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  • Hokkaido Shinbun: Hokkaido Police report 15 requests for demos, grant permission for one

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on July 7th, 2008

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    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
    http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/cont/g8summit_news/32907.html

    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.
    ENDS

    5 Responses to “Hokkaido Shinbun: Hokkaido Police report 15 requests for demos, grant permission for one”

    1. DM Says:

      people must request government permission in order to oppose the government

    2. scott lucas Says:

      A democracy? Mmmmm…….Freedom of speech? Freedom to air your views peacefully? 15 requests to demonstrate should mean 15 approvals. I mean, it sounds like the authorities have got more than enough police deployed to deal with any problems, anyway.

      On a related note, if you want to collect signatures in a public area, first you have to apply to the police station with your request. Once it is approved you have to cough up 2000 yen and then are only allowed to do it for 3 hours. Great, eh?

      And I’m not sure if I believe the story in the news about the Reuters Press members arrested for kicking policemen in the days leading up to the Summit. Anybody fill me in on the details of this one? Cheers.

    3. Paul Arenson Says:

      Japan Times: What are their priorities?

      Ok, this is my concern. The repression by the police and immigration authorities is nothing surprising. Govts have been using the supposed threat of terrorism for a long time, and especially after 9-11, as an excuse to limit freedom of speech. And too intimidate.

      Nothing new here. And while the Japan Times has always taken a decidedly bolder step on a number of domestic issues (MAD COW, FOR ONE, SEE BELOW), they have been an enigma as well (THEIR INVOLVEMENT via SEVERAL EDITORS, SUCH AS BRAD GLASSERMAN WITH CSIS, A CIA-RELATED ORGANIZATION IS AN EXAMPLE).

      With the G8, I found it curious that while they give voice to complaints about overzelousness by the police, they have mostly had wire service reports, very short. And nothing in them indicates why anybody would want to protest the G-8 or neoliberalism in general.

      Maybe too much to be expected. And the fact that they do not publish my letters (2 so far) on this subject (nor any really that detail why anyone would be protesting) makes me wonder if they have their own aganda, which is to appear to be more independent, but only up to a point and not allow any reasoned discussion of the issues.

      The net effect is to leave the uninformed reader thinking that maybe these people coming or at least protesting heavyhanded attacks are soft on terrrorism, or perhaps ARE no more than violent hooligans. In fact one or two recent letters attack Debito and the critics have implied just as much.

      In my last letter below, I also undertline some of the reasons for the protests. I do this because while the mainstream and wire services are bad, much of the anti-globalization websites are not much better. They detail the harrassment by the authorities, but do little to reach those who may be inclined to question the neoliberal agenda yet need more of an understanding of what is wrong with these meetinfgs of the Elite.

      So you will find some references in my letter to some of the sites of those involved in the G8 protests.

      UNPUBLISHED (SO FAR) LETTER TO THE JT

      July 4

      It is undoubtedly true that the Japan Times’s coverage of the G8 Summit is superior to that of the other news media. Only you give voice to the concerns raised over the heavy-handed security, which has already seen entry denied to some non mainstream journalists and activists and has served to intimidate counter-G8 activists from exercising their democratic rights.

      As well, you do occasionally carry an article critical of the posturing by G8 leaders, such as ” NGOs worried Africa will get short shrift” in the July 4 issue.

      All in all, however, your G8 coverage tends to stick closely to the scripted comments of government leaders and only the most mainstream NGOs. What is missing are the voices of those who are critical of the summit itself. Dozens of international and local GROUPS are attempting to gather near the summit venue and around Japan in order to address the inequalities imposed by the neoliberalism of the G8 economies on the rest of the world. These include drastic reductions in social welfare, the growth of the working poor, food
      safety held hostage to free trade agreements and pro agro-business policies, wars fought for oil and drastic attacks on civil liberties with post-9-11 hysteria being used to justify increased police surveillance in the US and Japan.

      A glance at any of the counter-G8 summit websites will reveal dozens of multi-issue groups, from those representing the homeless of Sanya to people concerned with the possible loss of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, to
      those who seek dept cancellation. Representatives of these groups have been most affected by the extreme “security” measures. Your lack of coverage only serves to aid and abet the overzealous authorities in silencing their voices,
      which is certainly not becoming for a newspaper which claims to print all the news “without fear or favor”.

      Sincerely

      Paul Arenson

      PS
      BELOW IS NOT PART OF LETTER BUT FOR YOUR REFERENCE. AS A NEWS GATHERING
      ORGANIZATION YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF IT, BUT JUST IN CASE, HERE IT IS:

      ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN COUNTER C8 ACTIVITIES WHICH YOU FOR THE MOST PART
      HAVE IGNORED
      http://www.jca.apc.org/alt-g8/en/node/22

      ALTERNATIVE MEDIA COVERAGE (NOT SEEN BY MOST JAPAN TIMES READERS)
      http://news.g8medianetwork.org/
      http://www.news.janjan.jp/special/g8/

      HIMAN RIGHTS ISSUES OF POLICE IMMIGRATION
      http://www.news.janjan.jp/special/g8/

      WATCH (Watch Human Rights on Summit)
      Network of Lawyers observing Human Rights around the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit
      2008
      Source
      http://watch08summit.blogspot.com/2008/06/immigration-hotline.html

      WATCH (Watch Human Rights on Summit)
      Network of Lawyers observing Human Rights around the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit

      —————-END OF LETTER—-

      REF–>
      MAD COW ISSUE (REF TO JAPAN TIMES)
      http://japan.indymedia.org/newswire/display/4507/index.php

      OPEN LETTER TO FUKUDA ON CRIMINLIZATION OF DISSENT
      http://japan.indymedia.org/newswire/display/4589/index.php

      G8 ACTION TIMELINE
      POSTED BY ACTIVISTS ON THE SPOT
      https://rootless.org/timeline/

      SUMMIT NEWS LIVE
      http://www.ourplanet-tv.org/

    4. sod Says:

      i cant remember the police being the government or from reading the original article that 14 out of the original 15 were refused only that they are being considered. i sometime wish people would read to the end before jumping the gun and writing rubbish.Also the G8 summit protests in the past aint been that peaceful so i could see why the police might not let all of them take place.im all for ‘peaceful public assembly and protest’ but the bigger issue’s ‘are increasingly being subverted for the sake of’ a good fight with the police.

    5. feffey Says:

      I wonder if 15 demonstration requests were submitted by the ultranationalists to the police, how many of them would be declined. Working near the Diet in Tokyo, I can tell you that if they policed these soundtruck blaring idiots at the same rate as the G8 protesters, I’d be a happy man. Mind you, that would imply that the police weren’t already in bed somehow, someway with the uyoku…

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