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Flashmob in Tokyo (updated)

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Dozens of people sitting, walking and even lying on the pavement in front of the Shinjuku station and reading books aloud. So, the event happened, and, after some wandering, I found the venue. It was quite interesting to have all these people sit, walk or even lie on the pavement, reading aloud or mumbling to themselves, and I was not the only foreigner.

For some reason video linking doesn't work on, so just click to see a short video what it looked like, and you will see me as well :)

here here

There were not that many people, but quite enough to make an impression to others. I felt a bit uncomfortable being filmed and photographed, so I made sure only half of my face is visible from under a hood. Not that I'm afraid to be caught at flashmobs - I have no problem with that. Simply, I feel a little uneasy being a temporary resident here in Tokyo and already hurrying to protest against something that I can always escape by leaving Japan. It's the Japanese society that should be protesting, not me. Anyway, I wanted to express my support regardless of the shortness of my stay, especially because in flashmobs quantity is so important.From now on I can call myself a flashmob tourist. I was in a flashmob in Brussels, too. Would be fun to join a flashmob in every city I go to.

This is the invitation to the events:

Emergency March against Proposed New Surveillance Law 22 March 2009 Rally at Shinjuku Okubo Park (in Kabukicho, Shinjuku): 16:30 Start: 17:00 Organizer: Protest Against Surveillance Law Why you should demonstrate The Tokyo Metropolitan Government under Governor Shintaro Ishihara plans to revise a law called the Ordinance for Building Safe Towns next week, which will allow it to crack down on street actions and public performances and sleeping homeless. Even foreigners walking in commercial districts can be categorized as "nuisances” under the revision. This is definitely a step in the wrong direction, and a sign that our society is becoming more Orwellian, criminalizing performers, foreigners, and the homeless. Many labor unions and civil activist groups distribute fliers on Tokyo’s streets, but under this revision such actions will be regulated as "disturbing the social order." Street performers will be subjected to this regulation, too. In addition, residents AND non-residents in commercial districts will become obliged to make efforts to tell police about these “nuisances" and to regard them as "crimes." The targets will not be limited to performers or activists; literally anyone can be treated as "suspicious person." This is a cynical attempt to raise distrust and anxiety and create an environment where everyone monitors each other. We should protest against this dangerous revision and reject this attempt to make a society silenced by mutual monitoring. Let us hear your voice. Demo course: Okubo Park - round Koma Theater Square - Kabukicho Central Road - cross Yasukuni Street - More Nibangai (More No.2 Avenue) -More Gobangai (turning left in front of Big Camera) - cross Shinjuku-dori - Musashino-dori - Shinjuku Station East South Plaza – Alta Plaza Dystopia Tokyo Project Team for Protest Against Surveillance Law

Small event: Flash Mob against New Ordinance for Building Safe Towns Venue: Shinjuku Alta Square Time and date: 11:00-12:00, 22 March,2009 With this event, we want to protest Tokyo’s attempt to build a surveillance society that takes away our trust in others. Here’s how you can take part: 1. Bring a book of your choice, and read it out together. It doesn't matter whether you whisper or shout, whatever way you prefer. The flash mob will start at 1100 and dissolve at 1200. 2. Help us create Japan's biggest flash mob ever! Let all your friends know by mail, facebook, blog, phone or smoke signals! YouTube This event will take place regardless of weather conditions. A flash mob (or flashmob) is a large group of people who suddenly assemble in a public place, perform an unusual action for a brief time, and then quickly disperse. --


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