Monthly Archives: March 2011

Editorial

3/30/11

What Japan’s calamity, most of all, the agony of the people embodies has less to do with the nationality than the entire capitalist regime that seems to persist in relying on atomic energy. The question here is: if green capitalism, a better capitalism is possible by ousting nuclear power plants; or today’s global capitalism is so much netted with the technology whose indispensable part is the atomic energy that ousting nuclear power plants is equal to ousting capitalism itself or something that might be considered as the planetary apparatus whose driving force is capitalism. These questions notwithstanding, the truth is revealed only as what the people of Japan and the entire world do from now on.

現在進行中の日本の惨事が、そして何よりも民衆の苦しみが体現しているものは、その国民性にというよりは、原子力にあくまでも依拠している資本主義体制全体に係わっているのではないでしょうか。ここに上がってくる質問は、よりよい資本主義、緑の資本主義は、原子力発電所を封鎖することによって実現されるのか?あるいは現在の世界資本主義は、原子力がその必要不可避の部分となっているテクノロジーにあまりに取り込まれている為に、原子力を排除することは、資本主義そのものを排除することではないか、あるいは資本主義に駆動されている地球的機構とでも呼べるものを排除することではないか。しかしこうした質問はともかく、真理は,今後、日本と全世界の人々が為していくこととしてのみ開示されていくでしょう。

A Letter from Rebecca Solnit

Dear brothers and sisters in northeastern Japan and beyond,
So many of us here in the West watched and read about and listened to the news of your disaster with deep concern and empathy, with solidarity and tears. You are not alone. One beautiful editorial in New Orleans remembered what Japan did for the people of the Gulf after Hurricane Katrina and vowed to help in return. Those of us who know something about disaster know that the full story is not yet clear and may never be, and that the disaster is not over and in many ways will never be even after the reactors are shut down and sealed.
After all, Hurricane Katrina and the big BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico are not over, and neither are Chernobyl or the Exxon-Valdez spill in Alaska or the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, and I am not sure that Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Auschwitz and Treblinka are over yet either. Disasters begin suddenly and end slowly. They are terrible, first of all—and then what else they are is open-ended. Many things come from them, and some of the changes are permanent.
Every disaster has both natural and social components. The earth shakes and the sea invades, but how and where we build, who we are, how we perceive ourselves and our situation and what we do afterward shapes the disaster and its aftermath too. The world is never the same again, but how it changes is partly up to us.
I studied five major disasters in North America closely and learned so much about this strange interim era of upheaval and uncertainty. Sometimes a disaster is almost like a revolution, in that the old order seems over, people no longer trust the institutions they took for granted, they feel deeply connected to each other and sometimes find a new sense of power and possibility. In the Mexico City earthquake of 1985, the disaster was as terrible as your tsunami in terms of number dead, I think—ten thousand are known to have died, but it might have been twenty thousand. The government revealed itself to be callous, incompetent, and out of touch as it focused on protecting property rather than human life—in one case, police protected factory owners as they rescued their equipment and left the dead and dying inside the collapsed factories. But the seamstresses organized an independent union, and the nation and the world stood with them (until globalization weakened the power of all such workers in Mexico). The poor organized a housing movement that made permanent gains in housing security, and Super Barrio was born—an activist dressed up as a superhero who confronted politicians and landlords in defense of the poor who still appears. The one-party system cracked, and Mexico became (slightly) more democratic. But most of all a civil society, a new sense of the collective self fiercely independent of the government, was born.
At times disasters unfold like revolutions: there is the same sense of solidarity, of possibility, and of the suspension of everyday divides, rules, and expectations. Disasters are moments when the authorities have failed, and much of their effort will be to regain power and credibility. This is always couched as appropriate response, but often they are taking care of themselves at our expense. Sometimes, as Naomi Klein points out in her book The Shock Doctrine, they make great gains. Sometimes they suffer great losses. It was an earthquake that launched the beginning of the end of the Somoza dictatorships in Nicaragua. It always seemed to me that Latin Americans were better able to make something out of the rupture that is a disaster because they name the spirit of solidarity and build on the distrust of institutions, because of a romantic idealism and sense of open possibilities. Even after 9/11 the neighborhoods not so far from Wall Street had deeply anticapitalist moments of mutual aid, spontaneous self-organization, and the irrelevance of capital in certain matters of life and death, but few there could name and cherish and keep alive what flourished then, and so the old world came back as though it had not failed and vanished when everything was most desperate. For most New Yorkers, not for all.
Toxic disasters can be very different, because people often must isolate themselves, because they don’t know what is transpiring, because the disaster may never end. You can rebuild after an earthquake more easily than you can clean up after an oil spill or a radioactive leak. But this huge disaster has already changed the dialogue about nuclear power and weapons around the world and prompted Germany to speed up its evolution beyond nuclear energy. What else it will do remains to be seen. And as I said, it’s partly up to us.

