Hi Blog. In light of all the protests happening in downtown Sapporo (I’ve been nowhere near–was the emcee and press manager for an event yesterday in Niseko), here’s an interesting snippet from the Hokkaido Shinbun about police involvement in “approving demonstrations” (which they do very sparingly, it seems).
Yes, the Japanese police must approve a demonstration. So must the shopkeeps if you’re going through any space where their business might be affected. More on this in a Japan Times article I wrote in 2003 here.
Final thought: The police, according to a friend, have been hiring lawyers for several weeks now to prepare and serve injunctions against any demonstrations they have NOT approved.
All part of the emerging new world order where Constitutional protections for peaceful public assembly and protest are increasingly being subverted for the sake of “keeping order”. Historically, that often produces exactly the opposite effect…
Arudou Debito in Sapporo
Hokkaido Police report 15 requests to demonstrate
Hokkaido Shinbun July 2, 2008
The Hokkaido Prefectural Police have announced that 15 requests to hold demonstrations related to the Hokkaido Toyako Summit were made up to July 1.
According to the police, applications to hold a total of ten demos in Sapporo were lodged from June 2 to 8, and five around Iburi Subprefecture’s Toyako Town were applied for between June 6 and 9. The Hokkaido Public Safety Commission has granted permission for one of them, to be conducted in Sapporo on July 2. The other approaches are now under consideration.
Among the requests, a Sapporo demo on the afternoon of July 5 with approximately 8,000 participants is the largest plan to date. Of the others, the police are considering applications for a demonstration of around 300 participants and 13 events with less than 200 demonstrators.