by NO G7 COLLECTIVE MIE.
Sites for the G7 Summit have been always controlled, isolated, and blockaded thoroughly. Security forces have been deployed, fences and walls have been built, and checkpoints have been set up.
The other day, I went to Kashiko Island [Kashiko-jima], a site for this G7 Summit in Japan, in the period when it was said that the island was not so strictly guarded. As my train was coming near the island, I saw police again and again on the road along the tracks. They were probably carrying out inspection of cars. Then I arrived at the Kashiko Island Station. It seemed that there was a policeman there. Taking a step out of the station, however, there were police all around. I was very shocked. My impression was that there were police at intervals of tens of meters. They were deployed on every street and sightseeing spots, along coastlines, and also on the sea (More than twenty thousand police will be stationed in this area. The City of Shima where Kashiko Island is located has a population of about fifty thousand). I saw a lot of policemen from the Metropolitan Police Department in Tokyo. Moreover, a bus of the riot police was running. I understood completely that the G7 Summit in Ise-Shima area is a national event.
In 2001, the then G8 Summit was held in Genoa, Italy. This G8 Summit changed dramatically the whole city of Genoa to a fortress. Ever-longer fences were set up all over the city and its urban spaces were divided into the red zone and the yellow zone: the former was an off-limits zone for non-residents. The meeting among heads of states was held in the red zone. The latter surrounded the former and was a buffer zone where demonstrations were prohibited.
Freedom of people was limited and public spaces were eliminated unilaterally by the establishment. Many residents were de facto compelled to leave the city during the G8 Summit. Furthermore, passes to transit the red zone was not delivered to immigrants from the outside of Europe who was living in the historic center included in this no-go zone. It looked as if people’s life counted for nothing for global powers.
Then, protest movements against the G8 Summit where only heads of so-called advanced countries took a direction for the whole world in non-democratic mode and which represented just interests of multinational corporations were so active and powerful and became globalized. About 250 thousand protesters came to Genoa from Italy and also from each place in the world. They demonstrated there. And they criticized the G8 Summit, insisting that a condition of fortified Genoa showed various modes to govern the world determined by the G8 Summit regime: complete separation of people from decision-making, violent control with walls and fences, detailed control with checking passes to transit and identification, elimination of public spaces, and killing a young demonstrator.
The G8 Summit has been understood also as a political event above mentioned on a global level. It has been always protested radically by thousands and thousands of people not only at Genoa but also at other sites. That is a certain historical fact. In the G8 Summit held at Tōyako, Hokkaido, eight year ago, there were large protests also in Japan. A number of people with different social concerns and political positions from Japan and other places in the world gathered together and made a protest against the G8 Summit. Furthermore, they met and discussed in order to create an alternative globalized world which will differ radically from one controlled by the G8 Summit, or rather in order to embody their wanting world “now and here”.
Now such history is not absolutely reported in the mainstream media. This G7 Summit is repeatedly represented as a good opportunity to advertise attractions of local and regional area where the meeting will be held and to show hospitality of local and Japanese people to the world. It is as if to say that “let’s live up this spectacle together”.
“We stop terrorist invasion of the island”. Police repeat this kind of slogan. Train services will be suspended in Kashiko Island and its surroundings right before and during the G7 Summit. Fences will be constructed around the island or the hotel where the meeting is held. Even local residents in Kashiko Island must apply for identity cards to enter and exit. I hear any possibility of demonstrations in the island and neighboring areas is eliminated by police. Moreover, we often see notices saying “If you find a suspicious person, report it to the police”. In other words, it would mean that each local people’s eyes must become police’s ones. Surely this is a world wanted by the G7 Summit.
I do not need such world. Enough is enough!
We, No G7 Collective Mie, collected various voices of local people against the G7 Summit. Please see them in English or Japanese: http://japan.indymedia.org/