From Tunisia To Tokyo, We Are the Winds Of Change
By Nozomi Hayase
04 July, 2012
On April, 2010, it was a typical spring in San Francisco. The world I knew was about to change forever. The cruel scenery of modern war seen from an Apache helicopter gun-sight was laid bare for the whole world to see. The 18 minute video started with an opening quote from Orwell: “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
The WikiLeaks release titled Collateral Murder became an international sensation. This video footage revealed the modern face of war perpetuated by a country that had for the last 10 years become my home. WikiLeaks lifted the veil from the insulated American mind and showed the truth of war that had for so long been masked by corporate media. For some Americans, it was a confirmation of government malfeasance, of war crimes overseas. The Pentagon's reaction to the leaks led to vicious verbal attacks on WikiLeaks as well as a secret Grand Jury investigation . For the US government, the WikiLeaks releases were more than just inconvenient truths. They were a threat to US hegemony and needed to be punished.
This was just the beginning. In 2011 from Arab Spring to the Indignado protest to Occupy, an upsurge of global resistance began. People all over the world rebelled against a corporate world order and its chattel governments. I saw something bursting out. It was the winds of change. I felt a new Zeitgeist building momentum on the global stage. I sensed a vital energy convergence at a level I had never seen before. It is now hitting the streets and city squares.
Now two years have passed since the Collateral Murder burst out to the world. On Friday June 22, I was alerted to news from my home country, Japan. A massive anti-nuclear demonstration had taken hold in Tokyo at the Prime Minister's Official residence to protest against the first restart of a nuclear power plant since the Fukushima meltdown. Watching from across the Pacific, it felt like the Arab Spring moment for Japan. This protest had been growing since early March and was totally ignored by the media . But now it couldn't be stopped.
The following week on June 29, the anti-nuclear demonstration swelled to 200, 000 people according to the organizers while police estimated 15,000 . The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal started to cover the event, so major Japanese news outlets were forced to pick up the story. The New York Times reported it as the largest protest in Tokyo since the 60's: 29-year-old homemaker Yoko Kajiyama was quoted as saying, “Japanese have not spoken out against the national government;” “Now, we have to speak out or the government will threaten us all.”
From across the Pacific, I was watching this global uprising finally hit my home country. For me this trend toward revolution never felt so close as it was now. I saw these people, my own blood and culture who have been known as polite, obedient and apolitical citizens, now openly challenging their government. People from all ages filled the street in front of prime minister's Noda's official residence chanting in Japanese; “No More Restart!” What triggered this reaction by the Japanese populace?
Like the Arab revolutions, the power of the people spread with networked social media. In Tunisia, US diplomatic cables played a key role in the people's uprising . Findings in the cables confirmed their government's corruption, which empowered the Tunisians.
For Japan it was the Fukushima Leaks. The tragedy of the 2011 earthquake not only released massive radiation, but also induced a meltdown of the illegitimate authority. It leaked deep government corruption and ties between the nuclear industry and the state. We were lied to. It is now clear that the media is an arm of government and the government doesn't care about the people.
Around the world people are taking to the streets. This month alone, large protests occurred globally; From Brazil to Nepal , and on July 1 in Hong Kong . Throughout the world, government illegitimacy is mobilizing citizens to stand up and take action.
Now the world we knew is changing before our eyes. We are all becoming activists. For so long we have been told we don't have power. We had become invisible in this global corporate matrix. Politicians foist lies upon us as truth, make murder respectable and democracy becomes empty rhetoric.
People are waking up. We are no longer invisible. I see unquenchable spirit in the courageous actions of ordinary people. Borders stretch and dissolve. The grand illusion of legitimate governance is crumbling. When police attack and evict, with increasingly brutal tactics, claiming land is private property that belongs to corporations or the state, we say, No! Planet Earth is our home. Around the world, people are coming to realize a larger reality and a higher law than ones that defend and serve the interests of a tiny portion of society and global corporations.
On July 1, despite the nonstop protest, the Japanese government restarted the nuclear plant . This is only the beginning. On December 17th 2010, the fire of self-immolation lit the fuel of the Arab Spring and sparked waves of uprising around the globe. Now in the summer of 2012, a collective epiphany has begun. The awakening to our sacred planet is uniting people in global solidarity. I now see unfolding what I felt back in 2010. I feel it in the chanting and drumming of ordinary people, her breath beneath my feet. We are the winds of change. Our solidarity is the true solidity in the pure wind.
Nozomi Hayase is a contributing writer to Culture Unplugged , and a global citizen blogger, at Journaling Between Worlds . She brings out deeper dimensions of socio-cultural events at the intersection between politics and psyche, fiction and reality to share insight on future social evolution. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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