2007/08/25

Release comrade N immediately!

### Please forward this message widely ###
Protest against the crackdown of homeless movement by Osaka Prefectural Police
Release comrade N immediately!

Osaka Prefectural Police has just made another attempt for oppression.
24 August 2007, around 1 p.m., the police raided several apartments of the members of Kamagasaki patrol, which is homeless movement organization in Osaka, Japan, and arrested comrade N. His part-time working place was also raided.

The reason of arrest was “Violation of Road Transportation Vehicle Act”, which is quite unfamiliar law, and they insists that comrade N drove diesel-engine car last year inside Osaka city (the use of diesel car is prohibited in the city). But, the last time comrade N drove the car was more than six months ago. Surprisingly, he is the first person in Japan who arrested by this law!

Why Osaka Prefectural Police had to arrest him in such a manner? This is because comrade N has been fighting at the front line of the resistance of homeless people in Osaka, such as forced eviction of Nagai park in last February, and following forced deletion of citizenship registration of day / homeless laborer by the city.

The police arrested him the very day before the opening ceremony of the 11th World Championships in Athletics Osaka 2007. To arrest a person by such a petty suspicion is nothing but a “preventive detention”, and their aim is to strangle the voices of the people against the WCA. We will not forgive this oppression by the Osaka Prefectural Police.

In 5 February 2007, Osaka city violently evicted homeless people who had lived in the Nagai park, including comrade N. They ignored more than 5000 petition asking for stopping eviction by the citizen, and fabricated false “public opinion” saying that “Local people demands eviction”, and finally carried out the eviction using the tremendous amount of money, without answering at all the demands and questions of homeless comrades.

Why they forced such a brutal act? One clear reason is for the WCA, which invites the emperor.

In Japan, forced eviction of homeless people and the Tenno (emperor) system / National events have close relationship. Homeless people has been kicked out “like a trash”, whenever the emperor and the imperial family attend a ceremony, or national events like Olympic Games for enhancement of “National Dignity”. They regard homeless people as a thing that “spoil the view”.

Until now, countless waves of eviction have raged: Utsubo and Osaka castle park eviction (January 2006, for the World Rose Convention in May), Shirakawa park eviction (January 2005, Nagoya, for Aichi World Exposition), and so on. In Nagai park, homeless people evicted for the National Athletic Meet of 1997 and 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Problems are not only eviction. Osaka city forcedly deleted two thousand and eighty eight day / homeless laborer’s citizenship registration in this spring, and trying to cut down the “Special Employment for Elderly Worker” (three hundred million yen budget for a year / three million dollar), which provides jobs for unemployed elderly day laborer and homeless people. The city explains about the cut down of the budget as “lack of money”, while pouring four billion yen (forty million dollar) into the World Championships in Athletics!

Osaka city is trying to deprive the means for survival of the homeless people, this time using the WAC and coming of the emperor as a chance for “Beautification of Environment” and “Maintenance of the Park”. And Osaka Prefectural Police, in accordance with the city, arrested comrade N to stifle the protest against the opening ceremony of WAC, using such brutal measure!

Eviction of Utsubo-Osaka castle (January 2006), simultaneous crackdown of five homeless movement activist (27 September 2006. all released until 9 August 2007 in probation), forced deletion of citizenship registration, attempt for cutting down of Special Employment Measure, Nagai park eviction (February 2007)…..the judiciary / administration authorities united together, for destruction of the poor people’s right to live.

The 11th World Championships in Athletics Osaka 2007 is held in this war-like situation against the poor people. We condemn both WCA and the crackdown by the police.
We sincerely would like to ask you to raise your voice for protest, with us.

Kamagasaki Patrol

Send your message for protest against Osaka Prefectural Police!

Osaka Prefectural Police Headquarter
Tel: 81-6-6943-1234
3-1-11, Otemae, Chuou-ku, Osaka-si, 540-8540, JAPAN
posted by kamapat at 14:35 | English

STOP EVICTIONS!!

WE ARE THE KAMAGASAKI PATROL FROM OSAKA JAPAN!
WE STRUGGLE AGAINST EVICTION AND EXPLOITATION !

 →These are bad times in Kamagasaki, the day labor district in Osaka, and
most everywhere else in the wider city. This December, there was an
unprecedented police raid on the Kamagasaki liberation hall (kaihou
kaikan), with the police investigating how it was possible that over 4000
people were registered to the hall's address. Actually the liberation hall
functions as a mail and coordination center for squatters and homeless
people, allowing them to function like human beings, get mail and receive
work, and of course, to collect welfare and social services, since you need
an address to do that. For years, the local city hall had used the
liberation hall as a registrar for those without a fixed address with no
problems, and thus the unprecedented raid was blatantly political, meant to
crush the basic self-defense institutions of thousands of the jobless
proletariat. Despite a determined struggle by us at the Kamagasaki patrol,
other groups and some of the most active members of the squatter/day
laborer community, the city hall managed to cancel the ability of homeless
or squatting people to register their addresses at these two major working
class institutions. In so doing, anywhere from 2000 to 3000 day-laborers,
squatters and homeless have lost their rights to welfare, to work AND to
vote. Oh no! Says the city, they haven't. All they have to do is register
at a doya (worker hotel) and stay in it for half the year and they can
register their addresses. This of course means that these workers suddenly
have to pay rent for half the year to live even a decent life in the
Kamagasaki ghetto.

