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(en) Japan, No-G8http://a.sanpal.co.jp/no-g8/*

Date Fri, 27 Jul 2007 08:47:46 +0300


The next G8 2008 will take place from July 7th to 9th in Hokkaido Japan, near the lake called Toya-ko. ---- Please come join us! ---- Please check our website for up-to-date information! ---- Howling Coalition: the Anti-globalization Movement Sprouts Freedom and Diversity ---- The 2007 G8 Summit was held in Rostock, Germany from June 6 to 8, 2007. It was a conference at which top government officials from the U.S., Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Japan all met and confirmed their political cooperation for global domination. To oppose this, many social movements and activists from many places in Europe, Africa, the U.S., and Asia mobilized and developed a huge demonstration.

In late May, we, as members of “No! G8 Japan” went to Germany. We first stayed at a squatter house in Berlin, and obtained necessary information and materials. Many anarchists and autonomists from all over the world gathered in Berlin. Small parties were held at the squatter houses, and we militant activists vowed to fight the upcoming struggle, while enjoying drinking and music. An information center for activists was set up inside the city and a map of the Summit site, as well as the latest information about action plans and police weaponry and strategies for cracking down on demonstrators were distributed there. Also shops for militant activists were selling ‘black gear’ such as sleeping bags, parkas, hats, masks and leather gloves. After making our preparations in Berlin we headed for Rostock.

On the eve of the Summit – Riot

On June 2, the anti-G8 demonstration and rally took place in the city of Rostock. 80,000 people, who were either critical of or wanted to stop the G8 Summit, mobilized and had a big parade. Led by international participants of NGOs from outside Germany, many different social movements, labor organizations, German leftist groups, and large troops of anarchists and autonomists marched through the town with balloons, gigantic puppets, music bands, trailers equipped with sound systems, and countless numbers of red and black flags and banners…and at the center of the demonstration, a gigantic black block consisting of over 10,000 people emerged.

What is Black Bloc? It is a conglomerate of small groups consisting of two to twenty members. It is an open frame which anyone can be a part of, without requiring any qualifications. Black Bloc does not have an organized leadership, instead each group participates by acting according to their own judgment to compose the entire situation. At the meeting place where the demonstration ended, one of the groups in Black Bloc removed paving stones from the street and got ready to throw the stones at riot police. Another group attacked and destroyed police cars, while some other groups dragged trash cans out into the street and set them on fire. All the people in those groups are completely clad in black from head to toe, and they hide their faces with hoods and masks. The 10,000 members all dress in black to retain the anonymity of the main, most active troops. Anonymous small groups executed their own plans. Black Bloc thus created a small-scale insurrection. Stone throwing and water cannons were repeated and in the black smoke rising from the burning cars, heavily armed riot police and militants collided. The mass media shot this battle and the images was distributed globally; the 2007 G8 Summit was reported to the world as a fierce “urban riot.”

Dense, multi-layered coalition

The uprising in Rostock right before the opening of the Summit successfully left the impression that the G8 was an unjust ‘dirty conference.’ At the same time it also gained good global publicity for the fact that the international people’s struggle was bravely confronting the enormous ruling power at the Summit. This achievement was not accomplished solely by the contribution of Black Bloc. It was the contributions of many other social movements surrounding Black Bloc that supported and realized this insurrection.

What caught my attention at the forefront of the battle was the presence of broad array of anarchists and Autonomists from various non-violent direct action groups. Around the militants who actually engaged in stone throwing, destruction and setting fires, there were many more militants of non-violent direct action groups who were actively engaged. Those non-violent militants supported the Black Bloc: they blocked the movement of the police by using tactics such as picketing or sit-ins. It was those non-violent direct action groups that confronted the armed police the most, being beaten up or pepper sprayed. Those non-violent activists protected the rioting groups, and furthermore the members of German ATTAC who organized the entirety of the rally persistently negotiated in order to avoid any confrontation with the police. Labor unions and various leftist groups put pressure on the police by influencing public opinion against them. The densely layered collation of various activist groups led our anti-Summit movement to success this time. The Black Bloc acted independently, but they were not isolated. Despite minor discord, there were persistent negotiations and efforts among different activist groups to realize a larger coalition.