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北日本そしてその他の地区の兄弟/姉妹たちへ

レベッカ•ソルニット

ここ西洋世界では、われわれ多くの者たちが、あなた達の被災について、深い懸念と共感、連帯と涙をもって、見、読み聞いてきました。あなた達は決して一人ではありません。ニューオリンズで書かれたある美しい論説は、暴風カトリーナの後、湾岸地域の人々に対して日本がしてくれたことを憶えていて、そのお返しをすると誓っています。災害について何事かを知っているわれわれは、その全貌はまだ明らかになっていないこと、この災害はまだ終わっていないこと、そして多くの意味で、それは原子炉が閉鎖され密閉された後でさえ、終わらないだろうことを知っています。

結局、暴風カトリーナもメキシコ湾の BP大オイル漏れも終わってはいません。同様に、チェルノブイリ、アラスカのエクソンーヴァルデス、2004年のインド洋津波も終わっていません。さらにわたしには、広島と長崎、アウシュビッツ、そしてトレブリンカも終わっているかどうか定かではありません。災害は,突然始まり、そしてゆっくりと終わるのです。まずそれらは悲痛なものです。だが、それらがそれ以外何であるかは未定なのです。多くのものがそれらから到来し、それらがもたらす変化のあるものは永続していくでしょう。

あらゆる災害は、同時に自然的かつ社会的構成要素をもっています。地球は揺れ、海は侵入します。しかしながらわれわれが何処にどのように構築し、われわれが誰であり、われわれ自身とわれわれの状況をどのように感受し、事の後でわれわれが何をするかーーそれらもまた災害とその余波を形づくるのです。世界はもはや同じにはならない、でもそれがどのように変わるかは、ある部分われわれにかかっています。

わたしは北米で起こった五つの大災害を研究し、そうした動乱と不確定性の奇妙な中間期について多くを学びました。ある場合、災害はほとんど革命のようです。つまり古い秩序が終焉するかのように思え、人々はそれまで容認していた諸制度を信じなくなります。人々はお互いに深い繋がりを感じ、時として新しい力と可能性を感じるのです。1985年メキシコ市をおそった地震は、死者数において、あなた方をおそった津波と同じくらいひどいものでした。(ほぼ一万人が認知されましたが、二万人だった可能性があります。)政府は、人命よりも財産を守ることに専心し、その無慈悲、無能、無策を露呈しました。警察が工場主たちの為に器具を守る為に、瓦解した工場に死者と死にかかった人々を置き去りにしたケースさえありました。しかし裁縫婦たちは独立組合を組織し、国民と全世界が彼女達の側に立ったのです。(これはグローバリゼーションがメキシコにおけるこうした労働者たちの力を弱性化させるまで続きました。)貧しい人々は、居住運動を組織して定住権を獲得し、いわゆる「スパーバリオ」が生まれました。そこでは貧しい者たちを守る為に政治家や地主に立ち向かうスパーヒーローに扮した活動家が、今だに出現するのです。一党体制が破れ,メキシコは(わずかですが)より民主的に成ったのです。しかし何よりも、市民社会が、政府から決定的に独立した新しい自主的集合性が、生まれたのです。