 →This barbarous action by the city hall is a punctuation in recent years
of repression against day laborers, squatters and homeless in western
Japan. Last September for instance, Mr. Inagaki, the head of the
day-laborer's union in Kamagasaki and also the chief organizer and in-title
owner of the Kamagasaki Liberation hall was arrested and is still being
held in prison for the supposed crime of interfering with a police action
against squatters in the west part of the city. He was not alone. Five
others were arrested at the same time in a coordinated wave of arrests, all
veteran (literally, elderly) members of the squatter resistance movement in
Osaka. Two of these men are still in jail and the other two spent 7 months
in jail without seeing trial. With Inagaki arrested, the city hall was
able to launch a critical crackdown on the ability of day-laborers to live
a decent life that made use of the Kamagasaki liberation hall.

 →The city does not want to talk, they want to destroy every institution
of semi-autonomy available in the city. They are enemies whose methods have
become harsher and harsher.

 →Let's go further back. In January 2006, all of the people living in
tents at Utsubo Park (about 20), and one part of Osaka castle Park, two
mid-city parks, were targeted for eviction. Made homeless by unemployment,
these men and women have put up tents in parks and on street sides, earning
their livings working jobs such as can and magazine collection, waste
removal etc.; they lived on their own strength with the help of neighbors.
We opposed this eviction with over 200 allies and managed to significantly
delay its execution. However, on the day of eviction over 600 city
officials including bureaucrats, guardsmen and police were able to evict
the community at Utsubo and a part of Osaka-jo park. Both of these
evictions were carried out with the proclaimed purpose of putting on,
respectively, the 'World Rose Convention 2006' and the 'National City
Greenery Fair in Osaka'. But these pretexts mask the real attack against
lower class squatters, day laborers and unemployed, who refuse to live
their lives in institutions.

 →The city's targets are always the self-organized communities of
squatters. In Osaka city alone, at least 200 homeless people die on
roadsides annually, making the necessity for the tent villages obvious.

 →Nagai park was a large gathering point for day-worker squatters who
pitched tents on its wide grasses throughout the 1990s. The squatting
population was largely evicted in 2000 only to rebuild a smaller tent
community, which was unique in its efforts to build links to other parts of
society including the wider community living around the park, children and
the disabled. The city hall had been coming around since around November
telling people to get out of their tents. This action wasn't unforeseen by
the tent inhabitants since the national games were coming to Nagai stadium
in 2007. However, by now the city had entered into an offensive strategy of
repression that centered on arresting leaders of the squatter movement,
holding them in jail and then beginning larger assaults on parks that were
not ordinarily so vulnerable. While the five squatters and supporters were
in jail, evictions of small parks all over the south side of the city took
place, including Tennoji park (in central Osaka) and many around Nihonbashi
(the electronics district).

 →We managed to organize some creative resistance to the eviction. On
January 21st, a week before the eviction, we helped organize a smaller
version of the yearly Nagai festival. Bands played, heaps of art and
beautiful banners were prepared. Food was dished out, everyone got drunk.
Discussions were held and speeches were made. A great day that summarized
the uniqueness of the Nagai community: community support, horizontal ties,
links with disabled communities, friendships with children, a
food-producing garden in southern Osaka etc. These things made Nagai one of
the most important semi-autonomous locations in the city.

 →On the day of eviction, we and other resisters (approx. 150) gathered
around the main tent/stage and were surrounded by security guards, police
and city hall officials, although there was an ongoing rush of security
guards from one side to the other as people tried to storm in to join the
defenders. Those trying to rush in were kicking barricades down, smashing
them etc.

 →As the security forces got closer, the remaining Nagai residents
launched into their 'oshibai', a hilarious play, whose plot centers around
a bunch of adventurers who encounter each other. This play had been
performed many times before to great acclaim, but at precisely 11:40 the
guardsmen rushed the sit-in and began pulling everyone up at once. The
play could not be finished amid the chaos of eviction, and by noon the city
hall was tearing apart tents and belongings of the Nagai park squatters.

SHELTERS ARE NO REPLACEMENTS FOR TENTS

 →Osaka City has proposed 'choices' such as the Osaka castle Park shelter
and the 'Independence Aid' center in exchange for homeless comrades leaving
their tents in both parks. However, these are not choices. The living
environment of the shelters is extremely rough, individual space does not
even fill two mats (2.5m by 2.5m), with thin partitions, privacy is
non-existent and the permitted amount of belongings is limited to several
pieces of cardboard. Only a single meal of white rice is provided as a
guaranteed meal for the day. In the end, residents cannot eat without
gathering aluminum cans and people's living conditions decrease markedly
compared to their lives while living in tents.

 →Once admitted to the shelter, the tent which one had been living in is
torn down by the park administration and for those who inevitably regret
their choice, there tents are gone and they are essentially kicked to the
roadside. Despite the obstinate 'persuasions' of the park personnel, the
number of people entering the shelter is only a third of those living in
tents. This is no mystery to us.

PLEASE HELP OUR COMRADES WHO FACE REGULAR EVICTIONS AND REPRESSION!

 →Regardless of these harsh conditions, regardless of the arrests, and
even having a member of ours arrested at the WTO in Hong Kong, we are not
crushed, the reverse, we are still very active. We will not allow this
crisis to end as it wants to, instead this is a good opportunity to
strengthen the ties between us and open the future together, to fight
together until the end.

We appeal for your assistance!

