June 18, 2009

June 14 and 15 successive struggle powerfully carried out in Tokyo by 2100 workers and students

June 14 and 15 successive struggle powerfully carried out in Tokyo by 2100 workers and students

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Down with reactionary Aso administration of war and massive unemployment!

Stop repression on Hosei University students by “Violence Punishment Law”!
Reinstate 1047 national railway workers!
Abolish Workers’ Dispatch Law!

 

 On June 14 (Photo Gallery)and 15(Photo Gallery), successive struggle was carried out in Tokyo to denounce the repression on Hosei University students and declared to kick out Aso administration. 2100 workers and students participated on June 14 in a big rally and a powerful street demonstration in Shibuya, downtown Tokyo. The next day, June 15, Hosei University, a “prison university”, was surrounded by 1200 students and also workers who, in spite of workday, took day off to join the struggle. The action was led by the fighting Hosei students who were released after 23 days’ unjust detention without being indicted.

 1200 workers and students surrounded Hosei University on June 15

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 On June 15, the struggle was started by a speech of brother TANAKA Yasuhiro, president of Doro-Chiba (National Railway Motive Power Union of Chiba), in front of the workers and students who gathered in a park adjoining Hosei University. He denounced the university administration and the state power that arrested 110 students and indicted 30 out of them in three years and insisted that the whole Japanese society and the world should know this outrageous and unjust repression. He warned that the rotten and ferocious character of the neo-liberal policy was exposed by the current repression on student movement by the pre-war imperial law (the Law Concerning the Punishment of Physical Violence and Others of 1926) and praised the arrested students who are fighting in detention keeping complete silence during the brutal police interrogation. He closed his speech by calling for solidarity with courageous students and declaring to continue fighting to liberate Hosei University. Demonstration headed for the university.
 What the demonstrators witnessed, when they reached the main gate of the campus, was a besieged university. The campus was totally locked out by the university administration to separate Hosei students from the demonstrators. All gates were closed excepting a narrow and small back door entrance to shut out students from entering the main campus square. Window shades were pulled down in every window to prevent the view. It was lunchtime and there was no student to be seen on campus. Only university staffs and guards were walking round there. On the street in front of the university, a squad of riot police was posted in a great number. In spite of these repressive measures, some students were watching the protesters from the rooftop and sending V-sign message to them. The university under siege indicates how the university administration fears the outburst of t he anger of 30,000 Hosei students who could join the struggle.
A protest rally was held just in front of the university main gate with mounting anger to denounce the university administration. “This is a prison university whose name is Hosei! What’s this barricade for” “In the past three years they have deprived us of everything except one thing. That is our unity.” The angry voices of speakers echoed through the campus.
The second wave of demonstration to surround the university marched on the street chanting, “Liberate Hosei University!” “Fight in unity to win!”

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 Rally and demonstration with 2100 participants in Shibuya on June 14 struggle

 Preceding the struggle on June 15, the National Workers’ Rally was held on June 14 to fight against war, constitutional revision and mass unemployment and to kick out Aso administration. The broad and leafy avenue of Yoyogi Park in Shibuya was filled with 2100 workers and students. On the call of Doro-Chiba, the sponsor of the rally, they gathered from across the country, representing militant labor unions, Sanrizuka-Shibayama United Opposition League against Narita Airport Construction, fighting lawyers and students of Hosei and other universities.
 After the keynote speech of president TANAKA of Doro-Chiba (See below), workers of various industrial branches (national railway, education, public sector, postal service, medical etc.) denounced the outrageous repression on Hosei students and stated that what is happening in Hosei is just like the current situation of their workplaces. They declared to confront the class-collaborationist labor union leadership, get back labor union to the hands of rank and file workers and go forward for a revolution to achieve a fundamental change of this society.
 Sister HORAGUCHI Tomoko of the Federation of Cultural Club of Hosei University, recently released from unjust detention, appeared on the stage in the midst of enthusiastic applause and declare a victory of students’ struggle in unity against the “Violence Punishment Law” (Law Concerning the Punishment of Physical Violence and others) in the first round and confirmed her will to continue fighting on campus together with her comrades in detention who are keeping complete silence in face of violent police interrogation. She expressed her conviction that justice was on our side and we shall win.
 “2009 Joint International Anti-War Statement to the Working People of the World” was read out. The participants warmly applauded the statement that was signed by 5 organizations, namely Sanrizuka-Shibayama United Opposition League against Narita Airport Construction, Doro-Chiba, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) Seoul Regional Council, International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) local 34 and Transport Workers’ Solidarity Committee, calling for a struggle against Obama and Aso administrations.
 The participants rushed into the street in a huge troop of energetic demonstration and draw attention of passers-by. Many schoolboys and girls as well as student and young workers spontaneously joined one after another in the march. Sympathetic reaction spread on the street to the calls of the demonstrators, “Crush the society that treats us like an article! Break the chain of wage slavery!” and the march grew larger and larger till the termination.
 Thus the successive struggle on June 14 and 15 has evidently opened up a new starting point for Japanese class struggle.