災害はしばしば革命のように展開します。そこには団結、可能性、日常的な分断と支配と予測の一時停止、といった同感覚が介在するのです。災害においては、諸権威が破綻するので、それらの多大な努力が、権力と信用性を再獲得することに向けられます。これは常に適切な措置として表明されますが、多くの場合、それらはわれわれを蔑ろにし自己を保身していきます。場合よっては、ナオミ•クラインが『ショック•ドクトリン』で指摘したように、それらが大きな利点を獲得します。また場合によっては、それらは大きな損失を味わいます。ニカラグアのサモサ独裁の終焉の引き金を引いたのは、一つの地震でした。ラテン•アメリカの人々が、災害という断絶から何かをつくり出すのがうまいのは、人々が連帯の精神を命名し、諸制度への不信の上に構築を行うからであり、ロマン主義的な理想主義と開かれた可能性の感覚を持っているからだと思われます。9/11の後、ウォール街からさほど離れていない界隈では、相互扶助 、自発的自己組織化、生と死のある事象にまつわる資本主義の不適切性という根本的な反資本主義的契機が生まれていたのです。しかしそこで栄えたものを命名し、大切にし、生きのびさせた者はあまりなく、旧来の世界が、あらゆるものが絶望に面した時、自らが破綻し消失したことなどなかったかのように回帰したのです。全てではありませんでしたが、ほとんどのニューヨーカーにとってはそうなったのです。

有毒物質による災害の場合、ことは大きく異なっているかもしれません。人々はしばしば自らを孤立化せねばならず、何が排出されているか知りえず、災害はいつまでも終わらないかもしれない。地震の後、再構築することよりも、石油こぼれや放射能漏れを片付けることはより難しいです。だが、この大災害は、すでに原子力や世界中の武器に関する対話を変容させ、ドイツにおいては原子エネルギーからの脱却の高速化を促したのです。それ以外それが何を為すかは、まだ分かりません。そしてすでに言ったように、それは大なり小なり、われわれにかかっているのです。

Representations to the Japanese Government

Original text HERE by Citizen’s Nuclear Information Center

Representations to the Japanese Government

Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center (CNIC)

March 18th 2011

In the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, the serious situation endures. At this moment, a large discharge of radiation has not taken place. There is however a future possibility of such worst scenario. In concrete it would include meltdown of nuclear fuels by lowering of the water level in the nuclear reactors, large explosion, and large discharge of radiation from the pools of used fuels.

Since the accident, our organization has been flooded with inquiries about the safe distance from the reactors. It is evident that the evacuation distance designated by the government is far from sufficient.

Taking this situation into consideration, we make the following five representations to the government:

1.  Make all possible efforts to curb worsening of the situation by gathering all forces in and out of the country.

2.  Publicize parameters of pressure containers, reactor vessels, and fuel pools all in real time. If there are damages in equipment and certain parameters cannot be measured, make open announcements about them.

3.  Information on the radiation level inside the power plants is of grave importance. Install monitors in different places and report the data on line. In order to grasp the situation in the power plants realistically, install video cameras in different places and constantly publicize the images.

4.  Collect the data of radiation monitoring posts installed in various areas in Fukushima Prefecture, grasp the intensity and expansion of radiation, then make a simulation based upon the data, and publicize the result as soon as possible.

5.  Make clear about your method of estimating doses for instructing disaster prevention, namely, the ground upon which you determine evacuation distance at this moment.

To All the Working People – Call for De-Nuke General strike

Original Text HERE by Committee for De-nuke General Strike

To All the Working People – Call for De-Nuke General strike

I can’t cope OH OH I can’t cope, Anymore ……

On behalf of students, informal workers and the status-less of the world, we call for a general strike, an immediate suspension of all labor, demanding immediate termination of all the nuclear power plants and abandonment of all the atomic weaponry productions. If not now, when can we begin our lives without nuclear power? If not Japan, suffering as it is under the nuclear disaster, which country can express aspiration for the world without atomic energy?
If you, the workers, ignore the de-nuke general strike, it would mean to kill the germination to realize a world without nuclear power. Due to the inability of judgment of the company animals, the world will continue to be ruled by fear of atomic power and stupidity of atomic ideologues (those who are promoting nuclear weaponry and atomic energy). You will be, like TEPCO (The Tokyo Electric Power Co) and NISA (Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency), despised and derided forever by the entire humankind.
Informal workers, students, the poor, laborers, and small business owners are tied to their workplaces in the metropolis and cannot move out from there. Bound by the logic of capitalism, they are at this very moment terrified by the invisible radiation. Being blown by the radioactive wind, yet they cannot abandon their tasks. The poor (or We) are the figure of the world today. Amidst the catastrophe, being bound by capitalism, the culprit of the catastrophe, and being made to serve the catastrophe itself – such figure of the world. Discarding them (ourselves), who are remaining in the metropolis from which exodus is urgently recommended, is equal to sending to the abyss of death and despair not only them (ourselves) but also the world embodied by them (ourselves).
Let us listen to the song of the wind. Blowing in the wind is the answer, the only answer that is a shift to the world without nuclear power. The termination of atomic energy is the task of entire humankind and its realization is up to an immediate abandonment of workplaces of us Japanese workers. If you carry out the strike with your courage, the entire world will respond with voices of support and acts of solidarity. A global movement will arise thrusting the blade for terminating nuclear power plants before the throat of the rulers of the world. If you ignore the strike cowardly, the entire world will be filled with dismay and sorrow. The planet fully loaded with atomic energy continues to deride you, and the ideologues of pro-nuclear power won’t even hide their belittlement of you. You will continue to be despised as “corporate slave” by the world over.
We would like you to think over once more what the hell your employers have given to you. The mutuality, fraternity and unity you share with your colleagues at work places are not gifts of your companies, but proof of your own power. Please do not belittle your own potential. Do you think that your employers would protect treasured bond of your family and yourselves? While you are watching the situation intently over screens trying to make a right judgment, mothers and pregnant women are living a dreadful life of nuclear fear. After all this, can you still continue to tell them: “don’t panic, don’t be anxious”? We repeat: please don’t belittle your own potential.