CONCENTRATE YOUR PROTESTS ON OSAKA CITY

This is very simple and should not take much time. Please send messages
like 'STOP EVICTIONS, STOP THE ARREST OF SQUATTER AND HOMELESS PEOPLE!'
to:

Mr.Junichi Seki
Mayor of Osaka City
1-3-20, Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka-si, Japan
Fax: +81-6-6202-6950
http://www.city.osaka.jp/shichoshitsu/iken/index.html
http://www.city.osaka.jp/yutoritomidori/request/index.html

Western Park Office
Fax: +81-6-6441-6797
2-1-4, Utsubohonmachi, Nishi-ku, Osaka-si, Japan

Eastern Park Office
Fax: +81-6-6943-6877
3-11, Osakajyo, Chuou-ku, Osaka-si, Japan

City of Osaka Chicago Office
c/o JETRO Chicago
401 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 660, Chicago, Illinois
60611 USA
Tel: 1-(312)832-6002
Fax: 1-(312)832-6066
info@osakacity.org
http://www.osakacity.org/office/contactus.aspx

City of Osaka Dusseldorf Office
c/o JETRO Dusseldorf
Konigsallee 58, 40212 Dusseldorf, Germany
Tel: 49-(211)1360241
Fax: 49-(211)326411

Bureau de Representation
de la Ville d'Osaka a Paris 29, rue des Pyramides, 75001 Paris, France
Tel: 33-(1)4015-9366
Fax: 33-(1)4015-9172
ocparis@netntt.fr
posted by kamapat at 14:32 | English

2006/01/22

Detailed information about Utsubo park and Osaka castle park eviction case in Osaka, Japan

Unemployment and Homelessness Action Committee
(Kamagasaki Iryou Renraku Kaigi, Kamagasaki Takidashi no Kai, Kamagasaki Patrol, Association of Poor people in Nagai Park, Koureisha Tokubetsu Shuurou Kumiai Junbikai, Osaka-jo Kouen Yorozu Soudansho, Nishinari Kouen Yorozu Soudansho)

Contact Information:+81-90-9700-0296 (Kamagasaki Patrol)

(Below is an English translation of detailed account of the situation as well as a call for assistance)

WE NEED EVERYONE'S HELP!

All of the people living in tents at Utsubo Park (about 20) and one part of Osaka castle Park's tents (5) are being exposed to a forced eviction crisis by Osaka city. Made involuntarily homeless by unemployment, these men and women have put up tents in parks and on street sides, earning their livings working jobs such as can and magazine collection, waste removal etc.; they have lived on their own strength with the help of neighbors.

Instead of extending a helping hand to these people, under the name of 'illegal occupation', the city is taking away the very tents that allows them to work out a lifestyle while attempting to kick the occupants out into the cold weather and onto the roadsides. In Osaka city, at least 200 homeless people die on roadsides annually. These dead are victims of homeless eviction policies, of murderous policy. In order to put a stop to Osaka city's unjust human rights violations we now need the cooperation of a number of people.


THE STORY UP UNTIL NOW

Utsubo park, where some tens of homeless people live, has been prepared by Osaka City over several years for the 'World Rose Convention 2006' (from May 11th-17th 2006). Up until this point, the tent village autonomous organization has held negotiations with the park's western office and has cooperated in discussions for the transfer of the tents.
However, since last year Osaka city has changed its attitude, handing out documents on October 4th stating "get out of the park by November 30th", refusing to dialogue with the autonomous organization and beginning 'individual visits' to tents in order to prepare for eviction.

Protest marches have occurred a few times, demanding dialogue, but the city's stance has not changed; finally the process of forced eviction has been begun by the administration.

With regard to Osaka castle Park, preparatory construction for this year's 'National City Greenery Fair in Osaka' (March 25th-May 28th 2006) has served as the reason for the eviction underway. The park's eastern office has denied the proposals for tent transfer and as soon as it had stopped responding to dialogue, sealed the entrance during visits, barring concerned individuals and supporters from entering the office, even refusing to receive correspondence, continuing a pattern of conduct that is unthinkable for public employees.

Amid the 'individual visitations' that prepare the way for eviction, there was an incident where a homeless friend was approached on November 11th 2002 by personnel who took out a knife threatening him to 'leave the park' (although the park office acknowledged the truth about this incident, there was no action by the city and no apology by the personnel involved), again on October 27th 2004 a wheelchair-bound comrade trying to build a tent was surrounded by personnel and was heaped with abuse, such as 'this one looks about dead!', provoking an 'assault incident' and the arrest and imprisonment of our homeless friend.

Since last year, patrols and 'persuasion' by park personnel has intensified and harassment and interference like the nearly complete enclosure of two tents by fencing have occurred. Just like Utsubo Park, by the end of November documents demanding departure were distributed, bringing us to the present day.


THE INITIATION OF THE EVICTION PROCESS

In both parks, park personnel distributed an 'explanation meeting notice' on January 5th to each tent. After January 11th, the 'explanation' period expired and on the 13th, an 'exclusion directive' was issued. At 1 o'clock on January 17th, the 'exclusion' period expired. And 18th morning, 'warnings' was issued. After January 23th, when the final deadline expire, an 'administrative directive' will be issued and forced evictions will commence within few days.

Administrative proceedings against homeless have happened nationally since last year, January 24th, 2005, against the tents at Nagoya's Shirokawa Park (mobilizing more than 600 personnel and guardsmen). In Osaka, the removal of the 'Karaoke village' in December 2003 at Tennoji and the forced eviction of many homeless tents and belongings in front of Imamiya Junior High School in December 1998 are understood as the first wave of state action to have occurred.

As soon as the paperwork was in motion, four people from Utsubo Park and two from Osaka castle Park opened a lawsuit against Osaka city for a halt to the administrative proceedings of the 11th. At the same time, an appeal has gone forward for a temporary restraining order. However, Osaka city has issued a letter of objection and on the 13th rejected the application for restraining order. Without a moment's delay, the city issued an exclusion order that same day.

