From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
'No Occupation' solidarity march held in Osaka, Japan
OSAKA, JAPAN -- About 150 people took to downtown streets here Sunday in solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle and against the continued U.S. military occupation of Iraq.
An estimated 150 people from youth groups and other anti-war organizations in western Japan took to the streets of Osaka's Kita Ward on Sunday, 26 September, commemorating the fourth anniversary of the Palestinian intifada (uprising) and opposing the continued U.S. military actions in Iraq. Amid the presence of both uniformed and plainclothes police, a couple of protesters at the head of the march display the bright-orange Japanese characters 'Tettai' (Withdraw).
Protesters holding one of the main banners of the march, which reads: "Iraq Occupation - No!" and "Self-Defense Forces Withdraw from Iraq". More than 500 members of Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF) are currently based in Iraq.
Some of the more common signs at the Osaka demonstration were those of U.S. President George W. Bush and a chimpanzee, in similar poses.
Protesters also turned out in support of the citizens' movements of Okinawa, an island in the Ryukyus that continues to be governed by Japan and militarily dominated by the United States.
A few of the marchers who danced and sang to traditional Okinawan music during the demonstration.
Spirits were high as the marchers, singing and chanting, made their way through Sunday downtown traffic toward the United States Consulate General in Kita Ward, Osaka.
The demonstrators stopped briefly in front of the United States consulate building, calling via loudspeakers for an immediate U.S. withdrawl from Iraq. The Osaka U.S. consulate staff, however, was off for the weekend.
The marchers continued past the U.S. consulate and Osaka City Hall, finally congregating here at a park in the city's Nakanoshima district.
No police harassment of marchers was witnessed at the demonstration, though a number of plainclothes agents (such as those pictured here) were seen milling about on the periphery of the march -- taking copious notes and occasionally spying on protesters from a distance via spyglass.