The International Solidarity Commission (ISC) of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), an international independent labor union, pledges its solidarity with the three Reality Tour activists who were unjustly arrested by plainclothes police as they peacefully walked down a public sidewalk in Tokyo October 26th. The activists were on their way toward the mansion of Prime Minister Tarou Asou, where they planned to lawfully express their freedom of speech and highlight the growing gap between the rich and poor in Japan. Many of the participants in the publicly announced march were precarious workers and members of independent labor unions such as the General Freeters Union.
As independent video footage demonstrates, the demonstrators were not breaking any laws and the police's action was violent, unnecessary, and entirely unprovoked. The ISC condemns that action of the police and demands the immediate release and exoneration of the three arrestees, as well as a full apology from the police accompanied by appropriate compensation. Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are universal rights that all people are entitled to.
The ISC urges the government of Japan to take serious steps to ensure that citizens' rights are protected. In light of this incident, along with the widespread abuses of police power that took place during this year's anti-G8 demonstrations in Japan, we recommend that the government make fundamental changes to its police force, including, but not limited to, implementing more civilian oversight and re-training police officers to teach them how to respect the rights of demonstrators.
The ISC gives its full support to the independent unions and grassroots activists who are involved with the Reality Tour. We stand firmly with the arrested protesters and will continue to monitor the situation and take any action necessary to ensure their release and exoneration.