The Foundation of the Anti-Globalization Movement

It is true that some participants of the demonstration were frustrated immediately after the reports of the riot on June 2. We heard that within the German ATTAC, the group that had played a central role in organizing the demonstration, criticism of the Black Bloc came one after another. There was even a strong opinion that the violent black-clad group should be removed from the coalition. German ATTAC ultimately maintained the coalition with Black Bloc, despite making a statement criticizing them. This had great significance.

The Black Bloc has been the focus of attention as being a group that is both troublesome and awe-inspiring at the same time. They were always viewed as outsiders, but at the same time they were trusted by many activists because they were the original group who opposed the tyranny of the IMF/World Bank, and stood up against the injustice of the Davos Conference (World Economic Forum) and developed the international protest movement against the neo-liberal globalization. Their achievement is significant in the history of activism. It is not an exaggeration to say that the pioneering practices of those anarchists and Autonomists created the prelude to today’s anti-globalization movement. Moreover, their directness, spontaneity and multi-central, rhizomatic organization, as well as their tolerance of diversity and efforts to build comradeship are the basis for today’s anti-globalization movement. So how we feel about and evaluate the Black Bloc is indeed the issue of how the anti-globalization movement as a whole should be defined. Are those young people dressed in black the renegades of the movement? Are they situated at the core of the movement? ATTAC in Germany tacitly gave an answer. It was not the NGOs, labor unions or leftist parties, but those anonymous small groups gathered in Black Bloc that embodied and realized the democratic characteristic of today’s movement the best. Those uncontrollable, countless numbers of small groups constitute the ontological ground of all the social movements in terms of their unspecified democratic character. The almost unwarrantable directness of the democracy that they request and practice pertains to the potential of all the movements.

The power of those uncontrollable people has become the energy of the movement in general, so it is that the organization of the movement must make efforts to strive for supporting the diversity of those groups. What the German organizers persistently pursued and demonstrated was a general rule of what sort of coalition of movement liberates the potential of the people. In other words, instead of persisting on differences, it is a way of pursuing what is shared in common.

Variety of Anti-Summit Actions

From June 3 to 5 Rostock was crowded with many international conferences, demonstrations, street parties, and direct actions. Demonstrations against immigrant exclusion, against militarism and a demonstration for the impeachment of the global corporation, Lidl. were organized on an especially large scale.

Corresponding to these simultaneous, multiple actions, on June 4 we held a protest action at the hotel where Japanese government officials were staying. We entered the lobby and displayed an anti-Summit banner and read aloud our protest statement and chanted our slogans, voicing our discontent. A report of this protest was distributed through independent media network G8TV

within the same day, and was shown on a big TV screen installed at the activist camping site. A mysterious group from Japan became famous overnight. The energetic activities of media activists facilitated mutual understandings of different people and developed our sense of solidarity. Even though we didn’t communicate enough through words, trust was fostered through action, which helped build our relationships. Whether international conference, peaceful demonstration, or high-risk direct action, regardless of your approach, everyone was welcomed with mutual respect. This sort of tolerance facilitates spontaneous actions of people and raises their fighting morale. The camping site where the militants stayed gradually began to warm up.

Howling Coalition

On June 6 in Heiligendamm, “Block G8,” an action intent on blocking all the roads leading to the Summit site, took place. In order to block four highways and several mountain roads, ten thousand militants took different various actions. A Scandinavian anarchist troop took off before dawn to barricade the mountain roads with trees they had to chop down in the forest. Guided by German militants, we entered highways from the mountain and formed a picket line. Thousands of militants trekked along an unmarked trail on the mountain in order to elude police security. Twenty labor unions, newly aligned with us since the riot on June 2, joined us to confront the police. In the mountain roads the car carrying Russian officials was surrounded by anarchists and left stranded. A militant group from Berlin blocked the highway with their cars and stalled German Prime Minister Angela Merkel. While confronting armed police at different sites of actions, each of us was concerned about our comrades elsewhere and communicating with other points. This block action did not involve the entire 80,000 people, but gained the support and interest of various activist groups.

