Saturday, November 01, 2008

The following item is from the Asian Anarchist Network. It has been slightly edited for reasons of English grammar.
3 arrested on the way to the PMs 62 mil dollars house‏:
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3 Arrested on the Way to the PM's 62 Million Dollars House

(26th October in Tokyo)

On Sunday afternoon of the 26th October, 3 comrades were arrested on the busy commercial street of Shibuya in Tokyo. At the time of arrest, they were walking down on the sidewalk along with some 50 others as a part of the Reality Tour heading for a mansion owned by the super-rich Prime Minister Tarou Asou who is from a family of coal-mining magnates/conglomerate and a grandson of famous conservative Prime Minister in 1950s. In the early20th century, the Asou coal mine had a number of labour disputes including cases fought by former colonial Korean labourers.

The Reality Tour was organised as a part of Anti-War and Resistance Festa in which anti-war activists as well as independent unionists of the freeters/working poor/precariate were involved. The tour intended to see the reality of the other side of the disparity: the PM's luxurious housing estimated at 6.2 billion yen (US$ 62 million) for the land itself. His house stands in the centre of Tokyo, about 15 minutes' walk from Shibuya Station, and the Reality Tour was simply designed to take a walk on the public road from the station to the Asou mansion. It should have been no problem at all for people just passing by his magnificent house.

At the meeting point in front of the Shibuya Station, which the organisers publicly announced beforehand, the police stood-by and talked to the organiser that they "allowed" us to go through the street around the house of Asou whose vicinity was designated under the special security. After few blocks walked by the tour , however, a group of plainclothes police rushed at a person who was on the sidewalk and grabbed him by shouting "Obstructing official duties! Obstructing official duties!" In attempting to take the guy back,two others were arrested.

Following the incident, corporate media covered the story in duplication of the police announcement: 3 were arrested allegedly because of their 'violent' or 'brutal' interfering with the police in execution of their duties.

As a way of fighting back against the police as well as educating the corporate media, the Freeters' Union held a press conference and gave an account that the police lawlessly blocked and arrested 3 persons on the sidewalk and that the Reality Tour ended up in displaying the police brutality which protected the ruling class from the working poor. A number of footage on the unlawful arrest has been uploaded on the Internet by media activists.

Upon the arrest, a jail solidarity collective called Asou-Q has been formed and actively worked on whatever we can. At the time of writing, all the 3 are still in custody but they have kept in high spirit. In order to support our comrades, send us your solidarity message

For more details, visit at

*Related links

Footage of the arrest

Newswire (English) 2008

We just got this news from an anti-G8 activist:

Protest against O26 repression

3 comrades were arrested yesterday 26th Oct in a walking-tour just to see the reality of a mansion owned by super-rich prime-minister Tarou Asou who is a son of conglomerate owner

[video] shows the situation of police conspiring just befor the arrest.

This 'reality tour' in which people intend to see the reality of the super-rich housing just by walking around the mansion owned by the current prime minister Tarou Asou who is a son of a conglomerate family, was a preliminary event for the coming Anti-war and Resistance Festa which will be held in 29th & 30th Nov.

Yesterday 26th, after a small protest gathering in front of the railway station. 50 people took a walking way to the mansion without any signs or banners , without even any loudspeakers. 3 were arrested allegedly because of their 'violent' or 'brutal' interfering with policemen in the execution of their duties according to every mainstream media last night. However, every report was based on the 'official' announcement made by the police. True brutality was committed by the police just after the walking started. The whole situations recorded by 3 or more our still and video cameras.

Today 27th Oct 1 pm a press conference will be held at the Freeter's Union Office in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Ask for more information.

............................... is an update on the situation that Molly just received today.