***

A war without enemy is going on. The same water cannon trucks that appear in Egypt to quell the revolutionary forces shoot water here in Japan at the reactors turning into hot stone. The forces whose task is supposed to intercept attacks of the axis of evil are confronting the reactors that emit steam-like substance.
While mirage of the postwar flickers, workerist nationalism, wearing as it is a new cloth of reconstruction, is waiting to enter the stage. As it has become a common sense of the world, disasters are nothing short of business opportunities, the utopia of the power.
In the backstage of global summits, world leaders are discussing their post-disaster doctrine. We are just speechless, wondering if even this singular despair, even this singular hope arising out of despair is after all mobilized, managed and governed.
Even if the return to a critical state can be averted, the trust of Japan can never be recovered. It is not even worthy of a joke that the only A-bombed country in the world has given rise to a nuclear disaster comparable to Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. The trust of Japan’s capitalism has been doomed. And still, if Japan cares about its trust at all, it must stop all the nuclear operations and initiate a movement for subverting the global atomic regime.
Let us begin a real war! Godzilla and Gwoemul who spread radiation are, if enemies of rulers and enterprises, not ours. Our real enemy is the capitalists who created and filled the world with these monsters. This is high time to draw them out of the stage, denounce them to their foundation, and oust them from this world. Our weapon is general strike. Let us abandon worthless workplaces, expel the ghost called economy, and do everything we can to help the victims. Now!

March 19th 2011
Committee for De-nuke General Strike

Call for a New Campaign to Build Refugees’ Commune

Original Text HERE by Sanya Workers Welfare Center, Sanya Struggle Committee, Anti-unemployment Struggle Committee

1.
There is no need for much phrasing about the devastating damages and tragedies caused by the earthquake of 3/11, as well as the coming catastrophic situation. At this moment, we, the coalition of self-support groups of homeless and underclass workers in Sanya, the vicinity closest to the stricken areas in the north within Tokyo metropolitan district, consider the situation as un-ignorable and will begin a new campaign to support refugees. Herein are three tasks for the struggle:

A)To create a support system by and for the people
B)To support the refugees from the stricken areas, and fight together for their/our rights and autonomy
C)To support the future refugees to be created inevitably by the effects of this calamity, and fight together for their/our rights and autonomy

2.
About (A):
The Japanese government is dispatching massive number of the Self Defense Forces to the stricken areas. As opposed to the state-led project, our most urgent task is to create a support system, no matter how small it is, by and for the people. To begin with, we shall send persons and goods to the areas once a week. We call this People’s Rescue Troops.

About (B):
The refugees from the stricken areas have already begun their lives in the facilities installed in various places in the Tokyo metropolitan area, from which, however, the intervention of civilian support groups are rejected, and wherein what the administration supplies is said to be far less than people’s needs. It is thus our task to understand and supply what they lack. Furthermore it is necessary to begin a project for establishing the lives of the people by and for themselves from the mid-term perspective.

About (C):
Riemann Shock of 2008 caused the new wave of refugees, epitomized as it was by the so-called dispatched villages. The homeless population in Sanya area increased dramatically. But the situation now is just incomparable. Already rampant have been discharges and suspension of employment. Our fellow homeless have been mercilessly hit by the effects of the earthquake in various manners.