 The keynote speech of brother TANAKA Yasuhiro

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 Chrysler collapsed and GM went bankruptcy. Capitalist system is on the brink of ruin. All workers of the world are now unable to live a human life. We need a fundamental change of this society. Everything depends upon workers who have the power to achieve this task. Now we have to win.
 We demand reinstatement of dismissed 1047 national railway workers. While the Division and Privatization Offensive drove 200,000 national railway workers out of job, KOKURO (National Railway Workers’ Union) has been reduced in only six years to a union with 40,000 memberships from 240,000. In the past 20 years 10,000,000 workers have been thrown into irregular employment. The present situation of labor world is the total result of the Division and Privatization of National Railways. Therefore we must win the struggle of 1047 national railway workers.
 A defeatist group of “Four Parties and Four Organizations”, however, seeks a way of concession through backstage negotiation with the governing Liberal Democratic Party. Have we been fighting for 22 years in order to end this struggle with back door deal?
 The attempt of introducing Doshusei (Wider-Area Local Government System) aims at intimidating and destroying labor unions through discharging all public sector workers followed by selective re-employment like the case in National Railways. This is the road to war. Look at what is happening in the privatized post service. Its catastrophic situation shows us an outlook of a victory of workers there. When dismissed 1047 national railway workers exhibit their experienced fighting power and call upon all the colleagues all over Japan for unity, a unified struggle of 50,000 or rather 100,000 workers is surely possible. We live now in such a time.
Another important agenda is the Workers’ Dispatch Law. While drastic slash of dispatched workers is discussed so heatedly, the Liberal Democratic government has no serious intention of addressing to this problem. On the contrary, they are planning further dismissal of workers. The crucial problem here is also the rotten attitude of two major national labor centers, Rengo (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) and Zenroren (National Trade Union Confederation of Japan). Japan Electrical, Electronic & Information Union, one of Rengo unions, recently declared their opposition to the prohibition of workers’ dispatch in manufacturing industries because “international competitiveness would be lost”. We must now carry out a fundamental transformation of labor movement into a militant labor union to fight against capital.
 The next issue is war. The Great Depression of 1929 finally ended in plunge into World War II. This is capitalism. Labor unions can either stop war or cooperate in waging war. In other words, labor unions have power to run a society.
 We are calling on workers for a solidarity struggle tomorrow with the students of Hosei University. What is now happening in Hosei University has a historical importance. We are faced with a historical choice. Two years after the Kyoto Student Federation Affair in 1925 (a crackdown on Kyoto University students), an all-out raid crushed Japan Communist Party and Japan rushed into war.
 Everywhere in the world violent confrontations are taking place between the ruling class and workers, students and citizens. It is the underlying tendency of today. We have to choose which way to go. If we are defeated, it will be war. To confront this situation squarely, it is urgent for us to expand unity and to rise up for struggle in firm confidence in the power of working class. The conclusion of my keynote speech is to organize, organize and organize in order to revive labor union.