Preliminary information on the repression in Osaka

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Sep 30 2006 06:04
Preliminary information on the repression in Osaka

抗議声明の英語版です。役に立てる者への転送をよろしくお願いします。

From: Mr. Nakagiri of the Nagai comrades organization/Kamagasaki patrol

Yesterday, five of our comrades were arrested. It is clear that the
motives of the authorities are to crush our movement. We have held two
rushed solidarity meetings and have drawn up a letter of protest. Some of
the media has been reporting the case based on nothing but slander, so
please read the information here. If there are any unclear points, please
contact the Kamagasaki Iryou-ren, listed below, or directly to myself,
Nakagiri.
With the lure of the world games and political summits, this may be a step
towards simultaneous evictions across the city. The possibility that
eviction will be thrust upon the squatting and homeless population of Osaka
is high.
We respectfully ask for your cooperation in getting this letter of protest
to Osaka City and to the prefectural police, as well as in contributions
for lawyer and legal fees for our arrested comrades.

Nakagiri Kousuke of the Nagai Comrades organization/Kamagasaki patrol
090-1953-0886 (Some English spoken)

(Please forward the below far and wide)

Letter of Protest

On September 27th at 6 a.m, 4 of our comrades were arrested on warrant by
the Osaka prefectural police, and at 9 p.m. the same day another individual
was arrested.
Mr. Inagaki of the Kamagasaki regional labor union, two people who live at
Nishi-nari park (in southwest Osaka), a comrade who volunteers with the
Nishinari park Yorozu consultation tent and a comrade from the Kamagasaki
patrol have been arrested. The first four are held on two counts of
"violent interference in city affairs" and "violations related to violent
activity". Details regarding the arrest of the Kamagasaki patrol comrade
are not yet known.
On this same day we organized a "September 27th repression emergency aid
meeting", in which we gathered and discussed the situation among
squatter/homeless organizations, aid organizations, workers' unions that
have fought alongside us, and others. In the emergency aid meeting, we
clarified that this latest repression is "part and parcel of the eviction
of Nishi-nari park and other parks, and is a pre-meditated attempt to crush
the squatters and homeless movement."
We hereby strengthen our conviction to continue to fight together with our
squatting and homeless comrades who have combated poverty and eviction in a
struggle for survival and the protection of their human dignity.
Therefore, we will by no means stand by and permit the actions of Osaka
city and the prefectural police, who have laid bear their inhumanity in the
pursuit of an obvious attack on this social movement. We will win the
return of our five comrades and push our movement forward.

**********
Mr. Inagaki had involved himself in regular police monitoring activities
around the Shiomibashi area (Osaka Naniwa-ward) in order to prevent police
harassment during Osaka city's regular 'cleaning', which requires squatters
to disassemble their huts temporarily to allow city workers to clean the
area. During the cleaning on April 27th, Mr. Inagaki protested against a
city worker (from the Osaka city construction office) filming people
without a permit. This is the city's "violent interference in city
affairs" and "violations related to violent activity" and the city's claims
that the city worker's wrist was grabbed and that he was punched in the
chest have no basis in reality.
Mr. Inagaki has been denouncing the continual violence against workers in
Kamagasaki by the Nishi-nari police force for several years. He has
recently been actively involved in exposing the Airin hiring hall and had
petitioned against Osaka city's placement of eviction placards of tents at
Shiomibashi to the Osaka city lawyers guild. This resulted in mediation
between the lawyers' guild and the city; in this way the present repression
can be seen as retaliatory against the series of struggles that he is
involved in.
The other alleged incident happened on June 12th amidst the defense (and
offense) against an eviction at Nishi-nari park. A homeless person who had
been recently evicted from a neighborhood park was received at Nishi-nari
park and a new hut was being built. When he was evicted, Osaka city did
not propose an alternative living location and only recommended that the
occupant enter the truly hopeless "independence aid center". Workers in
Nishi-nari had told this comrade, who had lost his home, "just come to the
park, we'll help you". In order to help him survive against these
eviction threats and to protect the housing of everyone living at
Nishi-nari, the occupants of the park welcomed a new tenant. However,
Osaka city came to stop this claiming that "We will not permit the building
of a new tent". There was a protest action against the park office
workers who had come to deliver "the notices of eviction" (at Osaka city's
Yutori to Midori promotions department).

The three people arrested at Nishi-nari park, Mr. Inagaki and the member
of the Kamagasaki patrol have been involved in anti-eviction activities for
many years. Last summer, as an eviction crisis approached at Nishi-nari
park, these comrades fought together against the evictions of Utsubo and
Osaka-jo castle park.

**********
At the emergency aid meeting, we saw that Osaka city was once again
threatening evictions. For that purpose, these 5 people were arrested in
pre-meditated repression.
This is not just about Nishi-nari park; next year, the World Championships
in Athletics will be held and in 2008 a 'designated administrator policy'
will be introduced at Nagai park (privatization). Osaka-jo Castle Park is
now a candidate location for the 2008 G8 summit in Japan and the city is
trying to advance a synthetic tourist-ization of the whole city at
Nakanoshima park; thus the threat of eviction looms.
Osaka city is now progressing its "economic revival" under the name of
"administrative reforms". We now feel the powerful will of Osaka city to
thoroughly evict squatters and their blue tents, the homeless etc. and to
view movements that would support these comrades as "obstructions". We
strongly object to the social conditions in which for the "reforms" and
"economy" of the rich, homeless people, squatting workers, and the poor
generally face eviction.
We will continue to support our arrested comrades and fight poverty and
eviction. We hope for your continued attention and assistance.

September 28th, 2006
September 27th repression emergency aid organization
Contact information: NPO Kamagasaki Iryou-ren
(TEL/FAX 06-6647-8278 E-Mail:iryouren@air.ocn.ne.jp

**********

【A request】
●5 of our arrested comrades are charged with three offenses and at our
emergency aid meeting, lawyer and legal fees were insufficient. We have
no choice but to humbly request aid from those concerned with the
situation.

Donation information
Post office bank account number 00940-5-79726 (Account holder: Kamagaski
Iryou Renranku Kaigi)
Please write in the correspondence column 'September 27th repression
emergency aid organization'

●We request phone calls and faxes of protest to the following numbers.
Osaka City management office              06-6208-9720 
Osaka City promotions office management section, general affairs 
TEL06-6615-0614 FAX06-6615-0659
Osaka city construction department management section, road policy division
        06-6615-6675
Osaka city citizen department
Consultation division         TEL:06-6208-7333 FAX:06-6206-9999
Osaka prefectural police main department             TEL
06(6943)1234
Nishi-nari police department               06-6648-1234