3.
At the moment, the government is about to mobilize more than ten thousand troops of the Self Defense Forces at the same time as hiding its lack of agenda and seeking to contain all criticisms against it. Meanwhile the media orchestrate a major yet empty campaign of “Save Japan,” whose tendency is toward nothing short of a new form of total mobilization that the people already experienced during the fascist regime. We consider this as a total collapse of the way the state and society had been organized up until 3/11.

4.
During our struggle to fight against the coerced removal and practices such as community kitchen in the past several years, we have been searching for a method by which the process of struggle itself contains germination of people’s society. This attempt has been just in an embryonic stage. Now we believe it necessary to concentrate our forces more than ever toward this goal in confrontation with the calamitous situation. This must entail a full-hearted rejection of restoration of the previous society, of reconstruction of the society based upon nuclear power, and a move toward creation of a society by and for the people.

5.
We know at the moment we are overwhelmingly weaker than the state project in terms of material power. But we might be able to surpass, if and only if we can gather the power of the many. We call for a collaboration of all of those individuals and movements who share the same intention as ours.

March 21st 2011
Sanya Workers Welfare Center
Sanya Struggle Committee
Anti-unemployment Struggle Committee

A Letter to Comrades

A Letter to Foreign Comrades:

At the moment in Japan, the government is trying to make the situation look as normal as possible, by veiling crucial information on the degree of radiation and the calamitous condition of the reactors. This menacing situation notwithstanding, it does not show any intension to terminate its pro-nuclear power policy. In accordance with the benefit of TEPCO (The Tokyo Electric Power Co), it is instigating temporal blackout in large areas outside central Tokyo, as if sending the message to the people: “no nuclear power, no electricity.” It also makes tremendous efforts to isolate and contain the stricken areas and the increasing number of refugees, by mobilizing massive number of the Self Defense Forces, mainly for driving the business as usual of the capitalist operations. Meanwhile the media is seeking to reproduce the image of a society without dissent by orchestrating the campaign to “Save Japan in Unity.” Some proxy intellectuals are inflaming patriotism even by awakening the nationalist sentiment from the fascist regime of the past.

Nonetheless, as the contamination worsens and expands, resident foreigners have begun to leave Japan, and some Japanese who are able to have begun their exodus to the west. The agony, anger and angst of the people, especially those who have to sustain their livelihood in Tokyo and northward therefrom, are unimaginable. It is a reminder of the stories from the Cyber Punk era in terms of dystopia finally realized.

Meanwhile activists of anti-authoritarian vein are striving to begin various campaigns: a call for de-nuke general strike, a new anti-nuclear movement, protests against the government and TEPCO, establishment of refugees’ communes in metropolis such as Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka, and sending the “People Rescue Troops” to the stricken north. A mass mobilization is yet to be seen.

Facing the imminent possibility of catastrophe, the people are also expecting a long long term struggle, for survival and break-out of the pro-nuclear governance. Taking into consideration the situation in Japan, we find it necessary to establish a global network to create a current of both resources and persons in and out of Japan, accursed and confined archipelago. To begin with, we are preparing a place for exchanging critical voices from there and elsewhere, to find a way out of the dystopian cul-de-sac, and create a path to undo and reorient the course of the world whose worst effects are manifest there at the moment.

We are asking Japanese activists and intellectuals to write about their struggles for survival, emerging new projects, reproduction of everyday life, psychic and cultural reactions, political climate, ideological battle, and theoretical orientation. Meanwhile, we would like you whose work is known and respected there, to write anything you come up with. It is significant for them for encouragement, for their food for thought and action, and finally for a new planetary solidarity.