After the 14th, as more comrades added themselves to the plaintiff group (9 from Utsubo Park, with 2 planning to add themselves), they issued a protest against the rejection of the restraining order and planned to further demand the cancellation of the exclusion order however there are fears that the city will not wait for the courts and begin forced evictions.

Osaka City is moving with an unthinkable speed (according to one lawyer, administrative action against regular citizens are often deferred several months), and so we have very little time.


SHELTERS ARE NO REPLACEMENTS FOR TENTS

Osaka City has proposed 'choices' such as the Osaka castle Park shelter and the 'Independence Aid' center in exchange for homeless comrades leaving their tents in both parks.
However, these are not choices.

Osaka castle park Shelter is an institution established three years ago. Conceived as part of Osaka castle park's 'normalization' i.e. tent eviction, it was only those pitching tents in the park who became targets (for those homeless sleeping without tents, in a much harsher situation, they are contradictorily refused entry to the shelter).

However, the living environment of the shelter is extremely rough, individual space does not even fill two mats (2.5m by 2.5m), with thin partitions, privacy is non-existent and the permitted amount of belongings is limited to several pieces of cardboard. Only a single meal of white rice is provided as a guaranteed meal for the day. In the end, residents cannot eat without gathering aluminum cans and people's living conditions decrease markedly compared to their lives while living in tents.

Once admitted to the shelter, the tent which one had been living in is torn down by the park administration and for those who inevitably feel that 'this is awful', there are no tents and they are essentially kicked to the roadside. Despite the obstinate 'persuasions' of the park personnel, the number of people entering the shelter is only a third of those living in tents. The number of those who can't stand these 'persuasions' and have had no choice but to surrender their own autonomy and leave is unknown.

Now, the Osaka city is extending the term of the Osaka castle shelter, which was planned for closure at the end of last year, and attempting to move our friends at Utsubo Park inside (already some comrades who could not avoid entering are inside). However, the shelter's essential problem is that this extension serves only for a few months. Because of this, there are no homeless comrades who wish to enter it proactively (Osaka castle Park is the same).

In the same way, the other 'choice' of the 'Independence Aid Center': although one can get three meals a day, shared rooms mean no privacy and there is a six-month limit for residency at the shelter. If one cannot find work on one's own, there is only a return to the streets.

These institutions are simply 'preparations for eviction'. With no prospects after entry and no guarantees after leaving, the shelter serves as no replacement for the tents that our friends have pitched with their own power (along with relationships of mutual aid).


WORK FOR THE HOMELESS! LIVELIHOOD PROTECTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE!

Unemployment is the largest cause of homelessness. Amid ongoing firings, restructuring and the expansion of irregular employment, homeless who have lost their jobs and everything else will keep increasing. As long as the government does not take responsibility and actuate radical shifts in unemployment policy, the homeless problem will definitely not be going away. With the progress of restructuring and de-regulation, in the midst of a situation of 'recovery without employment', forcing the unemployed to 'help themselves' will not solve the problem. For the unemployed who include homeless, the national and regional governments must take responsibility and guarantee work.

Presently, as a fruit of the homeless and day-workers' struggle against unemployment, a program called 'Work for Older Workers' has been opened in Kamagasaki, and within the city, approximately 3,000 homeless are registered (for those above 55, light work is provided in a rotating system three times a month). Disregarding the importance of this program, the city has stricken funds from its 2005 budget and is on the path to 'reduction and abolition' of these services.

We think the very opposite, and appeal for the expansion of this special employment programs' scope.

The discriminatory application of 'Livelihood Protection' (Seikatsu Hogo) is another cause of homelessness. Even now when a homeless person goes to the welfare office, they are turned away at the entrance because they do not have an address. Even disregarding the 'Livelihood Protection' clause that 'takes as principle care for a residence', if one applies for the program from a tent or living on the streets, they are usually admitted to a hospital or other institution. On one hand, in hospitals and other institutions, huge expenses are racked up for care and the pay structure funnels this money from the administration to the administrative bodies behind hospitals and other institutions.

We are not institutionalists, we demand direct transfers from the tents and roadsides into apartments under the application of 'Livelihood Protection'.


THE RIGHT TO HOUSING IS THE RIGHT TO LIVE

The problem of Utsubo Park and Osaka castle Park is by no means a problem only of the tens of people living there. As long as the direction of this country remains oriented towards the policy-based abandonment of human beings, people will only lose their jobs and continue to be expelled to the roadsides. For these people, putting their belongings on the road or in a park, pitching a tent etc., shouldn't these natural rights to live be recognized? (Japanese parks were originally after all, places of refuge) If forced evictions occur, and fences are built, 24-hour guardsman patrols begin, it will be impossible for homeless to live in these parks (already the construction of new tents is being obstinately obstructed). This will rob not only those comrades now living in the park of their right to live, but untold numbers chased into homelessness in the future.

For us, the right of those who fall unavoidably into unemployment to pitch tents and live on the roadsides is an existential right guaranteed in the Constitution's 25th amendment, a right that must be upheld according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.


WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS CONSTRUCTION IN THE FIRST PLACE?

'We're doing construction here, so get out!' is the unchanging attitude of Osaka City but really, for what and for who is this construction done?

When viewing the figures, the 923 million yen budgeted for this year's Osaka castle Park 'Greening Fair', the 200 million yen management expenses for the Osaka castle park shelter (mostly this is personnel and building lease cost), the yearly budget for the 'Independence Aid Center' of 1 billion yen (the majority of cost being personnel), and comparing these to the figure of the homeless person gathering aluminum cans, worth approximately one yen each, we cannot help but feel that something is amiss.

