The Anti-Nuke-Demo on May 7th in Shibuya, Tokyo, with more than 10.000 people participating, launched a huge discussion about the police system in Japan.

The issue is, that the police has actually a hard time to take control over all those masses of people, since they are not used to it. Rallies of that size did not occur in Japan since the 1970s. And the laws for holding demonstrations in Tokyo are really strict; i.e. the police has to make sure that the traffic is not to be disturbed by a marching rally, which is simply not possible with 10.000 people marching in one of the busiest and over-populated areas in Tokyo.

On May 7th, this paradoxical situation led to a handful of incidents. While the police got more and more aggressive trying to divide the huge amount of people into small, easy-controllable groups of 200 people each, the participating demonstrants had to wait for hours to actually start marching. Several groups of activists got brutally seperated by the police, and other peacefully protesting people got pushed out of the group they were marching in, because the police tried to keep them walking on a single lane within the street, which made it often to narrow for people to walk and act properly.

Eventually, 4 people got arrested because of simple misunderstandings and immoderate reactions of the Shibuya Police Department. Two of them got released on the same day, but the other two are still held back in prison. According to Japanese law, people can be held back in prison for 23 days for no reason, which is truly ridiculous.

Now, people start to understand how unfair this system actually is, and that Japanese people, who want to join street protests in a peaceful and creative way, have to act against those stupid laws.

If you want to get more information about these incidents and backgrounds, please visit this website, where you are also able to help the arrested people with a little donation for their lawyers.

No comments yet.