Hangorin no Kai Condemn Tokyo Police for Targeting Anti-Olympics Organizer

Hangorin no Kai published the following statement on their website on February 20, 2020. 日本語版はこちら.

We condemn the Tokyo Police’s house search against our comrade in the Anti-Olympics struggle!

Around 8am on February 18th, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD) invaded and conducted an unjust house search at the residential tent of our comrade “A” who has been protesting the Olympics with us. Their warrant stated that A was being charged for a suspicion of having kept an incorrect address on A’s government-issued license card. After the police quickly let A glance at the warrant, Obayashi from the TMPD’s Second Public Security Division, along with 30 or so plain clothes officers in red vests, began forcefully entering A’s home. A was woken up, pushed out of their home, taken photographs and body-searched on the spot. Police officers wearing bouffant caps carefully examined a lint roller and exclaimed “we got the hair!” as they confiscated three pieces of hair off the roller. They dusted all over A’s household items to find fingerprints. Then they demanded to get A’s saliva for DNA sample. A asked if it was optional, to which the police responded it was. When A refused the DNA collection, the police threatened that they might “collect it later by force.” The police really are the worst.

Neighbors and comrades arrived quickly to support A and protest the police. When the supporters tried to document the scene, the police blocked them from filming because it would, in their words, “violate the human rights of the suspect,” and separated A’s supporters away from the police lines they drew. Meanwhile A was not even allowed to put on a jacket in the cold temperature, was pressured by the police to stand witness to the search, surrounded by an excessive number of police officers who even kept a watch on A while A was using the bathroom. To hell with human rights of the suspect. The police went on going through documents and other personal items, spending 3.5 hours for this search operation.

They confiscated a laptop, a mobile phone, notebooks, ID card, bank card and many other items that have A’s personal information. Right as the search operation was about to end, the police pressured A again for a DNA collection and optional accompaniment to the police station. A declined.

The charge known as “provision of incorrect information on driver’s license” is a very minor misdemeanor which the police frequently uses to crack down on activists and crush social movements that they dislike. Many people do not or simply forget to report change of address to the license bureau – in other words, anyone can be penalized under this violation. We firmly believe that this search was simply a part of the state repression campaign targeting those who stand against the Olympics, now that it is 5 months point to the slated opening of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Many folks under different life circumstances have to live at addresses different from what’s registered on our ID cards, and A’s situation is merely one of them. On the same day, the TMPD simultaneously made a home visit to one of A’s friends, conducted a home search and confiscated their personal items. This is the state of the police repression we are experiencing, in the name of the Olympics. We must not overlook their abuse of power and keep pushing back.

We’re continuing to monitor police activities as they could return to A at any moment. At the same time, we are calling against their forceful confiscation of DNA sample – one of the most sensitive types of personal information. We repeat: the Olympic Games exist on the ground of surveillance and repression against the everyday people. We will not forgive TMPD who force searched A’s home and Tokyo District Court’s Judge that issued the search warrant.

We’re determined to fight back against this repression against A and the broader state repression against the anti-Olympics movement.

We demand a return the confiscated items untouched!
Stop the Olympic Repression!
Abolish the police along with the Olympics regime!
Raise your voice in support!

February 20, 2020
Hangorin No Kai (No Olympics 2020)
No 2020 Olympics Disaster OkotowaLink