On January 11th, the section chief of Osaka City's Recreation and Tourism Bureau (a bureau dealing with park management) and his attorney were arrested in connection with suspicion of holding talks with landscaping companies. While this corruption and nepotism continues, wealthy Osaka City is attempting to evict our homeless friends; again we appeal for your anger.

If they succeed in evicting these homeless comrades, the operation will be judged by the Recreation and Tourism Bureau as a success, and it seems that things will only escalate (actually, this seems already to be confirmed).

We would like to again ask 'What is this construction for?'

Absconding with the rights and means of our homeless comrades to live, forcing deaths by the roadside which is most important for Osaka City: 'success' or 'money'? This we would also like to ask.

If the same thing happened to you yourself, and your family, how would you feel? This too we want to ask.


PLEASE HELP OUR COMRADES AT UTSUBO PARK AND OSAKA CASTLE PARK!

Regardless of these harsh conditions, the comrades of Utsubo and Osaka castle Parks are not crushed, the reverse, they are strengthening their organization. With the opening of administrative process on the 5th, organization within the park on the 7th followed by an emergency meeting, and along with comrades from Umeda, Ogimachi, Nagai and Nishinari Parks and from Kamagasaki, we have led successive protests to the west and eastern administrative office of the park. The team of lawyers is assisting strongly and from everywhere there are many people already raising voices of protest against the city.

We will not allow this crisis to end as it wants to, instead this is a good opportunity to strengthen the ties between us and open the future together, to fight together until the end.

We appeal for your assistance!


CONCENTRATE YOUR PROTESTS ON OSAKA CYTY

This is very simple and should not take much time. Please send messages like 'STOP FORCED EVICTIONS!' to:

Mr.Junichi Seki
Mayor of Osaka City
1-3-20, Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka-si, Japan
Fax: +81-6-6202-6950
http://www.city.osaka.jp/shichoshitsu/iken/index.html
http://www.city.osaka.jp/yutoritomidori/request/index.html

Western Park Office
Fax: +81-6-6441-6797
2-1-4, Utsubohonmachi, Nishi-ku, Osaka-si, Japan

Eastern Park Office
Fax: +81-6-6943-6877
3-11, Osakajyo, Chuou-ku, Osaka-si, Japan

City of Osaka Chicago Office
c/o JETRO Chicago
401 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 660
Chicago, Illinois
60611 USA
Tel: 1-(312)832-6002
Fax: 1-(312)832-6066
info@osakacity.org
http://www.osakacity.org/office/contactus.aspx

City of Osaka Dusseldorf Office
c/o JETRO Dusseldorf
Konigsallee 58
40212 Dusseldorf
Germany
Tel: 49-(211)1360241
Fax: 49-(211)326411

City of Osaka Singapore Office
5 Shenton Way
#37-01 UIC Building
Singapore 068808
Republic of Singapore
Tel: (65)6220-8588
Fax: (65)6224-9980
webmaster@osakacity.com.sg

Bureau de Representation
de la Ville d'Osaka a Paris
29, rue des Pyramides
75001 Paris
France
Tel: 33-(1)4015-9366
Fax: 33-(1)4015-9172
ocparis@netntt.fr

City of Osaka Shanghai Office
Room 407, Shanghai International
Trade Center
2200 Yan An Road West
Shanghai, China
Tel: 86-(21)6275-1982
Fax: 86-(21)6275-1983
webmaster@osakacity-sh.com


GATHER AT THE PARKS FOR THE DAYS OF ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION!

Sometime after the Jan 23 (excepting Saturday and Sunday), there are fears that administrative action could take place. In order to protect the tents, we think we should do all we can. We call for organization on the parks on that day.


Unemployment and Homelessness action committee
Kamagasaki Patrol

kamapat@infoseek.jp

+81-6-6647-8278(FAX)
2-1-2, Taishi, Nishinari-ku, Osaka-shi, Japan
Care of: Kamagasaki Iryou Renraku Kaigi

(End)
posted by kamapat at 03:12 | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | English

2006/01/21

Sample Letter for Utsubo park and Osaka castle park eviction case

SAMPLE LETTER (made by ACHR, Asian Coalition for Housing Rights)

Mr.Junichi Seki
Mayor of Osaka City
1-3-20, Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka-si, Japan
Fax: +81-6-6202-6950
http://www.city.osaka.jp/shichoshitsu/iken/index.html
http://www.city.osaka.jp/yutoritomidori/request/index.html

Subject:Forced evictions of homeless people

Dear Mayor,

Please allow me to convey my deep concern regarding the informationon the city government痴 plan to evict some 30 homeless people presiding residing in Utsubo park and Osaka castle park.

Such an act violates the international treaties the government of Japan has signed such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1966, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 1966, Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women 1979. etc. It violates as well the 10 March 1993 Resolution of the UN Commission on Human Rights condemning forced evictions as prima facie gross violations of human rights, in particular the right to adequate housing.

Moreover,conducting forced evictions because of some eventslike "World Rose Convention 2006" and "National City Greenery Fair in Osaka" goes against the report byUN Secretary General Kofi Anan in1993 on forced evictions which are often justified because of the holding of an international event such as world fairs, international conferences, global celebrations and others.

As you are well aware of, shelter is intricately connected inter alia to the right to work .Thus it is not enough thatthe government provides a temporary shelter whichis judgedinadequate by homeless people andJapanese civil society organizations and can sometimesbe used laterto condemn the homeless as recalcitrants. It should address the question of unemployment, the main reason why there are homeless people in a highly industrialized and prosperous country like Japan.

