying put there shouting slogans, also about the sidewalk being blocked. Then I took the long way round as told and it was possible to walk up the sidewalk of the wide road going up towards the Diet building. But the wide road was held open for very crowded on the side walk.Stepping out on the empty road to take a picture and the police was immediately telling me to get onto the sidewalk. Then I went back and on, alongside the Foreign Ministry. Hearing anti-nuclear slogans echoing off the walls of the Foreign Ministry was kind of neat. At the five way crossing between Foreign and Finance ministries I crossed the street towards Kantei and then followed instructions again leading me back to the wide street in front on the Diet Building, but now in the other corner, the " family section". It was a nice place to be watching white baloons and singing slogans like "protect the babies" " protect the grown-ups too". I felt totally safe in that crowd. Finally I went back and passed the protesters tent village at the corner of the Industry ministry before going home. By the tent people I was offered some cold tea. Very nice. Today I thought all the instructions from the police were very noise and people had to walk around instread of concentrating on slogans.I love how Japan is well organized and safe but today they overdid the organizing. These are extremely peaceful protesters smart enough to take care of themselves.

Anonymous said...

The anti nuclear movement has become a sham in Japan, people are self censoring themselves and no one has a clue as to the contamination in food and burning of waste etc... its just immature fools thinking they are cool and they are back home by bedtime obeying their masters, Japan needs full scale riots but most people are fucking idiots so it wont happen...

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