“Go home G7!” An Angry Demo Led by Zengakuren
On May 19, as the G7 leaders were expected to arrive in Peace Memorial Park at 10:00 a.m., the police in riot gear surrounded Fukuromachi Park, the starting point of the demonstration. This mass mobilization of the police to suppress the demo is the evidence that the summit is a very war conference.
The Zengakuren, led by its president, Chiaki Akamine, and young workers wearing helmets marched in formation arm-in-arm. Around 500 people set out in the rain for a demonstration. (photos 1, 2)
Their chant, “Smash the summit! No to war!,” echoed through the shopping district with the sound of footsteps, and shoppers and employees leaned out from storefronts one after another. The riot police attempted to violently control the demon by grabbing and pulling students’ arms from both sides of the line to stop the march in formation, but the Zengakuren students marched on undeterred.(photo 3)
As the demo passed through the shopping district and onto a broad street with tram track, they saw Peace Memorial Park across the river. The riot police were in a great hurry to build a wall to block the way to the Park where the G7 leaders were. “G-7 go home! Don’t bring nuclear football into Peace Park!”
The demonstrators’ anger reached a climax as they approached the Peace Bridge, where they finally clashed with the dense police formation. “No war!,” they shouted to the fullest extent of their power as they faced the riot police, who tried to arrest their comrades at every opportunity. However, they did not allow any repression and continued their militant demonstration to the very end.
At 1:00 p.m., 600 people gathered again at Fukuromachi Park for demo to crush the summit. Along the road, many people jumped in to join the march.
After the demo, they staged a protest outside Hiroshima Chuo Police Station, where the student who was wrongfully arrested the day before was detained. (photo 4)