We therefore ask your government to:

1.stop theeviction and demolition of the tents of 30 homeless people in Utsubo park and Osaka castle park.

2.consult the affected persons and civil society organizations on the short and long term solutions to the issues ofhomelessnessand unemployment in Osaka City.

We sincerely hope your government will act favorably for thecity痴 homeless.


Sincerely yours,

Name
Organization

CC:

Western Park Office
Fax: +81-6-6441-6797
2-1-4, Utsubohonmachi, Nishi-ku, Osaka-si, Japan

Eastern Park Office
Fax: +81-6-6943-6877
3-11, Osakajyo, Chuou-ku, Osaka-si, Japan

City of Osaka Chicago Office
c/o JETRO Chicago
401 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 660
Chicago, Illinois
60611 USA
Tel: 1-(312)832-6002
Fax: 1-(312)832-6066
info@osakacity.org
http://www.osakacity.org/office/contactus.aspx

City of Osaka Dusseldorf Office
c/o JETRO Dusseldorf
Konigsallee 58
40212 Dusseldorf
Germany
Tel: 49-(211)1360241
Fax: 49-(211)326411

City of Osaka Singapore Office
5 Shenton Way
#37-01 UIC Building
Singapore 068808
Republic of Singapore
Tel: (65)6220-8588
Fax: (65)6224-9980
webmaster@osakacity.com.sg

Bureau de Representation
de la Ville d'Osaka a Paris
29, rue des Pyramides
75001 Paris
France
Tel: 33-(1)4015-9366
Fax: 33-(1)4015-9172
ocparis@netntt.fr

City of Osaka Shanghai Office
Room 407, Shanghai International
Trade Center
2200 Yan An Road West
Shanghai, China
Tel: 86-(21)6275-1982
Fax: 86-(21)6275-1983
webmaster@osakacity-sh.com
posted by kamapat at 01:29 | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | English

2006/01/17

Stop the eviction! Call for the international protests against Osaka city

Homeless people in Utsubo park, Osaka castle park are now in the face of eviction threat!
Call for the international protests against Osaka city government.

Jan 5, 2006, Osaka city launched legal procedure for eviction called "administrative subrogation" against around 30 homeless people in Utsubo park (all of the residents) and Osaka castle park (part of the residents).

At the earliest, administrative subrogation will be executed in Jan 20-23. The city authority will mobilize probably hundreds of city officers, guards, and security police to destroy tent village of homeless comrades.

One year ago, Jan 24, 2005, Nagoya city evicted homeless people in Shirakawa park using same method, mobilizing more than 600 officers.

(see pictures of Shirakawa Park Eviction in Jan 24, 2005)
http://d.hatena.ne.jp/homeless758/200501

In recent few months, Osaka city have stopped negotiation with homeless comrades in these parks, where the city have been planning reconstruction for events like "World Rose Convention 2006" and "National City Greenery Fair in Osaka".

Oct 4, 2005, the city issued written order to homeless people demanding to leave Utsubo and Osaka castle park until Nov 30, 2005. Despite several protests carried out by homeless comrades and supporters, the city has not changed the attitude.

In Osaka, there are more than 10,000 homeless people live in the streets, parks, riversides. The largest reason of their homelessness is unemployment, but the government have taken no fundamental solution for the unemployment issue, and rather tried to cut down social welfare expenses. Every year, at least more than 200 homeless people die in the streets in the city.

Faced with the eviction, homeless people in two parks sued Osaka city in Jan 11, calling for suspension of the eviction procedure. But so far, the Osaka district court has denied ordering for suspension.

This time, Osaka city have offered a "shelter" or "self independent centers" for evictee as alternative housing for eviction, but we stress that these accommodations cannot be the alternative. Both facilities lack adequate space for individuals (only small cot, and no privacy guaranteed), and they can't bring all of their belongings (only several luggage are allowed). And in several months they have to find job by themselves. If they can't make it, they will be homeless again, this time "on their fault". So naturally, no homeless comrades in the parks want to go these shelters
voluntarily.

Lacking any viable alternative and due process, the eviction process is nothing but a violation of constitutional right of Japan (article 25, the right to live) and International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (article 11, the right to adequate housing).

To stop eviction against 30 comrades of Utsubo park, Osaka castle park, we call for international protest action against Osaka city authority. And we want to stress that
this is not only for 30 comrades, but for all of the homeless people in Japan. They are representing more than 10,000 homeless comrades in Osaka city, and 30,000 homeless comrades in Japan, who now often threatened by eviction, and live under growing tension of social exclusion.

1) Please send protest to the Mayor of Osaka city.

Junichi Seki (Mayor of Osaka City)

Fax: +81-6-6202-6950

Form on the web:
http://www.city.osaka.jp/shichoshitsu/iken/index.html
http://www.city.osaka.jp/yutoritomidori/request/index.html

1-3-20, Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka-si, Japan

2) Please send protest to Park Office of Osaka city

Western Park Office:
Fax: +81-6-6441-6797
2-1-4, Utsubohonmachi, Nishi-ku, Osaka-si, Japan

Eastern Park Office:
Fax: +81-6-6943-6877
3-11, Osakajyo, Chuou-ku, Osaka-si, Japan

World Rose Convention 2006 in Osaka Executive Office:
FAX +81-6-6631-8741
1-2-7-1206-2, Asahi-machi, Abeno-ku, Osaka-si, Japan
office@worldrose-osaka2006.jp
http://www.worldrose-osaka2006.jp/jp/form/index.html


3) Please send protest to overseas office of Osaka city.

