transtifa

4

transtifa wrote

Favorite food: Probably something from back home. In like Southern China, we make this thing called 什锦菜 during the Chinese New Year. It's an assortment of a shit ton of different vegetables that are individually cooked (sautéd I think). It's SUPER yum, and obvs, my mom's the best at making them O.<

Climate change: I think we all know it's a thing. I think we don't understand the scale to which it's a thing (like the fact that it explains a lot of the natural disasters we get, such as the floods last month that killed hundreds of people). Even less people act. I've struggled immensely trying to organize for Earth Strike here.

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transtifa wrote

Not particularly, but we exist. The majority of people are politically... quiet, but I think discontent with the J govt. is incredibly commonplace. A few weeks ago when I was in 新宿 station holding anti Okinawan occupation signs, people would come and express their support.

I honestly think there's a lot of "radical burnout" here, from the monotonous nature of "radicalism" in Japan, and the fact that everyone's absolutely drained from their 9 to 5 8 to midnight.

In more short time in the greater Tokyo radical scene, the leftist subgroups look something like this:

  • Mutual aid groups. This includes ノジレン、Tokyo Spring、Food Not Bombs、山谷労働者福祉会. FNB works closely with Tokyo Spring for various fairly coincidental reasons. I don't think these groups work closely together in general though, partially that's because of geographic distance.
  • Protest / "Political action" groups. This includes C.R.A.C.、全学連、[Insert Region] antifa, etc. These groups are valuable sometimes but some of them also have problems that really need to be addressed. I think it'd be irresponsible for me to go in depth here.
  • Arty groups. This includes like different anarchist art shops, collectives, musicians/music venues, writers/infshops, etc. C.I.P., I.R.A., T.K.A., Cafe Lavenderia, etc. These are rad, and I think they're pretty willing to work with both of the former groups to help them be effective.
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transtifa wrote

Have you had a chance to do much thinking on how to change your practices based on the specifics of your location?

Not REALLY. I've only been involved in the radical communities here for very short time. Here's a couple of conclusions that I've reached, and that I use to inform my activism:

  • Counterprotests, marches, and other similar activities might be useful, but they also greatly contribute to "radical burnout." Tokyo has a much smaller radical population than most major cities, and as such it's important that we don't waste our members' time. When we have an event, it's important that we plan, strategize, and ensure that it's effective. This isn't the US where everyone is willing to go out on the weekends, the primary activist demographic isn't energetic uni students, but rather incredibly overworked 30smth adults.

  • Because of the above, building revolutionary infrastructure is so so important. We need to create radicals, and connect the few existing ones, so that we can be effective. We need to create a network where individuals ultimately no longer have to fear for their jobs, because they know they have a community that will support them if things go South.

  • Unions are generally very weak here, due to years/decades(?) of anti-worker legislation from the Japanese government. Strikes are highly restricted, and larger union activities are exceedingly rare. Sadly, for the most part, anti-work politics looks like it doesn't go beyond graffiti, pamphlets, marches, and yuck petitions.

The Japanese government has brutally crushed a large amount of radicalism within the country. We've been rebuilding from scrap, but the silver lining IMO is that we have a chance to create something that's more effective, more inclusive, and more resilient than last time. I think being very young, I have the benefit of not looking at the past with rose tinted lens. I wasn't alive then, I am alive now, I'm here to make shit work, and people not work ^_-

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transtifa wrote

How did you manage to become the youngest person?

By being a high school kid I guess

On a serious note, how's the scene in Tokyo in contrast to those in other cities?

Iunno. Tokyo is weird because activism here is very milquetoast, and there is definitely an in-grained anxiety in a lot of radical communities here. This dates back to the police crackdown on leftists from before I was born, along with the sheer like tiny size of radical communities here.

Do police harass you as well?

We don't have experience with this because we just started.

How easy is to get food donations for your work?

Not. But we're trying, and we're just starting out so we're optimistic.

I usually hear about the social roles and stigma women face in society, how do they approach their activism there?

They as in women or they as in Japanese radicals as a whole? What I will address is that Japanese radical communities are disappointingly undiverse, and I want to do everything I can to make this space inclusive of all minorities.

2

transtifa wrote

True. You (and everyone else in this thread) make good an insightful points.

I guess for addressing pragmatic concerns of employability, attaining specific skills makes more sense at this point anyway. Should start studying for my LPICs so that my parents don't freak out if I decide to forego the whole uni thing lmao.

Finding a way to set up an effective environment for rigorous collaborative learning is definitely a challenge, but probably a possible one. Starting with shit like reading clubs. Thanks for sharing <3