Press Release July 9th 2008
Today, in the concluding event of ten days of G8 protests, hundreds of activists
from three protest camps marched in a demonstration organized by the Ainu, a
disenfranchised indigenous population of Hokkaido, the island where the G8
summit is being held. The march was surrounded by several rows of police the
entire time. Protesters were holding signs in English and Japanese saying “No
G8”, and “Japan is a police state”.
“The Japanese government’s policies towards the Ainu are symbolic of the G8’s
policies of dominance and oppression throughout the world”, said Japanese
“At some point, my friend and I, frustrated with the police, went across the
street where there was a sign welcoming participants to the G8 summit. We
started breaking and tearing it,” says Jone, a US activist. “Police held us and
tried to arrest us, but other demonstrators came to help and manged to take us
away from the police.”
At 16:00, the following statement, made by international activists from Toyoura
camp, was made public in a press conference:
„Three of our friends were arrested on July 5th and have been in state custody
for four days. The Japanese criminal justice system allows for inhumane
treatment of prisoners. Those detained can be held for 23 days without
prosecution, and their families harassed. Furthermore, the Japanese legal
system imposes collective punishment; organizers can be punished for activities
that others did. Within jail, prisoners` physical movements are greatly
restricted: they must ask permission to lie down, sit up, etc. In many other
countries, this treatment would be considered torture.
The only way for the eight heads of state to maintain their undemocratic and
unaccountable control over the world`s six billion people is through force. The
oppressive policies of the Japanese state clearly illustrate this.
We call on people around the world to show solidarity with the three anti-G8
Japanese prisoners. Demonstrate in front of your Japanese embassies. Help fund
legal suppport for the prisoners. Come next year to protest the G8 in Italy, to
make sure oppression does not silence our voices“.