 

J-Fissures Editorial

3/24/2011

 

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【日本の同志たちへの手紙】

前代未聞の状況の中で、苦闘されていることと思います。同時に3/11以降、かなり多くの海外の友人達、ことに活動家/知識人たちから,問い合わせが来ています。ニューヨークにいる僕が,現状においてせめて出来ること、あるいは今こそせねばならないこと、それはこうした人たちと、皆さんを再度、繋げることです。

例えば,G8で日本に来たマリーナ•シトリンは、日本の活動家/知識人を援助する国際ネットワークをつくる必要があると提案しています。今後の状況の変化にもよりますが、まず今後ますます包領化していく危険性を持つ日本から出る/へ入る物資的/人的流れをつくり出すこと、さらに最悪の場合を考慮して、日本の活動家/知識人が海外の活動拠点/学校に一定期間、研修滞在可能な状況/動きを作って行くことさえ考えているようです。一つ言えることは、皆さんの闘争は、いずれにせよかなり長期のものになるだろうということです。それを踏まえて、将来に向けた交流の組織を作って行くことが必要であると思われます。

またすでにモントリオールのエイドリアン•ヒューレーが、学生達や同僚と共同で、様々な情報を英訳するサイト<http://east306.wordpress.com/>を立ち上げています。この企画との連携において、僕はやはりニューヨーク在住の殿平有子とともに<https://jfissures.wordpress.com/>を立ち上げました。前者は、情報のスピーディーな伝達を目的としていますが、それに対して後者は、むしろ日本の皆さんと海外の皆さんに、依頼というかたちで、文章をかいてもらい、それを英訳/和訳して、掲載し、言説的交流をはかるものです。主題は、基本的に皆さん、それぞれが書きたいことをお願いしたいと思いますが、全体としては、生きる為の闘争、新しい企画の紹介、日常生活再生産の問題、精神的/文化的な対応、政治状況、イデオロギー的戦争、理論的方向性(…)といった諸領域をカバー出来ればと感じています。文章は、長いものでなくともかまいません。むしろ短いものを、定期的/継続的に書いていただくのが、望ましいと思います。さらにいずれ、海外からの言説との交流も加わり、ある種の批判的出会いの場を作って行きたいと思います。そうした言説上の交流に加えて、上記の交流のネットワークの構築を担っていきたいと思います。

 

J-Fissures Editorial

2011年3月24日

Kill No One: Statement On the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

Original text HERE by All Freeter’s Union

“Unexpected Situation” is the phrase repeatedly used to rationalize deaths of tens of thousands of people caused by the recent disaster. This man-made calamity, I repeat, the worst man-made calamity is being rationalized with the single phrase, which still leaves hundreds of thousands individuals exposed to radiation and millions’ livelihoods destroyed.

The current state was never unexpected. Many people have repeatedly taken assumptions and given warnings over possibility of this very situation. The severe accident at the nuclear plant, hydrogen explosion and the massive radiation dissemination, following earthquake and tsunami, had been publicly warned by many, not limited to anti-nuclear activists or nuclear experts.

The disaster was folded within the capitalist system itself.

In order to support the urban energy consumption of Tokyo and other big cities, millions of people outside metropolis are violently exposed to radioactivity. All electric companies in Japan, except for the one in Okinawa, have always kept steady profit by destroying the livelihoods of rural communities. The Japanese government, too, is unequivocally responsible for supporting the corporations by permitting local monopolization, and laying out the legislative system beneficial for them to increase the number of nuclear plants. Electric companies and Japanese government must pay their debt now.

The government and TEPCO (The Tokyo Electric Power Co) must publicize all of the concealed contents of necessary labor being performed at the Fukushima plant. What kind of workers are running across which part of the plant for watering the reactor; who connect the pipe joints; who open the valves; who wipe radioactive splashes off, and who orders to do so (…). This demand is not for creating a heroic tale, but it is for us to overcome the ugliness of praising the plant workers as if they were the victimized hero in Kenji Miyazawa’s utopian tale or returning national spirit. We ought to distance ourselves from this disgusting cold-blooded fact that we are asking the nuclear plant workers, for the sake of “millions of lives,” to commit themselves to do the work that we ourselves are never willing to do. Instead we should support the rejection of labor that forces workers to face death.

Now we are about to become “nuclear disaster victims.” The first victims are those who have already been exposed to radiation while working at the nuclear reactors, and then those who will have to face long-term health risks from the explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi Reactors. But the nuclear disaster will not end at that. The accidents will continue hammering the agriculture of entire Tohoku region for years to come, and will boil-up the prices of safer products across the nation and elsewhere. Meanwhile, the urban poor will certainly be excluded from the distribution of safer food. Commercial businesses are closing down, because of the planned blackout in response to the lack of electricity, and the urban poor will suffer cut-downs in jobs and income; in consequence they end up reducing their buying power. We all are disaster victims.

We demand Japanese Government and TEPCO an immediate closure of all the nuclear power plants across Japan.

