Japan: Ainu march on G8 summit

In the concluding event of ten days of anti-G8 protests, hundreds of activists from protest camps established in the area of the summit marched in a demonstration organized by the Ainu, the disenfranchised indigenous people of Hokkaido Island. The march was surrounded by several rows of police the entire time. Protesters held signs in English and Japanese reading “No G8” and “Japan is a police state.” (Media G8way, July 9)

The New York Times confirmed that at a July 8 march of some 200 at the Hokkaido fishing town of Date, demonstrators “quickly found themselves outnumbered by the police, who formed a moving cordon around them.” (NYT, July 9)

In another escalation of the general crackdown on Japan’s grassroots left which has occasioned the G8 summit, police in Tokyo raided the offices of the Dora Chiba Rail Union July 4. One unionist who asked to examine the warrant, he was wrestled to the ground and arrested. (International Labor Solidarity Committee of Doro-Chiba, July 5)

See our last post on Japan.

  1. G8 2008: futile rethoric on climate
    From Friends of the Earth International, July 8:

    G8 Banks on Massive Global Climate Pollution
    HOKKAIDO — Reacting to the statement released today by the G8 in Hokkaido, Friends of the Earth spokesperson Karen Orenstein said:

    “G8 leaders today signaled their support for climate chaos by spewing futile rhetoric that will do nothing to stop the toll that global warming is taking on people and the planet.

    By giving support to the World Bank, the world’s largest multilateral fossil fuel financier and major deforester, for its ill-conceived and unjust climate funds, G8 leaders have left the fox to guard the hen house.

    The climate funds undermine United Nations climate negotiations, promote dirty industries like coal and force developing countries to pay for the industrialized world’s pollution by providing loans for them to adapt to the climate crisis. The World Bank is a spectacularly unqualified institution to address climate change, and the G8 summit has been a spectacular failure in addressing the climate emergency.

    The G8 countries’ agreed long-term global goal is totally inadequate and they have failed to commit to mid-term targets. Their demands for developing countries to agree to binding commitments show total disregard for their own responsibilities towards the rest of the world.”

    See our last post on global climate destabilization.