9.7.2008 Hokkaido [2]

- Final statement by international activists

- Hokkaido - das war der Gipfel

- The detainees in Sapporo

- International call for solidarity actions against G8 repressions

- G8-Gipfel endet, Zwischenstation der altermondialistischen Bewegung

- Civil Society’s Choice at the G8 Summit: The Road of Genoa or the Road of Gleneagles?

Final statement by international activists

[Media G8way]

Press Release July 9th 2008

* Hundreds join Ainu march
* International Activists Call for Support for Japanese Prisoners

Today, in the concluding event of ten days of G8 protests, hundreds of activists from three protest camps marched in a demonstration organized by the Ainu, a disenfranchised indigenous population of Hokkaido, the island where the G8 summit is being held. The march was surrounded by several rows of police the entire time. Protesters were holding signs in English and Japanese saying “No G8”, and “Japan is a police state”.

“The Japanese government’s policies towards the Ainu are symbolic of the G8’s policies of dominance and oppression throughout the world”, said Japanese organizers.

“At some point, my friend and I, frustrated with the police, went across the street where there was a sign welcoming participants to the G8 summit. We started breaking and tearing it,” says Jone, a US activist. “Police held us and tried to arrest us, but other demonstrators came to help and manged to take us away from the police.”

At 16:00, the following statement, made by international activists from Toyoura camp, was made public in a press conference:

„Three of our friends were arrested on July 5th and have been in state custody for four days. The Japanese criminal justice system allows for inhumane treatment of prisoners. Those detained can be held for 23 days without prosecution, and their families harassed. Furthermore, the Japanese legal system imposes collective punishment; organizers can be punished for activities that others did. Within jail, prisoners` physical movements are greatly restricted: they must ask permission to lie down, sit up, etc. In many other countries, this treatment would be considered torture. The only way for the eight heads of state to maintain their undemocratic and unaccountable control over the world`s six billion people is through force. The oppressive policies of the Japanese state clearly illustrate this.

We call on people around the world to show solidarity with the three anti-G8 Japanese prisoners. Demonstrate in front of your Japanese embassies. Help fund legal suppport for the prisoners. Come next year to protest the G8 in Italy, to make sure oppression does not silence our voices“.

Hokkaido - das war der Gipfel

Vom 7. bis zum 9. Juli 2008 fand im am Toya-See liegenden Hokkaido in Japan das diesjährige Treffen der "Group Of Eight", dem sog. G8 statt. Die Proteste gegen den G8-Gipfel in Japan waren aus Sicht der Veranstalter ein Erfolg (eng). An der Demonstration am 5. Juli hatten sich 5000 Personen aus Japan und etwa anderen 50 Ländern beteiligt. Die Die Einschränkungen des Versammlungsrechts gelten als beispiellos in der Geschichte der G8. [...]


Während der Gipfeltage fanden in Sapporo etwa 80 Veranstaltungen im Rahmen des Alternativgipfelprogramms mit den Schwerpunkten Ernährungskrise und Klimakatastrophe statt. Dazu gab es tägliche Demonstrationen von den Camps in Richtung des G8-Tagungshotels.

"Die Proteste waren klein. Aber angesichts der berechtigten Angst der einheimischen Aktivisten vor Polizei und der geringen Anzahl und Größe kritischer zivilgesellschaftlicher Organisationen in Japan waren sie ein Erfolg. Zumal so etwas für Japan völlig neuartig war", sagte Yoko Akimoto, Geschäftsführerin von Attac Japan und eine der Hauptorganisatorinnen der Gegenaktivitäten. Vor allem die ausführliche Berichterstattung der japanischen Medien über die Proteste und die Forderungen der Demonstranten habe die Erwartungen von Attac Japan übertroffen.

Während der Gipfeltage fanden in Sapporo etwa 80 Veranstaltungen im Rahmen des Alternativgipfelprogramms mit den Schwerpunkten Ernährungskrise und Klimakatastrophe statt. Dazu gab es tägliche Demonstrationen von den Camps in Richtung des G8-Tagungshotels.

