October 16, 2015

Report and Statement on Zengakuren's September Struggle against the War Legislation of the Abe administration

Report and Statement on Zengakuren's September Struggle against the War Legislation of the Abe administration
September 28th
Marxist Student League-Chukaku

The steamrolling of the security bills by the government can never repress the strong resolution of the huge numbers of people opposed to war. We are faced not with "the start of a dark period". On the contrary, we are ready for a fresh struggle, armed with the rich experiences and lessons obtained through our struggle against the security bills.

Firstly, we fully recognize how deep people's anger against war runs. There is no room for compromise between workers and the government on this point. It is a life-and-death struggle and the only path for a future lies in overthrowing Abe. Tens of thousands of demonstrators were firmly determined even to rush into the Diet building to stop the desperate warmongering of the government.

Secondly, the deceitful character of parliamentary democracy and the corruption of the opposite forces have been clearly exposed. The Abe administration, supported by barely 20 percent of the Japanese electorate (with a high rate of abstention), has no prerogative for its contradictory arguments in the parliament over the war legislation. There is no reliable opposition force to confront this serious situation. Both the governing and opposition parties are now contemplating only how to win the next election through deceitful propaganda. It is high time, therefore, to construct a real revolutionary party representing the anger and interest of workers and students.

Thirdly, the significance and necessity of militant people's mass action has been revived through the struggle and has been acknowledged by a broad layer of demonstrators. It has been clearly demonstrated that the antagonism between the classes is irreconcilable and it is absolutely justified for people to protest against war using their own militant power. Following the struggle with 120,000 people on August 20th, the road in front of the parliament was liberated by the people themselves, day after day in defiance of police suppression.

On September 16th, conflict between the masses of demonstrators and riot police occurred and 13 people, including members of Zengakuren, were unjustly arrested. The rage of the demonstrators was far beyond the imagination of both the official organizers of the rally (an "All-out Mobilization") and the leaders of SEALDs (Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy). People clashed with riot police for over 6 hours in order to continue their occupation of the road and Zengakuren stood at the forefront. After the unjust arrests took place, Zengakuren held an immediate rally. Moved by the students' appeal, fresh participants at the demonstration also made spontaneous speeches one after another.

Zengakuren Emerges as the Mainstream

Fourthly, the fierce struggle was the breakthrough for us to become the mainstream of class struggle in Japan. Fighting people have been waiting for strike action at every workplace and campus. In particular, the declaration of strikes at Kyoto University and Tohoku University was welcomed by a large number of people. A huge number of protesters in front of the Diet building were eagerly waiting for a clear direction for the struggle in all workplaces and campuses: "What next?" Zengakuren has given them the next action plan for rising up in the forceful struggle and not hesitating even in the face of arrest. Inspired by this initiative, new participants in the demonstration - ordinary students and workers - seized microphones to speak spontaneously at the Zengakuren rally in front of the Diet. We saw here the archetype for "New Politics" and "New Society".

In the course of the struggles against the steamrolling of the War Bills in the Diet, hundreds of thousands of yen were donated to Zengakuren by participants in the street action. Single donations often were as high as the tens of thousands, and there were even people donating "everything other than my train fare home".

That our struggle will become the mainstream is historically inevitable. This is because, on both campuses and in the workplace, head-on conflicts have been taking place daily and we have always been at the forefront of the confrontations. Especially after last year's July 1st Cabinet Decision (recognizing Japan's right of collective self-defense, in flagrant violation of the Constitution) and the following Zengakuren Convention in September, Zengakuren has made an all-out effort to organize proactively a decisive battle to crush the War Bills with full consciousness and determined purpose. Beginning with the exposure of an agent of the security police last November spying on the grounds of Kyoto University, there have been daily struggles to "stop university cooperation with war efforts unconditionally and immediately". In line with this action on campuses, Zengakuren has organized seven independent protest actions while the massive protest movement has been vigorously building ever since the Diet opened on January 26th, 2015.

SEALDs leadership and the Japanese Communist Party conspires with the police to suppress upsurge of struggle

The spirits rising within the struggle against the War Bills in front of the Diet will definitely have a rippling effect and contribute to raise the spirits within the struggles on campus. The utmost core of the task of successfully constructing a student self-governing association at Hosei University this autumn and a powerful strike at Kyoto University and Tohoku University lies in the political struggle against the SEALDs leaders and the Stalinist Japanese Communist Party. This will surely vitalize the political consciousness of students and encourage them to choose a political direction in their historical decision-making. It will thus become a signal for a revolutionary uprising of the 3 million students throughout the country to start.