CHICAGO:
City of Osaka, Chicago Office

c/o JETRO Chicago
401 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 660
Chicago, Illinois
60611 USA
Tel: 1-(312)832-6002
Fax: 1-(312)832-6066
info@osakacity.org
http://www.osakacity.org/office/contactus.aspx


DUSSELDORF:
City of Osaka, Dusseldorf Office

c/o JETRO Dusseldorf
Konigsallee 58
40212 Dusseldorf
Germany
Tel: 49-(211)1360241
Fax: 49-(211)326411


SINGAPORE:
City of Osaka, Singapore Office

5 Shenton Way
#37-01 UIC Building
Singapore 068808
Republic of Singapore
Tel: (65)6220-8588
Fax: (65)6224-9980
webmaster@osakacity.com.sg

PARIS:
Bureau de Representation
de la Ville d'Osaka a Paris

29, rue des Pyramides
75001 Paris
France
Tel: 33-(1)4015-9366
Fax: 33-(1)4015-9172
ocparis@netntt.fr


SHANGHAI:
City of Osaka, Shanghai Office
Room 407, Shanghai International
Trade Center
2200 Yan An Road West
Shanghai, China
Tel: 86-(21)6275-1982
Fax: 86-(21)6275-1983
webmaster@osakacity-sh.com


4) Please send copy of your protest to:

Kamagasaki Patrol (member of No-Vox Japan)

TEL: +81-90-9700-0296
FAX: +81-6-6374-2233

kamapat@infoseek.jp

http://kamapat.seesaa.net/category/164090.html


(END)
posted by kamapat at 00:29 | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | English

2005/12/25

Stop Crackdown of Anti-WTO Demonstrators in Hong Kong! Report of Protest Action against the Chinese Consulate General in Osaka, Japan

Stop Crackdown of Anti-WTO Demonstrators in Hong Kong!
Release Comrade N immediately!
Report of Protest Action against the Chinese Consulate General in Osaka, Japan

December 22, we held demonstration against the Chinese Consulate General in Osaka, calling for immediate release of Comrade N and other 13 anti-WTO activists detained by Hong Kong police in December 17.

Comrade N is homeless movement activist and alternative media reporter in Osaka, so participants of this action mostly come from these fields. Also, 63 groups and individuals from various sector (homeless movement, day-worker movement, trade union movement, peasant movement, anti-war movement, anti-globalization movement etc) signed the protest petition against the Chinese Consulate General in Osaka, despite so little time for preparation.
(About homeless movement in Japan, see following articles)
http://kamapat.seesaa.net/category/164090.html

At 3 pm, around 30 people gathered near the Consulate located in Nishi-ward, Osaka city. Dozens of security police surrounded the building and streets, and tried to body-check us. There's no one outside besides the Japanese police. We pushed intercom on the wall, explained about protest petition, asked the consul general to come out. The officer on the intercom insisted he's absent and rejected anyone to come out.
We dropped the petition in the mailbox, and read it loud in front of the Consulate.

Contents of our petition are as follows.
"No to WTO, system to expand unemployment and poverty, inequity and war!"
"Stop fabricated prosecution! Release Comrade N and other 13 comrades immediately!"
"Apologize to all 1149 comrades, unjustly arrested in December 17-18!"

After that, we shouted against the consulate these slogans, and ended the protest.

*****

Yesterday, we were relieved at the news that all 14 comrades were released on bail.
We greatly appreciate efforts of people in Hong Kong who worked so hard to rescue them.
We, in Japan, will keep an eye on the situation, keep on demanding their innocence.
Because we strongly believe that their action against WTO was definitely not "the voice of minority". Their voice was/is common shout of the people around the world, who live under the harsh reality of neoliberalist globalization.
Comrades, Let's keep on fighting together!


keibitoosimondou2005dec22.jpg

osaka_infrontofconsulate2005dec22.jpg

polizeiandfuckinconsulate2005dec22.jpg

sidegateofchinaconsulate2005dec22.jpg

weshoutourprotest2005dec22a.jpg

weshoutourprotest2005dec22d.jpg

weshoutourprotest2005dec22c.jpg
posted by kamapat at 02:40 | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | English

2005/05/11

May 15: International Tent City and Housing Alternatives Day

INTERNATIONAL EVENT CELEBRATES HOUSING BY ANY MEANS

The hemisphere's first-ever International Tent City and Housing
Alternatives Day kicks off in this city at Portland's own Dignity
Village on Sunday, May 15th, at noon and the celebration with bands
and picnics will continue throughout the day and into the evening.
Dignity Village invites the WHOLE TOWN to come out and celebrate with
us on the day.

The nascent seed for the idea of a day celebrating the work done and
yet remaining to be done by tent cities, tent city initiatives, and
alternative housing arrangements in the current affordable housing
crisis came initially from Tacoma / Pierce County's Coalition of the
Homeless and spread from there to the tent cities and initiatives on
both coasts of this country and into Canada. We are hoping our friends
in the tent villages in the parks around Osaka, Japan, will also join
us in celebrating this momentous day.

International Tent City and Housing Alternatives Day will be
celebrated in a variety of ways in various participating cities and
towns. In Tacoma, WA, a model tent city will be set up in Wright Park
as a demonstration of how tent cities operate and there will be
speakers on topics ranging from social cleansing and gentrification
to alternative building techniques and energy sources. There will be
testimonials from those who made the transition from the streets into
conventional housing and also a model graveyard honoring and
remembering those who didn't and died on Tacoma's streets.

