Police Officers trying to stop the forward movement of the crowd of protesters. = July 6 at night in Nagata City. Photo by Miyako Suwa
The control of Police was very severe. Police Officers checked people who tried to go in the direction of the PM's Office on the sidewalk 200 meters from the office. I showed my press card and explained that i'm registered at the official residence's press conference, the police verified at police station under the jurisdiction by radio. After passing three police check points, i finally arrived at the meeting area in front of the PM's Office. I wonder what would have happened if i didn't had my press card? For the photo-journalist Naomi Tomita it was the same thing. The protest against the restart of nuclear in front of PM's Office which is held on every friday (Promoted by Metropolitan Coalition Against Nukes) became an usual event. On July 6 the meeting started in a more intense atmosphere.The police tried to make people not to stay on the roadway like during the last meeting on June 29 and completely controlled the movement of people. They didn't let protesters who got out of the subway use the exit in front of the parliament of Tokyo Metro Station near PM's Office. They made them get out from the exit which is closer to Kasumigaseki. Police also prevented protesters to get out from the frame made with poles and bars every 20-30meters. The frame was filled with protesters who came from all over Japan. Two couples from Miyazaki Prefecture said with flushed cheeks: "We saw the footage of the meeting of June 29 on internet and we were unable to contain ourselves so we came to change History". As more circles of protesters spread all over Japan, there's more National Diet members who participate to the protest. Today we could see Shizuka Kamei, the Former Chief of People's New Party in addition to the regular participants Mizuho Fukushima, SDP Chief, and Yukiko Miyake (Secessionist from The Democratic Party). Shizuka Kamei, in his LDP times, was the big figure holding prominent positions such as Minister and he was the leader of his own faction. Politics must have reached a turning point.
"The Nuclear Accident is the revenge of civilization. If it continues like this, it will be a terrible mess…" said Mr.Kamei with his particular thick voice. The promotor seems welcome for more politicians to participate to the protest. One of the promoters, named Red Wolf (a pseudonym), shows his confidence: "when the protesters became more than 10 000 people, the politicians started to move. I have the actual feeling of making moving politics". The speech spot is the closest place to PM's Office. National Diet members and people shared their opinions with 2 or 3 minutes allowed to each.
Yasuo Tanaka, a Lower House member. Before March 11, he was telling: "If you want to make nuclear power plants that much, build it under the National Diet Building". = In front of PM's Office : Photo by Ryusaku Tanaka
At the last protest, around 7pm passed, the control line on the sidewalk was collapsed and the roadway filled with people. On July 6, the control of police was so severe that after 7pm, people still stayed making a line on the sidewalk shouting "Opposed to restart the nuclear power plant". But the time when i started to think "maybe the protest will finish silently today", someone cried out, "It's collapsed!" beyond the sound of rain. I started to run towards the roadway. It was filled with people. "Opposed to restart nuclear power plant!" and people advanced in the direction of PM's Office. The police unit set up a double picket but the pressure from the 10 000 people's forward movement pushed it. Police and also protesters looked like demons. On the next breath there were about ten riot police vehicles blocking the front entrance of the PM's Office.
The guide staffs of the promoter set up a picket far away from the PM's Office. It's the voluntary measures to prevent protesters to become violent. Is it possible for amateurs to stop something a professional police unit can't stop? At 7:38pm a plain-closes officer asked one of the promoters for the breakup. "If you ask for breakup to the protesters who are around the speech spot, everybody will breakup". The promoter answered: "We have set up a protect line far from PM's Office". A leader of plain-closes officer strongly shook his head. "We want to continue". "No, you have to breakup". There was a repeated argument between the promoter and the police for a moment. Ten minutes later, the promoter announced the breakup of the protest. "We can't continue our meeting anymore in this chaotic stuation. We have to ask the breakup". The voice over the loudspeaker had enough force to convict people. Someone shouted "Don't stop!" from the sidewalk next to the conference hall but as announced by the promoter, the protest was adjourned. "Oppose to restart the nuclear power plant!, Opposed to restart nuclear power plant! …"The voice of the promoter holding back the frustration echoed in the rainy sky. Protesters started to walk towards the entrance of the subway.
Courtesy : Ryusaku Tanaka & Miyako Suwa