Update: Organizers cite about 150,000 attended with many blocked by various police actions including using cars to block the road, shutting off the street lights in front of the PM’s residence and not allowing people out of the subway stations. People finding themselves blocked just started protesting wherever they were stuck. Fukushima Diary has some of the protesters tweets.
The Friday night protest in Japan was slightly hindered by rain, early numbers still looked quite large. The police had a very different response to this week’s Tokyo protest. Police at the official residence were notably more aggressive with protesters than in previous weeks. Police also blocked the exits to subway stations near the protest area, raising questions about the safety of doing so.
No official numbers for the Tokyo protest are out yet. IWJ has taken video from helicopter again that should be available later today. It looked like most of the protest had ended by 9:30pm under a steady rain. After last weeks protest drew international attention and seemed to startle the prime minister with the sheer size, government tactics appear to have changed.
This week there were people on Twitter trying to agitate for violence or disorder at the protests. Organizers and frequent protesters urged others not to take up such actions and people began to wonder where the agitation was really coming from. The police tactics at the Tokyo protest appeared to be quite different than previous weeks where police presence was quite passive.
There have also been calls for people to begin Friday night protests in their local area if they can not make it to Tokyo.
Another Friday night protest has been growing in Osaka where this week 2700 people showed up in front of KEPCO’s offices to protest the restart of the Oi nuclear reactor. The previous weeks protest was estimated at about 700 people according to various Twitter reports.
There was also apparently a protest in Sapporo Friday night according to this tweet (machine translated)
The following 1000 people! ”
@ Asabu44 : Provincial Office before the press STV Sapporo (NTV) and 500 people. “
The growing protests have been dubbed the Hygrangea Revolution with more and more activity on this Twitter hash tag #紫陽花革命
Many English language tweets about the Tokyo protests are being posted to to this Twitter hash tag #TokyoRevolution
IWJ recorded in Sapporo
Police scuffle in Tokyo with protesters
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