Call them the unstoppable if you like, but the handful of anti-nuclear demonstrators has steadily grown strong in numbers and with each passing protest procession, they keep getting louder and determined. So much so that the barriers and police cordons could not keep them away from carrying on with their (four-month) tradition of holding Friday-night anti-nuclear demonstrations in front of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s residence in Tokyo.
The current rally was the 16th protest to be held and the crowd in unison had only one demand – stop the restart of nuclear reactors. Fukushima was one hard lesson that the citizens have had to learn from; and another disaster like the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant will be too much to bear. Presently the government has approved the restart of two reactors at the Oi nuclear plant in western Japan last month and one reactor is already online.
The rally first began on March 29th 2012, with only 300 participants. According to the organizers, the numbers have swelled to 150,000 protesters (local media puts it at 21,000) this week and it just keeps growing. To make it difficult for the protestors to assemble, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department ordered for only one exit from the subway station to be kept open while the other three entrances were for those using the station to leave for their homes. The police also limited the areas where protesters could stand and avoided them spilling onto the streets. Of course they say that they are doing this to prevent accidents from happening, but we know the real reason why, don’t we! Saving the Prime Minister the embarrassment of having answer to his people!