On the day of the block action, Susan George, who was attending International G8-alternative summit, commented at a panel discussion as follows, “I am so moved by the feeling I have had since the anti-Iraq war simultaneous world demonstration of 2003 that I am crying tears of joy. Since I am old I can’t be there in person, but people at the alternative summit are connected with the activists who are blocking Heiligendamm and we are sharing the same feeling.”

The direct action in Heiligendamm most expressed the power and excitement of the anti-G8 coalition. Different people independently took actions, but they were not isolated. Completely different people transcended mutual differences and discord and we, as a coalition of movements, howled. We were not able to stop the G8 Summit, but our coalition besieged it. If our experience in Germany can be maintained and the diversity of movement fully grows, our howling coalition will eventually succeed in stopping the G8 Summit.

The anti-globalization movement has not yet ended. Actually it has just begun. The venue for the next G8 Summit is Japan. Militants from all over the world including Asian countries will mobilize in Lake Toya, Hokkaido. We must accommodate them and make efforts so that they will be able to fight as fully as possible. Let us not judge which form of struggle is right or wrong, but let us try our best to realize all forms of struggles! We call for the coalition of movements.
: 02:56 AM
July 07, 2007
Call for the Anti-G8 Action July 2008 By NO! G8 Japan

In July 2008, heads of the states that monopolize two thirds of earth’s wealth will gather at Toya Lake in Hokkaido Japan. Although the so-called Group of Eight does not have any legitimate right for deciding planetary affairs, they have self-appointed themselves world ruler. Thus the G8 has driven neo-liberal globalization at the same time as spreading poverty, violence, hatred, segregation, and environmental destruction.

At a very critical moment of world capitalism during the 1970s, the G8 was established to form a consensus among the imperialist nation-states. Ever since it has become the cornerstone of the neo-liberalist globalization that we are confronting. The ‘consensus’ signifies nothing short of finding out the most convenient means of driving global financialization, privatization, commercialization, and militarization and camouflaging these processes as if they were for the public well-being.

In the past the G8 has expressed concerns about human rights and poverty. German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the need for a human-faced globalization. But then, who is it that violates human rights on the pretext of the “fight against terrorism”? Who is it that is eliminating public education the world over? Who is it that privatizes almost all the resources left for humanity -- land, water, and food -- and preys on the increasing global poverty? Who is it that produces and exports more than 90% of the world’s weaponry? At the 2007 summit in Heiligendamm, one of the main themes was the poverty in Africa, but what they proposed as a measure to combat it was, shockingly, the deregulation of investment in Africa. From its behavior we have learned that for the G8, even human rights and poverty are just another opportunity for capitalists’ expropriation.

At the Toya Lake summit in 2008, the main theme will be environmental problems. What a deceit! It is the G8 that ravages the natural resources of the world--even resorting to arms--and discharges more than 40% of the planetary carbon dioxide, hence instigating the climate changes. Shinzo Abe, the prime minister of Japan hosting the 2008 summit, has invented a vain slogan: “Invitation to the Beautiful Stars,” which proposes in substance the exportation of nuclear power plants to developing countries--nothing that counters capitalist interests and works for true enduring development.

We are no longer silent. Neither do we intend to make a petition for a better G8 through conversation. By way of direct action, we will demand the termination of 2008 Toya Lake Summit and the decomposition of G8.

Also we will demand the immediate liquidation of the Abe administration of Japan, the sole participant in the G8 from Asia. The Abe Administration is in the midst of pushing for neo-liberalist reforms and the fortification of the security-state in Japan, while persisting in sending troops to Iraq as a simple-minded follower of the US strategy for its global military rule. At the same time, its main objective is to amend Japan’s constitution in order to complete the long-lasting ambitions of imperialist Japan. Thus, to thwart the ambitions of the Abe administration is no longer a concern of Japan alone, but a must for the struggle against the neo-liberalist expansion and militarization in the entire Asian region. Our objective to terminate G8 is inseparable from these regional tasks.

