On the 1st of May 2008, a day of solidarity for all workers and precariats on this planet against capitalism, Japanese police suppressed a small, rightful and peaceful demonstration in Fukuoka City, Japan.
The Mayday action was planned to amplify the voices of workers and precariats resisting against the escalating degradation of life and work in the global neo-liberalist current, and reclaim public space and freedom of speech and expression against the order created and forced by capitalist states (the Japanese government have, for example, been suppressing the mere act of posting flyers carrying antiwar messages). And it was planned as a part of "chain explosions" of Mayday action organized by many independent local labor unions and other groups of affiliation throughout Japan.
As the demonstration march of about 50 people(!) was departing from the park which was an assembly point, an overwhelming number of police appeared from behind the nearest building and blocked the marchers. The reason was "a possible breach of road traffic law" and the fact that the march hadn't got "permission".
When we plan a demonstration to use car-roads, we usually get permission from the police for a temporal usage of road because we basically accept (maybe somewhat reluctantly) the idea that the traffic control by the police can make a rally safe and also because we do not want anyone to be exposed to the possible risk of arrest. This time, for our Mayday action, however, we planned to use sidewalks and arcades for peaceful expression, just carrying some flags and drums.
We argued with the police blocking us that what they were doing to stop the peaceful rally was nothing but unconstitutional and explained to the wall of idiots that our form of rally and planned expression was not going to disturb "general traffic order" (for which they blocked us... though the number of police surrounding the small group was obviously more disturbing). They just repeated to us arbitrary and false explanations that any demonstration in whatever form should get permission and went even further to insist that the march would not be accepted because we were "probably" going to disturb some traffic order. As long as they could not give us a single justifiable reason, what they were basically insisting was that the right of speech and expression itself should be “permitted” by the police.
We decided to turn back to the park before anybody could become arrested and then we were confined to the park for hours and the planned march to appeal to the citizens and workers in the city had to become a protest against the stupidity of police. Surrounded by the wall of police, we protested, beat the drums, danced, drank, slept, spewed fire, made friends and shared our feelings of anger and frustration against the police. The party went on and the park was caught by a fresh breeze of freedom.
Maybe this is a small suppression in a small city, but it surely is one of the many attacks from the general will of the capitalist states against us precariat. Don’t worry my friend, we shall come back to the streets. Precariat will prevail!
2008/5/3 Freeter Union Fukuoka
Freeter Union Fukuoka is a local independent labor/survival union, designed especially for casual laborers and young people called "freeters" or "precariat". Based in Fukuoka city, Japan.
Some pictures from the day (Japanese)