J protesters of “The Cove” lose injunction in Yokohama District Court, cannot stop screenings, so they target people’s homes for intimidation
Posted by debito on July 2nd, 2010
Hi Blog. News re “The Cove” documentary: The Japanese judiciary last week ruled that protestors are out of line by protesting at movie theaters and trying to stop the showing of the film. So the bully boys are practicing their sound-trucking tactics at people’s homes, pressuring their families and neighbors to get them to stop screenings.
We’ve had one critic on this blog call this “good old fashioned activism“, but we for one during the Otaru Onsens Case (or any case we’ve taken up) have never gone to “Japanese Only” business-owners’ homes with megaphones, harassed their mothers, or made a scene in front of their neighbors. Our tactics were raising the debate in the media, negotiating with decisionmakers and people involved, and taking the issue before intermediaries. All above board. That proved very time-consuming and often ineffectual outside of a courtroom (and even then). Is this intimidation and bullying the best “activism” in Japan? Perhaps effective, it’s just not our style. And if we had used these tactics, I’m sure they would have engendered great criticism and damaged our cause. But some shame-practitioners are shameless themselves. As are some critics, it seems. Read on. Arudou Debito in Sapporo
Court bans protests over documentary ‘The Cove’
(Mainichi Japan) June 25, 2010
YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) — The Yokohama District Court has banned a Tokyo civic group from staging protests around a movie theater in Yokohama that plans to screen the Oscar-winning U.S. documentary “The Cove” about a controversial dolphin hunt in Japan, its Japanese distributor said Friday.
The court decision on the injunction Thursday prohibits making loud speeches within a 100-meter radius of the movie theater and entering the movie theater without permission, the distributor Unplugged Inc. said.
As the movie theater is planning to screen the film from July 3, scores of people from the Tokyo group staged street protests around the theater on June 12. The theater applied to the court for an injunction to ban such protests.
The theater said it will show the movie as scheduled. The film, which was mostly shot in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, partly with hidden cameras, won the 2010 Academy Award for best documentary.
“The Cove” has drawn criticisms from some Japanese groups who claim that it is anti-Japanese. They have been intimidating theaters planning to show the film, leading three of the theaters in Tokyo and Osaka as well as universities in Tokyo to cancel the screenings.
The film will be screened at six movie theaters in Tokyo and five other Japanese cities from July 3, despite protests that caused earlier screenings to be canceled, the distributor said earlier.
The five other cities where the film will be screened are Osaka, Sendai, Yokohama, Kyoto and Hachinohe in Aomori Prefecture. They will be followed by cinemas in 16 other locations across Japan, including Hiroshima, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Okinawa.
(Mainichi Japan) June 25, 2010
2010/06/25 14:02 【共同通信】
Subject: Successes and Setbacks
Date: July 1, 2010 12:18:05 PM JST
Bulletin from the cause: “The Cove” – Save Japan Dolphins
Posted By: Fonda Berosini
To: Members in “The Cove” – Save Japan Dolphins
Successes and Setbacks
Last week we had some important successes in Japan – several theater owners came forward and committed to show the film and we also won a key injunction in a Yokohama court against the group protesting the film. Unfortunately, the “protestors” are ramping up, employing their worst tactics to date.
This week they moved to the Yokohoma theater owner’s home, and when that didn’t work they moved on to his mother’s home:
As you can see, the woman is elderly. She has nothing to do with the distribution of the film. This is intimidation of the lowest order.
We tried to engage or critics – inviting them to participate in open forums, but they refused. Rather than discuss the issues they engage in highly aggressive bullying tactics to shut down the film. I personally believe they are being paid to protest and don’t really have a point of view. I don’t even think they care about Taiji. There only goal is to keep people from knowing the truth, no matter what it takes.
To this end it’s clear they – and whoever is funding them – aren’t giving up and our Japanese distributor is small with a very limited budget. Earth Island has been helping with promotion and security, but much more will be needed if we want to expand beyond these six theaters. We have 17 theaters on hold right now.
Save Japan Dolphins