We appeal to you, all the people struggling in different regions of the world, to join No! G8 Japan in July 2008 in Toya Lake, Hokkaido Japan. We consider our project as a continuation of the planetary anti-G8 struggles, especially those coordinated by Dissent network. We seek to add a new phase of it in the Far East. Let us organize together the widest possible global network and create an unimaginably varied, rich, and powerful spectacle of struggle. By so doing let G8 know that a world that is totally different from the one driven by the capitalist principles, a world that is based upon the principles of autonomy, mutual aid, and bottom-up decision-making, is possible.
: 12:15 PM
June 04, 2007
Calling in the protest

We against a militarization, we against a neo-liberal globalization, and top of that we demand the immediate liquidation of the ABE administration of Japan, the sole participant in the G8 from Asia. This neo-conservative politician, Shinzo ABE, is in the midst of pushing neo-liberalist reforms and fortification of the security-state in Japan, while persisting in sending troops to Iraq as a simple-minded follower of the US strategy for reinforcing its global military rule. At the same time, ABE’s main objective is to amend Japan’s constitution in order to complete the long-lasting ambitions of imperialist Japan. Thus, to thwart the ambitions of the ABE administration is no longer a concern of Japan alone, but a must for the struggle against the neo-liberalist expansion and militarization in the entire Asian region.

No G8!

No capitalism!

No neo-liberalism!

No militarism!

No imperialism!

We need justice!

And we need a total freedom of our society!
: 04:32 PM
Toward the Anti-G8 Struggle 2008 in Toya Lake, Hokkaido Japan

Toward the Anti-G8 Struggle 2008 in Toya Lake, Hokkaido Japan

No! G8 Japan

This noon, we, some Japanese activists, will protest the next G8 Summit in Japan, in front of the Neptun Hotel, Warnemuende, where the Japanese governmental delegation is staying.

We appeal for your participation in the project of No! G8 Japan, that will take place from July 7th to 9th 2008 in Toya Lake, Hokkaido. This year we came to G8 2007 Germany for the sake of solidarity and development of collaborative relationships. Hereafter our hope is to develop a network of movements beyond the East-West division, toward the struggle in 2008 Japan.

Preparation for the Japanese anti-G8 movements in 2008

Preparation for the several anti-G8 movements is gradually taking shape in Japan. Groups of anti-authoritarians like us are calling for a large network of movements. Meanwhile in May, at the anti-Asian Development Bank protest, anti-US Base movements, labor unions, ATTAC, and NGOs gathered and made an agreement to develop a coalition for the anti-G8 struggle in 2008.

In Hokkaido, the northern-most island of Japan, a network of local anti-G8 groups is to be established this coming July. For this we all agree to include local issues -- such as those concerning the Ainu people which is the indigenous people of Hokkaido, the bankruptcy of the local economy, and free trade -- as part of the central initiatives of the entire project. Furthermore, since the branch meetings of G8 will be held in such large cities as Osaka, Yokohama, and Niigata, local groups are planning to organize the protests. At the same time, in Hokkaido as well as other cities, possible facilities for accommodation for foreign activists and convergence centers are being sought.

We came from far away, from the opposite side of the planet, in order to participate in the anti-G8 actions 2007 in Germany. We are the members of NO! G8 Japan, one of the Japanese anti-G8 movements and a group intending to be a broad network of anti-capitalists within and without Japan. It is less a political organization than a network of anti-authoritarian movements. We will be communicating with you through our forthcoming HP (http://a.sanpal.co.jp/no-g8/) as well as Mail List, about the developments of our anti-G8 projects.

Due to the toughness of the Japanese conditions, it might be difficult to attain the same effects by following the same tactics as have been practiced in the past. That said, however, we believe we can beat the obstacles and realize a remarkable project in Japan 2008--this will be thanks to our collaborative efforts and the solidarity among us, the global activist communities, to be nurtured beginning here and now.