"Die G8 haben keine Lösungen. Im Gegenteil, sie verursachen und verschärfen die Probleme. Kompromissloser Protest ist die effektivste Strategie gegen solche Institutionen", sagte Walden Bello von Focus on the Global South bei der Abschlusspressekonferenz des G8-Action Network in Sapporo. Das habe sich bei anderen von den G8 dominierten Institutionen wie etwa dem Internationalen Währungsfonds (IWF) bewährt.

Walden Bello kritisierte die Maßnahmen der japanischen Grenzpolizei und die Einschränkungen des Versammlungsrechts als beispiellos in der Geschichte der G8. "Der Gipfel war ein sehr bedrückendes Zeugnis über den Zustand der Demokratie in den G8-Staaten und in Japan", sagte der Träger des Alternativen Nobelpreises. Zu den Auflagen gehörte, dass bei Demonstrationen nur vier Personen nebeneinander gehen dürfen. Die Ausgaben für die Abschirmung des Gipfels betrugen 280 Millionen US-Dollar - mehr als das Doppelte der 130 Millionen US-Dollar, die der G8-Gipfel im vergangenen Jahr in Heiligendamm kostete.


The detainees in Sapporo

Summary extracted from

Just released information about the detainees at the Sapporo demonstration

4 people were detained during the anti-G8 demo on 5 July in Saporro, even though the demonstration was authorized, peaceful. The only property destruction was carried out by the police.

A Reuters camera operator was detained and charged with kicking a police officer


while a line of riot cops was preventing jouirnalists from getting close to the demonstrations. The second arrested was an activist who was djing from a loudspeaker wagon


The other two arrests happened when the police attacked the authorized loudspeaker wagon. [...]

The three activists detained where charged with “violating traffic laws and the special orders for the demonstrations in Sapporo” as well as “obstructing police work”.

The journalist was released on Monday at 7 pm but the other three arrested who went to the judge on Tuesday morning who ordered an extension of their detention for ten more days as “protective custody.” This practice has been widely criticized by human rights organizations as they are continuing to be held in custody at the hands of the police, are assumed to be subject to constant long interrogations well into the night, having to remain in a kneeling position for a lengthy amount of time. It is also common that during such arrests, the police register the domicile of the detained persons and their families, regardless of how this information is relevant to their activities, which can lead to additional charges. In addition, this type of arrest could be prolonged for yet another ten days, as the maximum period of detention in Japan is 23 days. [...]

An appeal has been sent out for international support by organizing demonstrations in front of the Japanese embassy in your country on July 12 to mark a week since the first arrests.

Source: Media G8way

International call for solidarity actions against G8 repressions

Free Arrests! Protest against police state & capitalist summit!

Take simultaneous actions on Saturday 12th July.

watch a video record:

3 of our friends unjustly arrested at the demonstration against G8 summit on 5th July. One of the arrested is actually an indymedia activist who is organizing sound actions and a member of G8 Media Network which is organized by non-profit and non-govermental various grassroots media. The exerciser of overwhelming violence was the police. For instance, they stopped the track forcely, broke the window with policeman’s club etc, and dragged out the driver while hanging him. This situation was exposed as Japanese police brutality again, reported by independent media.

While most of Japanese media coverage focusing around the summit, one of homeless activists in Osaka had quietly, unfairly arrested on 4th. Alleged that his mobile phone ownership and user was different in name. Even though his group from Osaka had been planned to come and join the poverty & labour unit of couter G8 Action Network but they cannot in order to resucue him just after the liberation of another one who was also arrested by tiny bureaucratic mistake last month. All of them are unreasonably trivial things. Suppression of dissent, obviously.

We denounce suppression to the sound demonstration and homeless activists by the police, and demand immediate releasing of all. On 12th July, simultaneous protest actions will be taken 3pm in Sapporo, Tokyo, Osaka, etc. against police capitalism. Call for international solidarity! Take actions simultaneously! Protest against unjust arrests, police violence and capitalist summit.

