"Students Arrested For Activism Claim Oppression"
Time: 2008 Jun 19 10:00 – 11:00
Kazuya Kukino, Hosei University Student;
Fumito Morikawa, Lawyer
On May 28-29 this year, 38 people were arrested at Tokyo’s prestigious Hosei University. All are being held in detention centers around the capital on charges that include trespassing and assault. The arrests, following an anti-G8 protest organized by a radical student group, were made after the university controversially invited the police onto the Ichigaya Campus. The students say some people were hurt by heavy handed cops and hired thugs.
The origins of the dispute go back two years when the university began removing the group’s filers and other promotional material from campus notice boards, in what many view as a generalized crackdown on political activism. The group’s supporters say that 83 students have been arrested in the last two years and that the repression has escalated as the G8 Summit in Hokkaido approaches.
The skirmish has escalated into a major dispute over freedom of expression, set to be aired in court this week. Lawyers for the students will argue that the arrests at a university once famous for the freedom it granted students, constitutes a breach of their right to politically organize on campus. Hosei is not talking to the press but has posted a notice on its website blaming the students. Come and hear the students give their side of the story.