East Asia Theater
Activists on the NO-G8 e-mail list report that three "citizen reporters" from the Hong Kong alternative website In-media, arriving for the upcoming protests against the Hokkaido G8 summit, have been detained by Japanese authorities at the Tokyo airport. Korean activists from the KCTU trade union federation have also been barred entry by the Japanese government.
Riots erupted in Osaka's Kamagasaki district after a day-laborer was arrested June 12, and reportedly tied to a chair and beaten in police custody. When he was released the next day and told comrades what had happened, a protest of several hundred was held outside the police station. Riot police with body armor and water cannons were mobilized. At least seven were arrested in two nights of clashes. (Infoshop, June 16; UK Indymedia, June 15)
Over 40 people have been arrested in pre-emptive sweeps of left and anarchist groups in Japan ahead of the Hokkaido G8 summit. In the latest arrest, "Kin-chan" from the local anarchist collective Kamagasaki Patrol was detained without charge in Osaka June 10. (Gipfelsoli, Germany, June 13) That same day, 19 officers from the Kyoto Prefecture Security Police raided and searched the office used by the activist groups Rakunan Union, Rakunan Workers Network and Asia Joint Action (Asia Kyodokodo). (Gipfelsoli, June 13) Bloggers on the scene say the northern island of Hokkaido is being saturated with posters and other government propaganda urging citizen vigilance against terrorist activity. (Gipfelsoli, June 8)
More than 18,000 operators of construction machinery in South Korea are set to strike June 16 to press for cheaper fuel and higher pay, joining thousands of truckers who walked off the job last week, effectively shutting down the country's ports. About 14,000 truckers walked off the job June 13 after talks on higher pay and cheaper diesel broke down. The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) also opposes President Lee Myung-bak's privatization and pension plans. Lee, elected by a landslide, has seen his popularity plummet after an unpopular deal to resume imports of US beef—which has also sparked massive protests in Seoul in recent days. (Reuters, June 16)
From Anarchist Black Cross-Osaka via the 325 Collective, June 6:
Anarchist in Kansai area (West Japan) arrested in G8 preparations—Solidarity needed!
Tabi Rounin, better known as 'Rebel_Jill' has been detained by police on minor charges in the run-up to the G8 in Japan, as the police attempt to investigate his international connections and disrupt his revolutionary activities. This is a known tactic of the Japanese political police, see here for a similar case (Comrade 'M') and also see this interview with Tabi.
China's Ministry of Water Resources has dispatched teams to Sichuan, Chongqing, Yunnan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces to prevent dams that were damaged by the devastating earthquake from bursting and endangering the lives of residents. Several dams are believed to be imminently threatened in the key region where the Tibetan plateau meets the Sichuan plain.
Just two days after Beijing's surprise announcement that it would shortly meet with aides to the Dalai Lama, the Chinese Communist party's official mouthpiece hurled fresh invective at the exiled Tibetan leader. The April 27 People's Daily commentary stated: "The Dalai clique have always been masters at games with words and the ideas that they have tossed about truly make the head spin... Those who split the nation are criminals to history." The Dalai Lama's nephew, Khedroob Thondup, a member of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile, dismissed the overture as a "ruse" designed "to deflect pressure and give false assurance to Western leaders." (The Guardian, April 28) A story on the front page of the New York Times business section April 26, "At Trade Show, China's Police Shop for the West's Latest," sported a picture of an armored vehicle on display and contained such gems as: