Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"No more tyranny by IMF and World Bank!" Protest Actions held in Tokyo and Sendai

While the annual assembly of IMF and the World Bank was held in Japan from 9 to 14 October, various protest actions took place. The first official event of the assembly, the Meeting on Disaster Prevention and Development, co-hosted by the Government of Japan and the World Bank, was held in Sendai, the central city of the region severely hit by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, on 9 and 10 October. The 2012 IMF and World Bank assembly was originally planned to be held in Cairo, but the Egyptian government declined due to the political uncertainty. The Government of Japan then came forward with the idea of hosting the meeting, with the intention to appeal to the world the nation's recovery from the disaster. The disaster-stricken region however is still struggling with multifold difficulties. Several Japanese and Korean media activists who have been witnessing and recording the reality of recovery conducted a protest action on 9 October in front of the hotel where Sendai meeting was being held.


In the afternoon of Saturday, 13 October, a casseroles (pots and pans) demonstration was held in Tokyo as part of the GlobalNoise worldwide action. Several hundred protesters marched in central Tokyo beating drums or pots and pans in their hands and chanting slogans denouncing domination of the economy by IMF and World Bank that favors the richest 1% of the world population. The march passed by the Tokyo International Forum in Marunouchi district, the venue of the annual assembly and the conferences of Finance Ministers and presidents of central banks from G7/G20 countries, and the main office of TEPCO. 

LaborNet TV broadcast a program on 12 October in which two leading activists of civil society organizations discussed how IMF and World Bank have destroyed economy of many third world countries with the notorious structural adjustment programm.  
(compiled on the basis of reports by Y and others) Photos of the Sendai protest

10 9日から14日まで日本でIMF(国際通貨基金)年次総会が開催さ、この間、いくつかの抗議行動が行われた。109日、10年次総会の最初の公式イベントとして日本政府と世界銀行が主催する「防災と開発に関する仙台会合」が開かれた。当初IMF/世銀の総会はエジプトで開催される予定だったが、政情不安を理由にエジプトが総会のホストを放棄したことで、「震災からの復興」を世界にア ピールすべく、日本が今回の年次総会のホストを引き受けることになった。しかし、政府が力説する「震災からの力強い復興」とは裏腹に、その現実は相変わら ず悲惨だ。 仙台で災害と復興の記録を続け、復興の実情をつぶさに見てきた日韓のメディア・アクティビストが9日、仙台会合が開かれている仙台市内のウェスティン・ホ テル前で、「復興の現実」を訴えて小さな抗議デモを行った。東京でも期間中いくつかの行動が組まれた。1013日の、GlobalNoise世界同時アクションの一環として行われたキャセロールデモには多数の参加者が集まり、銀座の水谷橋公園で集会を開いたあと、会議場の東京フォーラム(千代田区)周辺をデモ行進、「IMF・世銀による経済支配は、もうたくさんだ!」。激しい怒りのコールと、ドラム、鍋などを打ち鳴らす音が一時も止まずに、さわやかな秋の空に響きわたった。レイバーネットTVでも、1012NPO活動家2人をゲストに迎えて、「IMF・世界銀行の正体~世界の貧困をつくるのは誰?という特集を放送した。