Statement: Protest against unjustified arrests of torch relay protesters at Mito and Musashino!
We denounce the suppression of the movements against the Olympic and Paralympic Games! Cancel the Olympics immediately!
We are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 1,000 COVID-19 new cases every day in Tokyo under the fourth state of emergency.
The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are slated to start on July 23, under conditions that are truly reckless to play sports. We have been opposing the hosting of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics since long before the start of this pandemic. It’s because the Olympics and Paralympics has been the “Celebration of Exclusion”, rather than the “Celebration of Peace.” The IOC, the Olympic aristocracy, the host city, its government, corporate sponsors, developers, and others, are destroying the lives of people and making their lives more difficult for the benefit of a few. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this clearer than ever.
On March 25, after a year of postponement, with its renewed guise of “Recovery from COVID-19”, the torch relay started from Fukushima J Village. The politics of the Olympics only used “Fukushima” for its own benefit and ignored the reality of Fukushima. The people of Fukushima are furious. Since then, there have been protests in Nagano, Okinawa, Hiroshima, Shizuoka, Kanagawa, Chiba, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, and many other places across the country where the torch visited. The plan to create a festive atmosphere with the torch has failed miserably.
The anger of the people cannot be hidden or contained. On July 4, the Ibaraki Prefectural Police arrested a person who used a toy water gun to spray water on the torch at the Mito torch relay. The police are still unjustly detaining the person for two weeks now. Also, on July 16, a week before the scheduled opening ceremony, one person who protested against the torch ceremony in Musashino City was unjustly arrested for the suspected “forcible obstruction of business”. The both of individuals who were arrested were merely expressing their anger against the Olympics, which are being forced on them while disregarding life.
An unprecedented 60,000 police officers have been mobilized for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Even the Self-Defense Forces were mobilized to provide security for the IOC President Bach when he visited the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. The excessive security and unjustified suppression are the proof of guilt felt by those who are recklessly forcing the Games. We express our anger at the arrest of the two protesters to set warning.
In addition to the torch relay, there have been daily protests; Every Friday, in front of the Organizing Committee, at the “test games” in Sapporo and Tokyo, at the luxury hotel where Bach is staying, in Hiroshima where Bach visited, at the Geihinkan (State Guest House) where the welcome reception was held, in Shinbashi, around the New National Stadium, in front of the Shinjuku Metropolitan Government Office…. We are on the verge of an explosion with anger against the IOC and the Japanese government for holding the Olympics even at the expense of the people.
A-san, one of our friends in the anti-Olympics movement, is also being harassed by the police, and is being subjected to relentless surveillance, stalking, and other human rights violations. In order to suppress those who speak out against the Olympics, the police are taking advantage of the slightest opportunity to thoroughly harass them. We will never tolerate such unreasonable human rights violations!
The Olympics cannot be held without being protected by the police and military. No amount of suppression can contain the protesting voices at the sites of the torch and at the venues of the Olympics. The people in power should keep this in mind. Stop this injustice now!
The Ibaraki Prefectural Police and the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department must release the two persons now!
Shut down the Olympic crackdown!
Extinguish the torch!
Cancel the Olympics and Paralympics!
No Olympics Anywhere
July 19, 2021