To Foreign Comrades



Hello to friends in overseas. This is Guru from Osaka.

It’s been almost two months since 3/11. While many emotions have mingled at the time of moving forward, I can finally write a letter now. Thanks to Marina and others, their letters greatly empowered me.

Right now, I am moving forward while looking back, through trials and errors, yet constantly. I am doing whatever I can to create a life in a new world without nuclear weapon or power plants, a new world in our hands and not under the control of authorities. With my face up and my antennae stretched wide.

The letter from Marina reminded me of our play during the anti-G8 protest. During the last 3 years I was feeling that our activities were gradually reaching its limit, as all the tents in entire Osaka parks (except for Yorozu) have been destroyed by the city and park administration. We have been seeing less and less folks at the tent village as well as from Yorozu counseling center. But thanks to many dedicated organizations’ efforts, homeless people now can receive their monthly welfare much more easily than one could imagine some years ago. But some folks who have been living in their tent for a long time prefer living autonomously to living on monthly allowance. We believe that one’s way of living should be determined by them and not to be forced upon from above. Living in a tent should be allowed as a lifestyle for some period of time to those who choose to do so, which has always been a belief among supporters of Yorozu Park residents, who struggle to continue supporting such lives. As Marina said in her letter, we intend to be “the birds of freedom we made together from things found.” In 2009 we organized a workshop named “puppet master plan” where we made puppets and marched the city with them. The symbolic blue color of the tarp was fluttering in the wind. The numerous puppets we made with our hopes for freedom, ideas for our desire departed Osaka Castle Park into the street. Based on our own culture, experience and limited resources, we made this workshop mustering our wisdom and efforts.

In the aftermath of 3/11, a new network of people has begun mobilizing in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Hyogo. The members of the new network include: older activists who had been protesting against nuclear power plants Monju (in Tsuruga), Takahama and Mihama nuclear power plants; DJs and sound demo organizers; residents of tent village and their supporters; Organic farmers; researchers of global warming through water resources; activists for abolishment of death sentence; people from religious organizations; friends, acquaintances, riot grrrls, queer friends, and the poor. Everybody is different but based on minimum commonground, we are organizing a mob to make things together. Our sole commonground is to “stop and abolish all nuclear power plants!” We also encourage people overseas to be aware of these common goals and do whatever they can in the spirit of Do-it-yourself.

In April, we saw a terrible police oppression in Kamagasaki, Osaka; police raid on supporters of the tent city and day laborers, some of whom were even indicted. Now all I can do is turning my anger and sorrow into energy to do anything I can in this confusing state.

There are three things we are expanding in our DIY activities. We’d like you to let us know if you have any other ideas. The first and the third can be done wherever you are.

1) You can write your letter of demands and questions to KEPCO, TEPCO and the government, attaching your own position and title, like protester against death sentence, suppoter of homeless, or day laborer. Include any organizational title if not individual name. Then you can bring your letter to our protest in May. Even if you cannot attend the protest yourself, having someone bring your letter would be a great direct action. Sending “stop nukes” messages from many different social backgrounds and perspectives would be very powerful. For instance, it would be strange to have only one letter from a group of 100 protesters. Everybody has different feelings towards abolishment of nuclear power plants, so we should emphasize the differences. We also plan on bringing our demands to TEPCO and the government in late May.

2) Paying your electric bills in person! You can ask your power company’s to send a collection agent for you to pay your bill at home, instead of sending your payment or using automated payment. People like Fuu Mizuta and Eileen from Green Action have been doing this for a long time. For instance, if a hundred people in Osaka asked the power company to collect their payment on the same day, the company would not be able to visit everyone on the day. If they don’t show up, you can legally claim it as a nonpayment, since you have set up a date based on your will to pay your bill. You could also tell them that you are not using the electricity, but they are making you use it. You may insist on not paying for energy produced by nuclear power plant. It is also productive that you can speak with collection agent in person. You may tell them that you are ‘against nuclear power;’ it is very important to let them know there are critical opinions in their community even in small number.

3) I live in a shared house and my housemates and I made a wooden board to hang in front of our house. We’re going to scribe something like this: ‘this is xx kilometers away from Takahama nuclear Power plant. If Takahama is stricken by an accident, the entire lake Biwa would be contaminated. The water here would be undrinkable. This household is against nuclear power! We want to protect our lives on our own.’ My friends already set up a board like this at their house and also at a Shinto shrine in Uji.

Since 3.11, industries, media and educational institutions in Japan all seem to be headed towards fascism. It feels uncomfortable to see their reactions. The media bring up the slogans like ‘hang in there, Japan, our hearts are one’ and seem to skip the problems of nuclear power plant while their coverage are dominated by images of damaged landscape. We seem to be forced to indulge ourselves into our misery by mottos like “let us overcome the present.” At schools, teachers are forced to play for their kids a DVD sent by the Japan Business Federation promoting how safe radiation is. This is ridiculous. We must acknowledge that living our life in our way and to continue to do so is our non-violent direct action, which is what we can do independently. We must not allow the authorities flee from the responsibility of this man-made calamity by letting such a ridiculous trend dominate our society.