Please join us in Hokkaido in 2008!
: 05:28 AM
Statement, June 3rd 2007

Major news media such as NHK reported that some Japanese participants had been arrested at the anti-G8 action on the 2nd. We happened to have encountered the very Japanese this evening. According to him, after 24hour detention he was released. The cause of his arrest was not direct action, but having face mask while taking pictures. Upon the arrest he was treated violently by the surrounding policemen who even booed him: “Fucking Jap.” His interrogation was forcible and many of his valuable articles including camera were taken away. In Germany wearing masks as well as safety shoes at protest is illegal which could cause arbitrary arrest. Unbelievable security regulations such as those are being carried out there.
The story of arrest reveals the nature of the police oppression toward the anti-G8 movement 2007. On the 2nd rally, for instance, the police ordered the dispersion -- this itself is unjust even as compared to the equally unjust regulations in Japan -- and repeated skirmish and provocation by sending fighting squads. Everywhere we observed people being arrested with indescribable acts of atrocity. The reports in Japan seem to stress that the protesters were violent and provocative. This is not true as the example of the Japanese proves. We would like you all to spread this story.
(K, H)
: 03:56 AM
May 26, 2007
We Demand the Termination of the G8 Summit 2007!

We Demand the Termination of the G8 Summit 2007!

NO! G8 Japan

Our objective is not to send our voice to G8, not to converse with the global powers in order to achieve an alternative that satisfies both the G8 and us. What we want is instead an immediate termination of the G8 Summit 2007 in Germany and the decomposition of G8 itself.

At a very critical moment of world capitalism during the 1970s, G8 was established to form a consensus among the imperialist nation-states. Ever since it has become the cornerstone of the neo-liberalist globalization that we are confronting. G8’s consensus means nothing short of finding out the most convenient means of driving global financialization, privatization, commercialization, and militarization and camouflage these processes as if they were the execution of projects for the public well-being.

G8 expresses its concerns toward human rights, improvement of the literacy rate, and poverty. The chancellor of the host country Germany, Angela Merkel, professes to render a globalization with a human face. But then, who is it that drives human rights violation with the pretext of the “fight against terrorism”? Who is it that is eliminating public education the world over? Who is it that privatizes almost everything left for humanity -- land, water, and food -- and preys on the increasing global poverty? The theme of the G8 2007 is “growth and responsibility”; with this slogan, however, good governance, enduring investment, and peace and security are all held up for capitalists.

We demand the total decomposition of the consensus apparatus of the imperialist elites. We express this not by conversation but by direct action. On top of that we demand the immediate liquidation of the Abe administration of Japan, the sole participant in the G8 from Asia. This neo-conservative politician, Shinzo Abe, is in the midst of pushing neo-liberalist reforms and fortification of the security-state in Japan, while persisting in sending troops to Iraq as a simple-minded follower of the US strategy for reinforcing its global military rule. At the same time, Abe’s main objective is to amend Japan’s constitution in order to complete the long-lasting ambitions of imperialist Japan. Thus, to thwart the ambitions of the Abe administration is no longer a concern of Japan alone, but a must for the struggle against the neo-liberalist expansion and militarization in the entire Asian region. Our objective to terminate G8 is inseparable from these imminent tasks.

The summit is approaching and the German police are intensifying their crackdown against opposition movements. On May 4th, the police conducted searches of about forty movement offices and made some arrests. The anti-democratic nature of the G8 was thereby exposed. We strongly protest these acts of the German police.

Finally we appeal for your participation in the project of No! G8 Japan, that will take place in July 2008 in Doya Lake, Hokkaido. This year we came to G8 2007 Germany for the sake of solidarity and development of collaborative relationships. Hereafter our hope is to develop a network of movements beyond the East-West division, toward the struggle in 2008 Japan.
==============================
* An antiauthoritarian anticapitalist initiative
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