August 30, 2008

Rally on August 15: "We can change the whole world when we are united."

 August 15, the day of the 63rd anniversary of the end of World War II (day of the surrender of Japanese imperialism), was commemorated by a rally titled " ' Crab-Canning Ship ' -Do we allow the Constitution succumb to national interest and chauvinistic nationalism?'". 580 participants gathered to the rally in Nakano, Tokyo.
  ※ "Crab-Canning Ship"(1929): a slave labor story by a prewar proletarian writer, KOBAYASHI Takiji, who was tortured and murdered by police in 1933. Its first line sounds like this: "Let's go on board. Are you ready? It's a hell on the sea"

  Prior to the rally, a militant demonstration was organized in front of Yasukuni Shrine (for the worship of war dead in Japan's imperialist wars) to accuse the ministers of the Fukuda cabinet who visited the shrine. Korean labor activists joined the protest action arm in arm with Japanese workers and students.
 The rally was opened by the address of a young social welfare worker who articulated the purpose of the rally in the following words: "Now the whole world has become 'Crab-Canning Ship'. We all live in a 'Crab-Canning Ship'. But we can change the whole world when we are united."
  Mr. HAYAMA Takeo, lawyer and representative of the sponsoring committee, suggested that the way to abolish 'Crab-Canning Ship' today lies in the united power of workers to crush the neo-liberalist Fukuda administration.
  ODA Yosuke, president of ZENGAKUREN (All Japan Federation of Student Autonomous Bodies), reported on the demonstration in the morning against Yasukuni Shrine and confirmed that they succeeded in promoting international solidarity with Korean workers through their (ZENGAKUREN's) denunciation against Japanese government's chauvinist propaganda on territorial issue between Korea (so-called 'Tokdo' island issue).
  A special speech on 'Crab-Canning Ship' was made by Professor OGINO Fujio, who recently organized an essay contest campaign on that novel. The title of the speech was "What 'Crab-Canning Ship' urges us: Keep indignation deep in your heart" He stressed that the intention of the author was not simply to describe inhuman treatment of workers on the boat but to expose the whole social structure of abuse and exploitation of working class. The speech was concluded by the citation from the letters of KOBAYASHI from the jail: "Hate the exploiters! Hold tight the hands of your comrades" "I call on my successors. Take fire from my hand!"
  Deeply impressed by the speech and the spirit of the novel,  'Crab-Canning Ship', many speakers passionately expressed their anger and resolution. A temporary worker talked about the actual situation of his workplace where he is not treated as human being and told that he was persuaded of the vital importance of unity by the militant demonstration on June 29 in Shibuya, Tokyo against G8 Summit. A young workers of a private enterprise stated that young workers are looking for a fighting labor union like Doro-Chiba who has been keeping a struggle against the privatization for years.
 Two major speeches from labor unions were delivered by Brother Lee Jeyong, president of the KCTU (Korean Confederation of Trade Unions) Seoul Regional Council and TANAKA Yasuhiro, president of Doro-Chiba.
  Brother Lee Jeyong pointed out the following issues: 1) In Korea, a large-scale 'candle demonstrations' has been developing since April against Lee Myung-bak administration. 2) Now less than 10% of Korean people support the government that allows the import of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) beef from US, carries on privatization of public services and education and brutally suppresses protest actions of working people and wider layers of population (including Christian and Buddhist clergy people). 3) Now the police keep major labor union leaders in jail, including 3 of KCTU and 3 of Metal Union, for their leadership in organizing the recent general strike. The current situation seems to be back in the days of the military dictatorship before 1987. 4) Korean workers are now suffering under the enforcement of the neo-liberal policy and a large amount of irregular workers are almost starving. 5) KCTU is convinced that Korean and Japanese working class can crush the neo-liberal offensive when unity is established to become one movement and one organization instead of fighting separately and that it would be realized through exchanging experiences not only in practice but also in theory or ideology.
  Brother Lee Jeyong called on all the participants of the rally to join in chanting the following slogans with raised fists: "Crush the neo-liberal offensive with Doro-Chiba at the forefront of the struggle!" "Workers, unite!  Let's achieve liberation of working class!" "Let's fight out till we overthrow imperialism!"
  In response to this fiery agitation, President TANAKA of Doro-Chiba pledged to forge the whole movement into one united organization powerful enough to change the society, realizing that the anger of working people is mounting everywhere and a fresh struggle is deadly needed. He urged all the participants to make every effort to mobilize and organize ten thousand workers and students to the November Workers' Rally in Tokyo. 
  Ms.YONEYAMA Yoshie, Tokyo education worker who was discharged because of her struggle against Hinomaru and Kimigayo, reported that she has succeeded in forming a community organization to support her struggle against unjust punishment on her.
  Mr.SATO Kazutoshi, lawyer and head of the secretariat of  "Campaign: We don't need the 'Jury System'", spoke against the planned introduction of the 'Jury System' that aims at organizing working people to the side of the ruling class to judge other people and to bring in division among them. He called for a general strike to stop the plan.
  Mr. TOMITA Ken, fighting against planned construction of US Marine base in Henoko, Okinawa, expressed his determination to put all his power to establish unity with all the comrades here in this rally and to struggle for ten thousands' mobilization to November Rally.
  The rally went to end by a wrap-up speech of Mr. SUZUKI Tatsuo, lawyer, who urged to strengthen the power of the movement to crush Fukuda administration that is barely allowed to survive by the lack of power on the side of the opposition forces. He finally called out: "Let's turn to offensive to prevent constitutional revision! Forward for the successful November Rally to kick out Fukuda administration!"