July5th Relief Association for Sapporo Sound Demonstration
in solidarity with indymedia japan.

j5solidarity (at)


G8-Gipfel endet, Zwischenstation der altermondialistischen Bewegung

Mit der Pressekonferenz und der “Declaration of Participants in the International Solidarity Days of the G8 Action Network” ist unsere Aufenthalt in Japan zum Ende gekommen. Die Bilanz für die OrganisatorInnen der Protestaktivitäten dieses Netztwerks ist positiv, auch wenn allen klar ist, dass sie sehr klein waren. Die „große“ Demonstration brachte etwa 5000 Menschen auf die Straße, es gab alternative etwa 80 alternative Veranstaltungen und ca. 350 Menschen in den Camps. Die Bedeutung für Japan ist dies jedoch enorm, ist es doch das erste Mal, dass sich in Japan eine kritische Zivilgesellschaft in dieser Form zu Wort gemeldet hat, erklärte Yoko Akimoto von Attac Japan.

Walden Bello von Focus on the Global South sagte bei der heutigen Pressekonferenz, dass er bisher bei keinem G8-Gipfel eine derart repressive Situation erlebt habe. Wie schon beschrieben war die Angst allzu deutlich überall zu spüren. Dies aber auch tatsächlich zu verstehen, war für viele der „internationals“ so auch für uns zunächst schwierig. Für den größten Teil der Bevölkerung ist Protest kein Recht, sondern illegales Verhalten. Wie uns in langen Gesprächen berichtet wurde, hat der bis heute sehr autoritäre Charakter des Staats viel damit zu tun, dass Japan de facto seit dem 2. Weltkrieg ein Einparteienstaat ist, der von der LDP regiert wird und die Staatseliten des faschistischen Japans sich noch bruchloser in das neue System hinüber retten konnten, als dies in Europa der Fall war.

Die Bilanz des Gipfels selbst ist verheerend. Aggressiv versuchen die G8 die gegenwärtige Situation verkoppelter Krisen auszunutzen. Siehe dazu die diversen Pressemitteilungen von Attac:

Einige Analysen und Erklärungen zum Gipfel findet ihr unter:

Abschließende Eindrücke zum Gipfel auch beim Radio Forum:

Der nächste G8-Gipfel wird natürlich bereits vorbereitet. In Italien Berlusconis Italien – wieder einmal. Auf die Ereignisse in Genua 2001 wurde im Laufe der vergangenen Tage wiederholt verwiesen. Die Krisen, die z.Z. die Weltwirtschaft erschüttern werden die selben sein. Das zumindest befürchten wir. Aber in Italien werden wir mehr sein und hoffentlich schon einige Schritte weiter für eine andere Welt.

Der Blog ist hiermit im wesentlichen abgeschlossen. In den nächsten Tagen wird es aber sicherlich noch die ein oder andere Information über die Nachwehen des Gipfels geben.

Vielen Dank für euer Interesse!

So long,

Alexis Passadakis & Viviana Uriona


Civil Society’s Choice at the G8 Summit: The Road of Genoa or the Road of Gleneagles?

(Speech at the opening plenary of the People’s Summit, Sapporo Convention Center, Hokkaido, Japan, July 6, 2008.)

By Walden Bello

The Group of Eight came into being in 1975 as the G7 at a time that the world was embroiled in deep economic crisis, much like today. Its main aim was to coordinate the macroeconomic policies of the rich countries at a time of stagflation as well as to forge a common strategy vis-a-vis the developing world, which had loosened its political and economic dependency on the First World during the heady days of decolonization, national liberation struggles, and the emergence of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as an economic power.