Toronto will be celebrating International Tent City and Housing
Alternatives Day by picnicking at Toronto City Hall's Nathan Phillip's
Square, where the notorious "Public Camping Ban" has been instituted,
scattering a community of 100 unhoused citizens back to scrounging for
hidden places to sleep. The Self-Housing Association will be flying
balloons in solidarity with our brothers and sisters across the world
that have housed by any means available. Support is expected from both
Toronto Disaster Relief Committee, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
and other housing supporters in Toronto.

Denver's Tent City Initiative is currently working on its guest list
and deciding whom to invite among Colorado's Coalition for the
Homeless to a possible barbecue it's planning on the day. Spokane, WA,
home of Mayor Jim West, has its own festivities planned for
International Tent City and Housing Alternatives Day according to
friends of that town's Village of Serene Freedom.

Many organizations are with us on this day of celebration including
the National Coalition of the Homeless in Washington, DC; Vancouver,
British Columbia's Anti Poverty Coalition; Ontario's Coalition Against
Poverty, Toronto Disaster Relief Committee and Self-Housing
Association; and Seattle / King County's SHARE/WHEEL; Springfield,
MA's A.R.I.S.E. Local organizations include Sisters of the Road,
Crossroads Community Organizing Project, and Street Roots.

Come help us celebrate housing by any means available at Dignity
Village on May 15th, a day Dignity will lobby to have added to our
City and State calendars. For more information about this day, check
the Village website http//:www.dignityvillage.org. If you'd like to
help organize local festivities or have constructive and creative
ideas for this first International Tent City and Housing Alternatives
Day, kindly phone the offices of Dignity at (503) 493/0740 and ask for
Jack or Tim.

http://www.outofthedoorways.org/
posted by kamapat at 21:49 | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | English

2005/01/23

For a " Forum of the Have-Nots " at the World Social Forum (WSF) January 2005, Porto Alegre

For a " Forum of the Have-Nots " at the World Social Forum (WSF) January 2005, Porto Alegre

novox_logo.jpg

We, the movement of the " Have-Nots ", people and communities bearing the brunt of neoliberal policies leading to:
-Economic, civil and neo-colonial wars
-Natural or industrial catastrophies and climate change induced by reckless search for ever-increasing productivity and profits
-Epidemies, famines, looting of our natural resources by dominating nations, the destruction of our economy and food self-sufficiency.

next
posted by kamapat at 07:08 | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | English

2004/01/01

The History of the Urban Lower Class and Homelessness in Japan

The History of the Urban Lower Class and Homelessness in Japan
Nasubi (San'ya Welfare Center for Day-Laborers' Association) and
Rayna Rusenko (Asian People's Friendship Society: A.P.F.S., Shibuya Free Association for the Right to Housing and Well-being of the HOMELESS: NOJIREN)
e-mail: nasubi@jca.apc.org

1. A Brief History of Lower Class Laborers in Japan

1-1 Urban Lower Class Laborers in the Feudal Era
An urban underclass has been present in Japan since the Middle Ages. Of particular interest is the fact that, recently, in the Edo Period of the 17th and 18th centuries, they were restructured within the political system into a Buraku Caste. That is, they were collected into a particular region, discriminatorily classified as being of a lower social standing than the rest of the population, and also restricted in terms of gainable employment.next
posted by kamapat at 00:00 | TrackBack(0) | English

Homeless Condition of Japan and its movements and tasksHomeless Condition of Japan and its movements and tasks

Homeless Condition of Japan and its movements and tasks
Matsubara Hideaki (Kamagasaki Patrol)

1. Modern Period (Edo-Meiji-to WWII)

To understand the conditions of Japanese Homeless, especially its government policies, we have to look back to the yoseba. The framework of homeless issue was created during Edo period. It was at the end of 18th century when it started around 1782 a big famine resulted in the sudden rise of the price of rice across Japan. This lead to the peasants revolt, hitting the life of lower class the hardest. The situation created many homeless living in Osaka and Tokyo.next
posted by kamapat at 00:00 | TrackBack(0) | English

Eviction of Homeless people in Osaka-Kita

Eviction of Homeless people in Osaka-Kita (north region of Osaka city)
Masanori Kanazu (Kamagasaki Patrol)

1) Overall Situation
More than 10,000 homeless people are estimated as living in Osaka city. One recent government survey has reported that the number stands only at 6,603 (in Jan-Feb 2004), but we at Kamagasaki Patrol believe this to be incorrect, since it overlooks the number of homeless people placed in shelters, the city's Self-dependent Support Center, and other accommodation facilities. The survey also fails to cover thoroughly the number of homeless people living without tents or stable abodes, thereby forced to constantly move from place to place.next
posted by kamapat at 00:00 | TrackBack(0) | English

Conditions of Urban Lower-Class Laborers in Japan

Conditions of Urban Lower-Class Laborers in Japan
(A country report for Seoul meetings on June, 2004)

Day and Homeless Laborers Committee for Addressing Neo-liberalist Globalization (Japan)

Lower-class laborers at the base of Japan's urban industrial system comprise homeless and day laborers who are forced to alternate living in "hamba" (temporary, dorm-style lodgings) provided by construction companies and, not uncommonly, on the streets. Here, we would like to report on the conditions homeless laborers and day laborers in Japan face, as well as recent developments occurring within our struggle.
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posted by kamapat at 00:00 | TrackBack(0) | English

Background on The Daily Laborers and Homeless Movement's Preparatory Committee on Globalization

Background on The Daily Laborers and Homeless Movement's Preparatory Committee on Globalization
Introduction: Our reasons for joining the Seoul Action in June

We in the daily laborer and homeless movement must not turn a blind eye to the fight against globalization!
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posted by kamapat at 00:00 | TrackBack(0) | English
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