Cease all business that devours human life.

TEPCO must compensate all the nuclear disaster victims.

TEPCO must compensate all those exposed to radiation for their medical and daily expenses to insure their recovery from the health damages they suffer.

TEPCO must compensate for all financial losses of businesses that unavoidably shut down their operation following the accident.

They must compensate for all financial sufferings of those who were forced to wage cuts and unemployment.

We call for all those who have not suffered immediate effects of the earthquake and tsunami. Let us get out from
the never-ending loop of information radiation: overwhelming spectacle of tsunamis and fires, numbers that convey water levels in the reactors, comments made by proxy scholars and specialists repeating, “no immediate effects to your health.” This information radioactivity gives us an inevitable helplessness that we don’t have an option but to prey, that forces us to silently justify the excuses by the government and TEPCO attempting to obscure who and what system are responsible for causing this catastrophe.

We believe that it is imperative for us to immediately nullify the information radioactivity、and begin to name and prosecute those who are truly responsible.

March 17, 2011
All Freeters’ Union

To Survive in Tokyo

Original Text HERE by Ilcommonz

Read my story as a personal account of a musician living in Tokyo. I’ve just canceled a two-week tour in Europe that was supposed to start from the 16th of March. I’m not certain what other tour members would choose to do, but we, the touring members, discussed that each of us ought to make up our own decisions, and respect them whatever they are. Since the day of the quake, until today, I have struggled to make decision as to whether or not to go. No matter how hard I questioned to myself, my answer was: “I don’t want to leave Japan now.” I have a few reasons to bring up, but none of them sounds rational. These are all very personal sentiments. However, one thing that I can assure is this sense that I have to see with my own eyes and experience not only the current situation but also what would happen from now on in the city I live in. This might sound exaggerating, but I would like to live the same destiny with everybody else. I have never felt like this before; I am surprised to have this sentiment myself. What I mean by ‘everybody’ is, to my understanding, not a collective of Japanese people whose faces are invisible, but the people that I love, … and the places I love, … things that are very indistinct. Of course I have never made a mutual agreement to live in solidarity with those whom I love; rather, this is my very personal, selfish and unusual sentiment. Facing this, I strongly felt that I would not want to leave Japan even for mere 2 weeks.
Right now the press conference of the Tokyo Electric Company continues on TV. The nuclear plant is being unveiled as confronting a much more serious situation than all of us have expected. I can only wonder what really is happening. Never did I imagine radiation could happen to my own everyday life; it was thought to be always someone else’s.
During the last three days, I’ve received innumerable messages from my music friends all over the world. Every message expresses deep concerns about Japan. Some of the friends even offered me a place for shelter, for which I am very grateful. Perhaps it is not us in Tokyo who really need help at the moment, but it is those who cannot even read this. I hope the situation gets better even a little. (“Hope the situation gets better even a little” by Yoshihide Otomo, March 15th 2011)

I am not going to run away from Tokyo. Because all the electricity produced in the Fukushima Nuclear plants were consumed in Tokyo, not provided for the people there. We have polluted Fukushima for the sake of Tokyo…. (A Twitter post by travellinmagro myu, March 15th 2011)

The nuclear plants run amok in Fukushima. Right at this moment I felt a big shake in my house again. The epicenter was Shizuoka, but even Tokyo hit magnitude 4. The radio warned us to “be cautious of after shocks, because old wooden and non-earthquake-resistant houses are in danger of collapse.” Amidst of this, I was thinking of the same thing. I was thinking of what to do from now on within my house in danger of collapse. When it stopped shaking, I found an answer. Whenever I face a necessity to think and react to sudden incidents, I always begin wondering to myself what I am, rather than my individuality. I am not a musician, not a poet, but an anthropologist, contemporary artist, and activist. As a contemporary artist, I very much empathize the musician refusing to leave Japan. As an activist, I identify with a poet who is not going to run away from Tokyo. And as an anthropologist who shares a similar mind or the same feeling, I would like to stay in the place where these people live until the end comes, and together I would like to see things through. Therefore, after having shaken by the quake, the answer that came out was this: I would remain in Tokyo till the end. Although this decision has a strong political aspect, that is not rational at all. I hate nuclear power. Not only do I hate it, but I am against it. Strongly against it. Absolutely against it. I believe that not only the Tokyo Electric Company but also the pro-nuclear power policy of the Japanese government are wrong. That the people living elsewhere suffer for the benefit of Tokyo is wrong. And I am living thanks to the electricity produced by the nuclear power plants. I am using the light in my room as I type this right now, relying on the same power. This is a contradiction, the most evident contradiction. I intend to accept this contradiction as it is, since I know something might come out from being smeared in a big contradiction. And for now, I wish to punish myself by this acceptance. Furthermore I would like to connect myself to something by being smeared by radiation, by sharing it as the common that is of the most ominous kind.
With my body and mind smeared with the contradiction and radiation, I would like to protest against the nuclear power, stronger than ever. As it is often said, one tends to think highly irrational under an emergency circumstance. For this precise reason, I am determined to see through what this irrationality is going to produce, that which we would not see otherwise. I would like to survive for that. No matter what the government tells us, I will remain and survive in Tokyo.

