In the bleak government district of Kasumigaseki, two white tents attract a lot of attention. Erected on the corner of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry building, the tents have been occupied since September 11th, the 6 month anniversary of the earthquake.
Now the government are trying to evict the tent-dwellers. Potential fire risk is the government`s reasoning. On Friday at 4pm the protestors will hold a demonstration against the eviction.
This afternoon I spoke to one of the protestors. I shall call him Two Badges, a 37-year-old married man, who works at Tsukiji fish market. Forgiving of my stumbling Japanese, he was friendly and easy to talk to. He gave me an update on the protest:
Right now the movement is going through its toughest time. Younger protestors, many of whom got involved last year after seeing demos mentioned on Twitter, are now suffering from shomo (exhaustion). This suits the government who have been waiting for the opposition to tire.
I was surprised to hear Two Badges is one of the younger protestors. He told me many others are veterans from the riotous demonstrations in the 1960s. On chilly evenings, when the men are crouched inside their tent, older men confess to him they regret not finishing the job back then – all the protests ultimately failed.
Apparently organised protest events attract people from all over the country. Mothers from Fukushima have travelled down before. I bet the government is not prepared to wait until their anger fades away.
Mass anti-government demo in 1960, abit like a Shinto festival: organised, fast and furious