During the very last phase of the struggle in front of the Diet, the SEALDs leadership overtly launched a violent attack on Zengakuren. This collision reached its peak on the night of September 18th. The defense corps organized by the SEALDs leadership suddenly began to slander the Zengakuren demonstrators and tried to clear the way to the Diet by violently pushing back those who were fighting at the forefront of the demonstrators to liberate the road in front of the Diet from the police cordon. After deliberately and precisely plotting with the security and riot police, the defense corps surrounded the Zengakuren front line. They pulled apart the flag of Kyoto University Autonomous Dogakkai and began punching and kicking the Zengakuren activists. The aluminum pole of the Zengakuren flag was bent 90 degrees by their violence. Behind the defense corps the security police watched, ready for any opportunity to intervene in the clash and arrest members of Zengakuren.  
 
Such outrageous actions by the SEALDs' defense corps inevitably provoked spontaneous indignant reaction from other participants against them. Panicked by the protests showered on them, the defense corps began to shout, "Go home, Chukaku-ha." They labeled all protesting demonstrators "extremists" and began resorting to further violence. The rally participants, in utter surprise, quite naturally mistook the attackers as plainclothes policemen and began shouting, "Go home, police!"

Behind this counter-revolutionary attack lies hatred and fear against what far surpasses the imaginations of the SEALDs leaders: the powerful and explosive development of the confrontation with police on the streets on September 16th (the working-class people were actually planning to rush into the Diet building the next day), the unflinching spirit of the people continuing to fight, and Zengakuren at the forefront of it all, despite the 13 people (including those not Zengakuren students) unjustly arrested on that day.

Okuda Aki, a student from Meiji Gakuin University acting as one of the leaders of SEALDs, claims that his motivation for activism is to "merely protect his daily life". This is not at all a voice that represents the anger against the reality weighing down on youth and students today, who have difficulty even to live day-by-day. As Okuda repeatedly emphasizes that he is "not aiming for revolution", his core aim is rather to sustain the existing system of capitalism in defense from revolutionary uprising of people. The professors who curry favor with the SEALDs movement promote neoliberal "university reform" and, just as they suppress the students in their own universities, their core aim is to crush any uncompromising revolt against university authorities.

Ever since they were founded, the SEALDs leaders have held up the ideal of "rallying liberal powers, including conventional conservative trends". This resulted even in their supporting Noda Seiko, who in the LDP presidential election openly declared her support for the State Security Law. As the spirits of the rally in front of the Diet building rose up more and more, the voices of the SEALDs defense corps tried to surpass the fighting demonstrators by exclaiming louder and louder "thank you to the police!" and "our democratic police". Their ideology is unified with the Japanese Communist Party's National Coalition Government initiative, revealing themselves more and more to be the suppressors of revolution that they actually are.
 
On September 19th, when the War Bills were passed, the Japanese Communist Party presented their "National Coalition Government" initiative. As Chairman Shii declared, "the forming of such coalition is for the abolition of the War Bills and nothing else". "Even if there are differences related to policy, such as issues over the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, we will withhold and suspend argument," he said. The party confirmed the Security Treaty, Self-Defense Forces, the Emperor system, nuclear power, and the deteriorative amendments to labor laws, and even joined hands with those who are campaigning for constitutional revision, in turn declaring their intention of squeezing themselves into part of the ruling regime. It is their declaration to be the "last savior" of the declining capitalist regime, mercilessly and violently suppressing the worker and student rising.

In the press conference on July 23th, the Japanese Communist Party publicly stated that, "after taking power, we will actively use the Self-Defense Forces". The SEALDs leaders synchronized with this statement by proposing a movement to "make members of parliament for the War Bills lose the next election" during next year's House of Councilors election, taking the lead in forming the National Coalition Government.

Set up autonomous student bodies!
For the success of the October 21 International Anti-War Rally!

The effective way to stop war lies in winning the political battle on campuses against the SEALDs' leadership and JCP. War is an extension of politics: war is determined by economic, social, and political conditions. The duty of students is to fight daily against the offensive of "university reform", whose aim is corporative profit and war collaboration. Those who, influenced by the deceitful propaganda of the SEALDs' leadership, defend the current university policy of transforming the university into an effective organ for producing useful and obedient staff for capital will inevitably end up as war collaborators. Through the recent struggle in front of the parliamentary building, Zengakuren has succeeded in recruiting new numbers of student demonstrators to its side, away from the influence of the SEALDs' leadership. We are convinced that those students who sincerely, seriously want to stop war and change the society will surely join Zengakuren.

Let's make a decisive breakthrough by successfully achieving the important tasks ahead of us: building up a powerful executive leadership in the Hiroshima autonomous student body; the reconstruction of an autonomous student body at Hosei University; and successful strikes at Kyoto and Tohoku universities.

Let's organize a powerful and massive November 1st National Workers All-out Rally!

Let's stand at the forefront of the October 21st International Anti-War Rally with the slogan: "Stop the war drive! Down with the Abe administration!"

We call on all students to join us, Marxist Student League Chukaku-ha!