The G7 were not successful in coordinating their policies, with the US under Ronald Reagan aggressively pursuing a cheap dollar policy that brought on recession in Germany and Japan. They did, however, come together in a united front against the developing countries, putting their weight behind the neoliberal structural adjustment policies imposed by the World Bank and IMF on more than 90 developing and transition (post-socialist) economies. The structural adjustment programs rolled back the economic gains achieved by the South in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

In the 1990’s, the G7 became the main promoters of corporate-driven globalization, for which the road had been paved by the radical deregulation, radical liberalization, and radical privatization that took place in developing countries under structural adjustment. The G7 also provided strong support for the World Trade Organization (WTO) as the main agency for the process global trade and investment liberalization demanded by their corporations.

The late 1990’s, however, brought about, not the increasing prosperity for all promised by neoliberal, pro-market policies but rising absolute poverty, increasing inequality, and the consolidation of economic stagnation in the South. The collapse of the third ministerial of the WTO in Seattle in December 1999 marked the achievement of a critical mass by the forces of opposition created by the contradictions of globalization.

With the realities of globalization exposed, the summits of the G7—now G8 with the incorporation of Russia—became a lightning rod for the rising global opposition. At the G8 Summit in Genoa in June 2001, three hundred thousand people came together under the uncompromising program of “No to the G8.” The battle lines were clearly drawn, with the Italian police or carabineri contributing immensely to polarization by erupting in a riot that took the life of one activist and injured scores of others.

Elements within the G8 realized that the image of being a hegemonic directorate of globalization was not good for the future of the body. Led by the New Labor government of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in Britain, the G8 underwent a facelift. A new discourse was forged, the key substantive elements of which were debt forgiveness for the poorest countries, the raising of aid levels to 0.7 per cent of the GDP of the G8 countries, a massive aid package for Africa, making trade serve development, and tackling climate change. The new watchwords when it came to process were “partnership,” “consultation,” “global social integration,” and the “millennium development goals.” The battle was for the soul of global civil society. The high point of this new look was the Gleneagles Summit in 2005, which was choreographed by an alliance between the Labor Government, entertainment superstars Bob Geldof and Bono, and influential British NGO’s. Several hundred thousand people who journeyed to Scotland found themselves manipulated into becoming a chorus for the glittering Aid for Africa concerts that were staged simultaneously in different parts of the globe.

By the time 2007 came along, the glitter was gone. The idea of global civil society partnering with the G8 had soured as none of the G8 governments reached the 0.7 of GDP target, aid to Africa fell short of the $20 billion promised at Gleneagles, the “Doha Development Round” had become a big joke, and serious action on climate was nowhere to be seen. Instead, the G8 communique at the Heiligendamm or Rostock Summit emphasized techno-fixes for climate change, lectured developing countries about not restricting investment by transnational corporations, and issued a thinly veiled warning about China getting preferential access to raw materials in Africa. Under the leadership of civil society in Germany, militant denunciation and confrontation of the G8 was the preferred civil society response, with thousands of demonstrators trying to penetrate the site of the leaders’ meeting to shut it down. With the dominant cry being “G8—Get out of the way,” the Heiligendamm protests retrieved the militant tradition of Genoa that had been suppressed at Gleneagles.

So we come to the G8 Summit here in Hokkaido, Japan. We have not only in Bush, Sarkozy, Brown, and Fukuda a group of discredited leaders with very low ratings at the polls in their own countries. We have as well a G8 that is, more than ever, lacking in legitimacy as the typhoon unleashed by the project of globalization that it has promoted is wracking the globe in the form of the simultaneous crises of skyrocketing oil prices, rising food prices, global financial collapse, and worsening climate change. Against this backdrop, Japanese and Asian social movements are faced with the choice of taking either the Road of Genoa or the Road of Gleneagles—that is, to deepen the G8’s crisis of legitimacy or, as in Gleneagles, to salvage the G8 once again. The greatest gift that the Japanese movement can give to global civil society is by leading the struggle to make the Hokkaido Summit the final summit of the G8.

* Walden Bello is president of the Freedom from Debt Coalition and senior analyst of Focus on the Global South.

Source: email