A Statement by the No to the Eviction of Nojukusha for the Olympics and the March 2 Repression at the Proposed New National Stadium Site Rescue Committee
We Condemn the Unjust Arrest of A-san on March 2, 2016
It happened just after 8 am on March 2: seven or eight police officers surrounded Comrade A-san, who has been active with us, and put him into a police car to take him away. It was a so-called arrest with a warrant. The charge was an alleged injury to a Japan Sport Council (JSC) employee when the organization was attempting to expel nojukusha [the homeless, or those who sleep outside, to be more literal] from the proposed site of the New National Stadium on January 27. The arrest was, however, something that ignores the factual background, considering the communication process between the JSC and nojukusha of the Meiji Park on the construction of the New National Stadium. The sudden arrest after over a month since January 27 was nothing but repression on the social movements in order to force through the problematic construction of the Stadium.
We, “the No to the Eviction of Nojukusha for the Olympics and the March 2 Repression at the Proposed New National Stadium Site Rescue Committee,” vow to build a social formation to fight back against this unjust arrest and seek to take back A-san as soon as possible.
What Took Place on January 27:
It Was the JSC that Exercised Overwhelming Violence
Mobilizing a large number of police officers and security guards, the JSC tried to close off the entrances of the Meiji Park, part of the proposed site for the New National Stadium, on the early morning of January 27 [they closed two of the three entrances; the protesters managed to protect the other although security guards are standing there 24/7]. They hung a steel barricade on a crane, forcefully attempted to install it [to prevent access to the bathroom inside the park, but failed due to the protest], hovering it overhead above the protesting nojukusha and their supporters, and expelled us from the entrance areas. Amid the violence by JSC employees, security guards, and police officers, several of our friends and acquaintances sustained injuries. Further, there were instances when a JSC employee was running around carrying a first aid box and applied medicine to our friends’ injured parts.
The very first and largest violence was the [attempted] forceful shutdown of the Park by the JSC. Despite the fact that there are people living inside, they suddenly tried to close off the entrances of living space, dishonoring the prior dialogue. It is undeniable that their poor and inhumane methods were the cause of the whirlpool of the January 27.
A-san’s arrest on March 2 is unforgivable not just because the alleged charges of “obstruction of official duties” and “injury” are factually baseless but also because it conceals the JSC’s violence and lie of the January 27 and they are shrugging off.
The JSC had been engaged in a dialogue with those living inside the Park at the latter’s request; they had promised that they would “not, as long as there are people living inside, be working on such constructions as would affect their life” and that they would “resolve issues through a dialogue.” On January 27, nonetheless, the JSC tried to forcefully shutdown the Park; even after they failed in face of grueling protests from the nojukushanojukusha and supporters, they attempted again to close off the [only] entrance [that remains] on February 5, mobilizing police officers. Their stance goes like [showing] a piece of paper is enough to expel anything, human or otherwise, which is detrimental to the constructions.
We have been active seeking a resolution through dialogues even since the JSC started to attempt expulsion without bothering about appearance on January 27, however. JSC employees came to the Meiji Park on February 17, and we held a talk, albeit for just half an hour; we reconfirmed they “will not and cannot do construction work as long as there are people living.” March 2, when A-san was arrested, was the deadline for the JSC’s reply to our written inquiry about, among other things, the legal bases for the dangerous construction work on January 27 and the [attempted] forceful shutdown on February 5. Was the arrest their answer? Do they not have to honor agreements and confirmations if they are dealing with nojukusha?
A-san’s arrest amounts to trampling on the prior dialogue process, violently dividing nojukusha and their supporters. Hearing about the arrest, a nojukusha residing in the Park expressed anger, saying “no way will we leave given the way they handle things.” We will continue to request the JSC for a dialogue.
Call for the Support and Solidarity to Take Back A-san ASAP
We consider A-san’s arrest on March 2 to be pressure on the social movements by the JSC and the police combined and to be repression as a part of attempts at evicting nojukusha. It was an arrest to set an example with the media massively brought in, and we never forgive it. We would like you to check out a few videos online [links below] to see what the JSC did at the Meiji Park on January 27.
One of the charges for the unjust arrest is “obstruction of public duties.” This means the JSC employees are regarded as public officials (“public officials by specific legislation”). Without legal bases presented, one wonders if what they did can be called public duties.
The repression brought a renewed attention to the JSC, an agency to construct the New National Stadium. All the more, now is an important opportunity to put the behavior of the JSC in the daylight and call on people to surround the powerful who push the poor into an even harsher situation. A-san in the police custody agrees and is fighting, continuing to remain silent.
The arrest is an abuse of the law and the police power; at the same time, it is part of the problem itself of the JSC and the New National Stadium: they cannot go on with the project without violating human rights. Let us build a broad social criticism against the JSC, which unilaterally expels nojukusha, who have been living in a state of the most acutely condensed social contradictions, for the sake of the Olympics as a state policy. And let us win back A-san as soon as possible. Let us make it happen.
March 4, 2016
The No to the Eviction of Nojukusha for the Olympics
and the March 2 Repression at the Proposed
New National Stadium Site Rescue Committee
For the development so far, see the blog of the Association of the Residents of the Meiji Park and the National Stadium Surroundings and the Supporters: http://noolympicevict.wix.com/index#!blog/u1ok7
Videos of January 27: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBtdhjE56sk
Call for Donations for the Rescue Activities
We call for the support and solidarity to take back A-san as soon as possible!
MIZUHO BANK, LTD.
Shibuya Branch 
Ordinary Savings Account Number: 9095210
Account Name: のじれん [Nojiren]
Post Office FURIKAE Account: 00160-1-33429
You need to use a white sheet of paper with blue lines available at a post office to make a transfer to this account.
Account Name: Shibuya Nojukusha no Seikatsu to Kyojuken wo Kachitoru Jiyurengo [渋谷・野宿者の生活と居住権をかちとる自由連合]
*Write “kyuen” or “rescue”
Square brackets (“”) indicate my notes based on an interview with a Committee member.
There are a couple of updates. A-san has been tortured by the police. In a message delivered through a lawyer to the Committee, he says “I will fight back in solidarity with people outside” ( http://oidashisuruna.blogspot.jp/2016/03/blog-post.html?m=0 ).
The Committee has scheduled a protest:
Time: 4:30 pm, Monday, March 7
Place: the Front Gate of the JSC
Access: see http://www.jpnsport.go.jp/corp/english/about/tabid/398/Default.aspx
For the original Japanese Statement,
The Committee says circulation of this Statement is welcome.