3 Arrested on the Way to the PM's 62 Million Dollars House (Tokyo):‏
Here is the update situation of the arrest of 3 activists in Tokyo. The three are still in custody.
Now the footage of arrest with English subtitles is available at YouTube.(To see the subtitles, turn on the caption by clicking button on the bottom-right of player.)
Prime Minister Asou's House tour Arrests
"wanna see PM house? yeah no problem!"Say Police
"Show your face, Aso!! "
'Reality Tour' Solidarity Group
On October 26th, '"Reality Tour 2" What is 6,200,000,000 Yen like? Let's go and see the Prime minister Aso's House' was held as a pre-event to the Anti-war and Resistance Festa happening at November 29th & 30th.
During this event, 3 of the tour participants were arrested and are now still hold in police custody.
We are making it clear that these arrests are unlawful and denouncing Public Safety Bureau of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and Shibuya police for taking away our comrades.
*Why a 'reality tour'
We did a reality tour to the 'rip off mansion' of a temp agency president and this was another version of it where we decided to go and see the Aso Taro's mansion which is said to cost 6,200,000,000 just for the land. There has been some press coverage on the Prime minister's sense of money recently,and we wondered what kind of life he has, as he is responsible for resolving the poverty and wealth gap. However, this tour "had" to be broken up by police.
*How the unlawful arrest happened
At 3pm, the Chief of security department of the Shibuya police said to us "If you want to go to the Prime minister's house by walking , that's fine",and "you can go and see the house in groups of 5 to 6 people in each turn" when we were gathering in front of Shibuya train station. We did some announcements of the tour for 30 or 40minutes, then about 50 of us started to walk.We held our signs and balloons, and we never used our speakers just as police told us to do.
Only 5 minutes later, when we were reaching Dogen Zaka Street one of our comrades who were holding a sign to show the way to other participants was held by his arm and wrestled to the ground by police. Police officers stared to get a full nelson on another 2 participant with the cue saying"go!go! It's KOBO (Short term for "interfering with policemen in the execution of their duties") It's KOBO!" and then they took away the 3.
On the news report they say the police gave us warnings many times but there weren't any except when we started walking. The reason for the arrest of the 3 given by police are "breaching public safety ordinance" and"interfering with policemen in the execution of their duties" but it's all clear in recorded film that there were no such acts.There is no evidence that the tour participants engaged in violence.
* Custody Visiting blocked and unlawful 10 days detention
Later on the same day, we went to Shibuya Police station to denounce the unlawful arrest and demand custody visiting and to take necessities (food, cloth, toothbrush etc) to the 3. But police did not let us meet the 3. Also even when the solicitor/lawyer arrived at 5pm police didn't let him visit the arrestees and blocked the visiting of the solicitor for 2 hours. It was only after 7pm that the solicitor could go in to visit the arrestees and the necessities were handed to our comrades. Later on the 28th, it was decided that the 3 were to be held for another 10 days and custody visiting by non-solicitors were banned. Police didn't only unjustly repress us but also openly infringed on arrestee's legal rights by blocking the custody visiting and holding the 3 unlawfully.
We can never condone this outrageousness. Since when do we have no right to walk the pavement? Who made the police guard us in large excess when we were only walking the pavement? Who told the press false information and trying to pin a crime on the innocent 3?
Police always do this, make their first move and make us take the blame. The police, fearing people are going to "see" the prime minister's house, never hesitate to trample on our comrades' freedom and lives.The police protect Aso. Then we will protect ourselves.
We say this with rage!
Release our 3 comrades immediately!
Apologize for the unlawful arrest!
Taro Aso, take the responsibility for your lack of supervision!
October 29th
Show your face,Aso!!
'reality tour' Solidarity Group
NOTE: The Tokyo Public safety ordinance is unconstitutional as the constitution says in Article 21 "Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed." But even this ordinance should not give the police or other public servants the power to ban or censor any political publications or signs or gatherings other than a march or demonstration.
As the Arrest Solidarity group,we strongly protest to this repression and demand the immediate release of the 3 arrestees. Please support our statement.
If you or your organization decide to support us send an email to as follows
"I Support the statement of Show your face,Aso!! 'reality tour' Solidarity Group"
Title: (if you have one and don't mind letting us know. It can be work industry,organization name, or anything you do.)
Place you are living: (county,city or other)
Name of organization:
Where it is based:
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