*Take this as an irrational thought of a man who lives in Tokyo. As with Otomo, I’d like to acknowledge that those who have different ideas and ways of living “ought to all make up our own choices,” and I’d like to “respect them whatever they are.”

Statement

Japan — Fissures in the Planetary Apparatus

Taking into consideration the unprecedented situation in Japan, we find it necessary to establish a place for exchanging critical voices from there and elsewhere, to find a way out of the dystopian cul-de-sac, and create a path to undo and reorient the course of the world whose worst effects are manifest there at the moment.

While we are observing a new impetus of global uprising against capitalism and the state, the catastrophic situation is unfolding in Japan. The two kinds of upheaval appear to be mirroring each other, both shaking capital’s business as usual to its foundation. There is no doubt that this is the turning point of human history.

The earthquake and tsunami of maximal scale devastated the Northeastern part of Honshu, with an increasing number of losses and refugees and a worsening nuclear disaster. The activity of the planet has shown not only the unequivocal magnitude of its nonhuman force but also the degree in which our society and its infrastructural system forged by capitalism are relying on, merging with, implicated in and expanding over the planet in an ominous manner. What the so-called natural disaster is showing is nothing but the implication of the apparatus in the environment and its fatal effects.

The events in Japan will inexorably have significant impacts over the entire human society in every aspect, i.e., ecologically, economically and socially. They are no longer matters of a particular nation-state, but creating unprecedented fissures in the apparatus that is uncontrollably and materially becoming one with mother earth, and sustains the global power relations as well as the everyday life of the people across the planet. At the moment what these events embody are an extreme negativity, especially in contrast to the on-going uprisings world over. What the name Japan implies has in a day transformed from a shaky yet euphoric consumerist society to a people on a possible path to apocalypse.

Though in such devastating conditions from which resident foreigners are encouraged to escape, the people in Japan are struggling for survival. The struggle involves two asymmetric forces; On the one hand, there are efforts of the state and capital to sustain its governance and economic operations as normal as possible, even at the expense of fully concentrated rescue measures. On the other hand, the struggle of the people entails multiple dimensions: (1) survival in the multifaceted crises, (2) sacrificial labor at risk of death; (3) challenge to build their own commons resisting the state-led projects, imposed as it is under the names of emergency and the national spirit.

We observe that certain national intellectuals or so-called opinion leaders are playing the role of raising the dead spirit (Yamato-damashii) from the fascist regime toward total mobilization under the state.

Meanwhile the people are demanding the state concentrate its capacity for solving the problems of refugees and nuclear contamination, as well as publicize full information on these conditions. Also importantly, independent of the rescue missions led by the Self-Defense Forces, some groups are preparing to build refugees camps of different scales in cities such as Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka, with hopes to create communes. The far eastern archipelago is entering a new phase of struggle for survival, a class struggle facing catastrophic conditions.

In this sense Japan has achieved a critical power, with the fissures open up in an unprecedented manner, beyond our intention and preference, that would pose a series of fundamental questions concerning the thoughts on the world and the practices to change it. This is one of the most crucial junctures that we have seen in the country, that the people might be able to turn around the orientation of the future, to pave a new way for the sake of both human and non-human life forms.

In this situation, we feel a need of gathering a critical information exchange among active voices in Japan and elsewhere. We intend to translate, quote and analyze as much information as possible from Japanese into English, and translate your encouragements, comments, suggestions, analyses, proposals and anything written in English into Japanese for the vantage point of the people struggling there and everywhere.

J-Fissures Editorial