Photo of a speech using a giant puppet which was also used to protest with.
My drawing of the puppet
I can not show photos, so I show my drawing of our protest
Somebody says"Ah,the Right Wing".Then screaming people from a park ride. Laughed
Drawing of man who symbolically charges at us to toot his own hoot on the radio
They took us right to the mouth of the station and we took a few stops to this other convergence centre where there were more people who were gonna do demonstrations at 4pm later. Massive trucks everywhere with speakers passing by on the other side of the road shouting "down with the left". Went to eat lunch and they were everywhere. The police was all over the place and blocking parts of the road. Then several meetings began at the convergence centre. I spoke to the leader of the `drifters` union. What was originally a english derived nickname for those who drift from job to jobs at the thousands of chains of cornershops and restaurants has become a real title as there are so many. He tells me that that connection between intellectuals and non-intellectuals and the community is not very strong. Another tells me that the drifters have become highly politicised towards the ultra-right as well as the left because of their economic difficulties in securing rent, starting a family or job security.
A blind man started speaking to me in English and asked for my help with his bag. Said his association was the cannabis association. I asked if he needed help and he grabbed my arm. He planned to join the protest. He was also very vocal. He kept pushing me towards the front. Right behind the car that was leading the protest behind this great banner. There were 200 max of us. We walked surrounded by 200 riot officers and many more police as well as secret police who had been standing outside the convergence centre openly. They gave us room to move, but not room to protest. We took only half of one side of the road. The width of a car. However I quickly understood why. Soon these armoured looking vehicles with speakers came, first 3. Then every 2 minutes a new one. Some supporters with flags on the other side cordoned by police. Then those crazed nationalists with navy mechanic looking clothes. They were few and kept charging at us which the the police kept repelling, but also random members of the public kept trying to hit us.
We turn a corner and an amazingly large group of people on the left within spitting distance shouting at us. 1000 must be. 200 police were kettling them in as they tried to jump over the fence connecting the pavement and the street. Rushing at us. Me with my bushy afro hair tied back in a white t-shirt while everybody else in black has bandanas over their faces, with a blind man holding my arm at the front of the protest made me stand out ridicously and spent half the protest trying to get into the middle. However both the protesters, police and this blind man kept pushing me onwards and it was only until the lady holding the microphone realised the difficulty that she got some people to go in front of me, but only a few.
Riot police kept surrounding attacking individuals then throwing them off. Some would reach the car and try to smash it. Police lines would start to weaken, but the police seemed prepared and seem to have fresh line everytime their line became weak whilst the old line stayed behind to kettle groups. Then another battalion of fascists of 1000 comes round another corner. A car tries to drive through police towards us of which the police surrounds. The fascists and yakuza (who some are often rich and supply money for such protests) point at this bushy hair man at the front of this protest with this chanting blind man holding onto his arm. They say they're gonna kill me. They're gonna kill my mother. They're gonna make sure they know where we live. They're all filming us trying to get our faces constantly. They make signs of slitting our necks with their fingers. They point at their cameras and say "don't worry, we'll find out who you are." They start to chant "kaere, kaere" - "go home" which is incredibly demoralising if you are on eof 200 hearing it from the left, right, back and front in ever growing large numbers. It was becoming defeaning.
Another 1000 of these ultra-nationalists come from both sides as we go down a narrow road for the first time. 1000 fascists at the end too. They're starting to join up behind us and now all around us and in the area between 1000-1500 officers create blockades in and out the backstreets and all around us. The whole time so many guys try to attack us, but the police bear the full brunt of the blows. One guy with 2 huge flags and a towel over his head does a samurai-like charge at us, but that was certainly symbolic because he had a camera and microphone type thing. One thinks he's tooting his own hoot on the radio.
The police were having trouble defending the front. The growing crowd of thousands of fascists are taking all their energy at the back. They keep kettling them which means many are held back, but makes it difficult at the front. The whole time when I think its getting dangerous, I ask the blind man if I can have his stick if the need arises. He says yes. Constant charges by these people. We don't stop chanting. 30 army like vans with speakers everywhere trying to drown the speakers of our one car. The extreme fascists come. Not just the one who just hates Chinese and Koreans, but the ones who hate all foreigners regardless. The "Happinese something whatever party group" comes and chant "Nuke Korea."
We know we can not reach the shrine, so we head to this little park. My mate tells me even he was shocked. There are so many more than last years. We chillout and finish our protest. I look on at this amazing line of cops trying to block 4 roads full of fascists. Then we leave via the back of this road and suddenly the cops are few but there are still some. Then we fight with some fascists. They punch my friends and we beat them up because they are few here. Whatever the cops had done, from here on there was almost nobody.
Nobody is arrested by the way the whole time. Attackers i.e. (who attacked 100s of times) and defenders (this one time). I kinda felt that when I was punching the guy next to all these officers, I wouldn't get arrested even though I could be deported. This seemed different and everybody knew it. This was like a temporary rules dropped war where the police was only thinking to end it all because it was so insane. Kept running back between the fascists and the blind man because he kept walking towards the non police side of us on his own. But this new friend helped me. We shake up a guy who is walking with us as if one of us, photographing us. We harass him to take his film and he laughs like a sadist after when a cycling police came and we leave. Later he comes with a few riot cops and he says we hurt him. We`re like noooo. A few try to take him with us including my friend and says lets have a drink. "Lets play, have a good time" and try to drag him with us. The police man is like "hai,hai hai", "yes, yes, yes" and takes their hands off him realising we're joking with them. Even he can't be bothered and walks the guy away. We're all tired. The french squatter tells me that was the first time in his life he ever wanted more police. To be honest I agreed for that moment in time. I am told to worry a little about the fascists and yakuza because I stood out particularly and they filmed me.
They all go to a punk gig after to talk and listen to bands, but I have an errrand and arrive there too late after to report what it was like. There's nothing on the news here, nothing. Had to search really hard for one article, but many videos of the right-wing did come out after. They were all so violent and mad. So many young.
These protestors have police assigned to them that have only the intent of dealing with activists. Retaliation is a problem here which is why I call the blind man (almost offensively, but not intently) the blind man and not his real name (so my apologies if I casued offence), so as to not to get him in trouble or the others. I will post some more articles on activist activities today. Below is an article and many videos of youtube. Thank you for reading about our Japanese cousins who are few and who lead quite hard activist lives even as simple protesters.
A good article that explains what happen-ish
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7fAjHMZiiY - This is the closest we have to our one of our videos on the web. It is a shortened video of the whole thing with faces blurred to protect us.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Dm1ME8Zxnk&feature=related - The beginning of the end and the horror truly begins. Turning the corner into a hoard of ultra-nationalists on the other side of the road from this camera.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhEvZLJ3U3Y - at 5.42, me and the blind man on the left walking slowly. The right wing made this video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0S_rkPIz29A&feature=related. This right-wing guy has 9 videos recording the event. This is video number 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2Ja75IMafc - another right wing video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLVmHg13QjI - protest earlier I was not at because was taking part in the action. More left-wing video perhaps.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv888NYzvrs - another video from an earlier protest in the day. Violence again and again.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yr7sdDZSDI - another video from the earlier protest