The Japanese society today has tendency to constantly make the ‘general public’ conscious of the difference between themselves and those who live in stricken areas and those who work at the nuclear plant. (i.e. we are different from them. It’s safe here while it is not there.) But we must not be confused by such propaganda. Another instance is a signboard I saw at a recent demonstration: “No more Chernobyl, No More Fukushima.” But I don’t think it is “no more” yet. Neither Chernobyl nor Fukushima is over yet. We ought to learn from Chernobyl and save Fukushima, and ought to learn to live together with the people in Fukushima.

We are all living emotions in flesh and blood, restricted by orders of the present society that we live in. We, under such circumstance, must stand together and confront the reality to find solutions for the struggles and contradictions that we are under. I suspect nothing but this is all we could do. Although I have no means to criticize those who express themselves at demonstrations, for instance, what would people in Fukushima think of the celebratory atmosphere of the demo? This kind of gap is hard to deal with. Doctrines and positions all differ among us and it’s got to be a good thing. Thus we should set difference as the standard that all our activities are based on. But I must stress that I wouldn’t be able to do anything or even begin to move, if I separate my circumstance in Osaka from what is going on in Fukushima.

We know that we are small and weak in our existence. So we can recognize the weakness and turn it into the strength. In the past we have lost so many struggles and sometimes we saw terrible losses. And we know that our strength is not to give up and lose it all despite having lost numerous battles. That is how we have learned that we are able to intervene the authorities even momentarily by changing our methods and roles. People can connect and sustain these moments of intervention. For all of us, now is the time to connect. It is no time to hang our heads in sorrow. We continue to mobilize even in misery, or even in barely safe paths, and continue to spread our community to create the movement.

We are capable of showing our emotions in many different ways, have friends to share emotions. We are alive. We know that there is always a new world and not a despair. Words from friends abroad are our energy by which we can think and move, and move on from our grief and sorrow. We no longer want to or will betray ourselves! And in order not to exhaust ourselves, let us not forget a little bit of spice and much humor in our hearts.

PDF (English)









①  みんな個別バラバラに自分の立場から申し入れ書なり、質問書をつくって、関電(関西のひとは)・東電・国へ宛てて送る。あたしなら、死刑廃止の立場・野宿者支援の立場・賃労働者の立場、とかとか。属している市民団体の名前とかで出す。(個人でもかまわないし)で、5月の関電包囲行動の時に持っていく。もし自分が労働やなにかで、包囲行動にいけなくても、自分の書いたものを渡してもらうってことは直接行動になるし。あとは、いろんな立場とか感覚で、原発止めろ!って言っていくのが力になると。例えば、100人で電力会社囲んでも申し入れが1通ってのは変でしょう。みんな違うバラバラ、いろんな思いで原発の即時停止・すべての原発を廃炉に!って集まってるんだからさ。その、共通意識でやったら良いかなと。あと5月中に東電・国にも持っていこうって計画も出てるんだ。

②  電気料金の指定日払い!これは水田ふうっていう友人やアイリーン(グリーンアクション)がずっとやってきてること。電気料金を引き落としや払い込みにしないで、電力会社に家に取りに来てもらう方法なんだ。例えば大阪市内で100人の人が月末の同じ日・時間に来て欲しいって設定したら、関電は行けないんだよね、みんなのとこへは。こっちは払う気があるから指定日にしてるわけで、取りにこなかったら不払いが成り立つ。電気は使ってるんじゃなくて使わされてる、原発で作ったエネルギーなら不払いします、とね。あとは、お金を徴収しに来た職員と話が出来るってのがメリット。「あたしは反原発です」って伝えるだけでもいいし、関電職員に、ここに1人でもそーいう人がいるって知ってもらうのは大事・チョー大事。

③  うちはシェアハウスで一軒家なんだけど、玄関に立て看板ってか、(小さい)そういうのを作ったんだ、いらない角材と木の板で。まだ書いてないけど、書いて立てるんだ。で、何を書くのかっていうと、一番近い原発(うちなら高浜)からの距離を「ここは高浜原発から○○キロ地点、高浜原発で事故があったら琵琶湖の水が汚染される・飲めなくなる。この家は原発に反対!自分の生活は自分で守りたい」的なことを書く感じ。友人のとこ宇治の橋姫神社にはもう立ってるよ。


今の日本の風潮は、いわゆる「普通」の生活を送る人には、被災地の人々や原発労働従事者との切り離しを意識させたりさせる。(こことあそこは違う。ここは安全あそこは危険、みたいな感じ)そんなものには惑わされたくない。反原発のデモで、「ノーモア チェルノブイリ ノーモア フクシマ」とアピールして、プラカードを持っている人たちがいた。けど、「ノーモア チェルノブイリ ノーモア フクシマ」は違うと思う。チェルノブイリも、福島もまだ終わっていない。チェルノブイリから学び、福島を救い、そこに今も住んでいる人らと、共に生きよう・生きたいと私は思う。私たちは生身の感情を持って生活し、今ある社会に規制されて日々を生きている。そうした人らが寄り添い、現実を直視しながら具体的な困難や矛盾を解決していくしかないんじゃないか。デモでアピールしていた人たちが悪い訳ではないが、こういうズレはすごく悲しい。福島で生活している人らが見たらどんな風に思うのか。主義・主張も立場もみんなバラバラ、みんな違うっていうのは良いことで、そこがスタンダードであるべきだと思う。でも、私は自分がいま生活している場(大阪)と福島を切り離しては、何もやっていけないし、動けない。



DIY CREATE 生★ 大阪城公園よろず相談所  生屋★グる

PDF (日本語)

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