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Appeal to US workers and students from fighting Japanese students of Hosei University and ZENGAKUREN


August 17, 2008

Hosei Universityfs students
ZENGAKUREN (General Federation of Japanese Studentsf Autonomous Bodies)

Brothers and sisters, workers and students of US!
We are writing to you on behalf of the fighting students of Hosei University against neo-liberal offensive of the university authorities.
@War drive and neo-liberal policy have rapidly brought about a transformation of universities. In recent several years the Hosei University authorities have deprived students of their right of freedom of expression and violently suppressed independent activities of students on campus, such as organizing various student clubs, in cooperation with police. 88 students were unjustly arrested and 22 of them were indicted in these two years because of their activities on campus. We are unflinchingly fighting back this outrageous repression.
Now it has become no more possible for the capitalist class to tolerate academic autonomy and freedom that they used to admit for times. In face of this situation, we are determined to carry out our struggle to crush neo-liberal offensive and to get back education in our hands in solidarity with workers and students round the world.

ŸHow Hosei University has changed its character
@Hosei University used to be called edemocratic Hoseif and numerous Marxist economist professors were lecturing. In days of the struggle against Vietnam war, Hosei University was one of the strongholds of student movement. There was a Student Hall as a center of studentsf autonomy, in which more than one hundred independent studentfs clubs were located, such as music, arts, scientific activities. The Student Hall was completely under the control of students and was full of laughter of students and sounds of musical instrumentsf exercises night and day. Not only Hosei University students but also students of many other universities in Tokyo often gathered to the Student Hall of Hosei as a meeting point.
@The year 2000 marked a turning point for Hosei University: under the name of eUniversity Reformf, a project of redevelopment of the campus was launched with successive construction of high-rise buildings and abrupt raising of university fees. In the course of this project, control over students was gradually strengthened. Notwithstanding, in March 2003 when the war on Iraq was going to break out, the Student Hall still played a great role as a bastion of the anti-war struggle with workers, students and citizens rallying from across Japan. An accidental fire in 2004 gave the Hosei University authorities a pretext to intervene in independent studentsf activities and finally ended in dismantling the Student Hall as a center of studentsf clubs.

ŸThe repression on March 14, 2006 and our struggle thereafter
After the demolition of the Student Hall, the University authorities escalated its repressive measures against students, even trying to prohibit to put out billboards and to distribute flyers on campus. Studentsf billboards used to be symbols of animated independent activities of studentfs clubs to show that students are in charge of campus.
On March 14 when the university authorities openly declared the prohibition of billboards on campus, we stood up for a protest action. Hosei University authorities introduced a large number of police including security police and let them arrest all students present on the spot amounting to 29.
@Our struggle on campus has entered a new stage since the repression of March 14, 2006. The University authorities resorted to repeated punishment on disobedient students, including expulsion and suspension. In spite of this offensive, the students who were punished have been fighting against the university authorities, entering into campus with a determined statement that the punishments on them were invalid.
@In April this year the University authorities decided to hire personnel who are muscular professionals specially trained to assault on students. They are called eJersey troopf and hang round the campus to find out students who distribute flyer and to drive them violently out of campus. Now all studentsf activities on campus needed to be admitted by the university authorities and they are constantly watched by surveillance cameras installed on over 60 spots. Without physical confrontation against the violent eJersey troopf, one canft put out flyers or make a speech on todayfs Hosei University campus.
@On May 29, we carried out, with the help of students from other universities, a protest demonstration on campus in defiance of severe repressive system in a decisive attempt to liberate Hosei University. Upset by our action, the university authorities dared to introduce police on campus. We did not retreat in face of violent attack of security police and fought out the confrontation till the end. 38 students were arrested in all (including ones on the day before) and 15 out of them were indicted.
@On the following day, angry at the news of mass unjust arrests, a large amount of students and workers gathered in front of Hosei University campus and one of the students went into a 170-hour hunger strike for protest. In spite of violent suppression by means of mass arrests, the struggle on Hosei University campus has been going on.

ŸStruggle in detention (jail)
The total number of the arrested students on Hosei campus amounts to 88 since the start of the struggle on March 14, 2006. At present moment, 20 students are held in Tokyo detention center. Japan pretends to be a edemocratic statef, but in reality it is a brutal, repressive state. Once arrested, police can detain him or her for 23 days at most without any visitors except lawyer. In case of indictment, detention can continue for more than half year. During investigation, police attempts every means to have arrested people converted, urging them to quit the emovementf. We make it our principle to keep complete silence in front of police and to refuse conversion from the instant of arrest. We are proud to tell you that all of those arrested 88 students carried out this principle in their struggle against police investigation, that is, gno word, no conversionh. Even though significant numbers of major activists are in detention, Hosei University struggle is being fought courageously as fighting student movement and is gaining wider popular support. Among others, fighting lawyers are helping the arrested students in detention in their struggle against the university authorities, police, prosecutor and court. Thus the Hosei struggle is threatening the social order imposed by the capitalist class.

ŸOctober 17 Day of Hosei Liberation Struggle and November 2 National Workersf Rally
A series of political repressions on the student movement in Hosei University evidently constitutes an integral part of the neo-liberal offensive of Japanese imperialism on working class. It goes also parallel with its reactionary attempts of revising the Japanese constitution (elimination of the 9 article of prohibiting war) and of unrestricted dispatching Self-Defense Forces overseas.
To meet these offensives, we, fighting students of Hosei University and fighting students of ZENGAKUREN who squarely confronted the brutal repression on May 28 and 29, carried out a militant demonstration in Shibuya, downtown Tokyo on June 29 against G8 Summit in Hokkaido (North Japan) together with angry workers in our earnest hope of building up solidarity with the fighting workers all over the world. We are now convinced that our struggle has been steadily driving not only the Hosei University authorities but also the Fukuda administration into bankruptcy.
On October 17, we, fighting students of Hosei University together with fighting students of ZENGAKUREN are going to rise up for a decisive struggle to liberate Hosei campus.
Succeeding this struggle, we are joining November 2 National Workers Rally sponsored by Doro-Chiba with a great mobilization of fighting students nation-wide.
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ŸLetfs fight in solidarity against neo-liberal offensive, our common enemy!

@Now the working people round the world are rising up for strike and food riot, shouting, gWe must liveh. In US, on May Day, ILWU shut down all ports on the West Coast to stop the war on Iraq. In response to this action, Iraqi port workers stood up for one-hour strike. Those are the really historical great struggles.
@CAMS succeeded to stop several hundred students to be delivered to the military by driving out military recruiters from school. UTLA waged on June 6 one-hour strike to protest against the cut of education and social welfare expenditure.
@Japanese education workers who are fighting against Hinomaru and Kimigayo headed by sisters NEZU Kimiko and KAWARAI Junko are receiving supporting statements and resolutions from CAMS, UTLA, CFT and CLF. This is really amazing.
@We, fighting students of Hosei University and fighting students of ZENGAKUREN, pledge to continue struggle in solidarity with the working class of US and the rest of the world for our common cause.
@We are now organizing signature campaign for petition to get back our comrades from the jail. We ask you, US workers and students, to help us in our struggle to win back the arrested and indicted 20 students in detention by the repressions on May 28 and 29 in Hosei University and other occasions after that. Please give your support for our petition drive.
@Letfs fight together arm in arm!
@In class solidarity!

KUKINO Kazuya, student of law faculty of Hosei University, arrested and suspended indefinitely for the struggle on March 14, 2006
ODA Yosuke, president of ZENGAKUREN (General Federation of Japanese Studentsf Autonomous Bodies)