Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nonviolent Pink Joan of Arc duo lead World Peace Now's commemoration of the 7th anniversary of the US/UK invasion of Iraq this Saturday in Tokyo

"Pink Jeanne d'Arc" performance artists Kunihiko Ukai and Rena Masuyama, a/k/a "Momo Iro Jean," promise to liven up the event with their special celebration event against war...(Photo:

At this time of record military spending; the push for military schools, and obstinate military empire-building by a few very rich people against the wishes of the billions of peace-loving people in our world—the world more than ever needs a Nonviolent Pink Joan of Arc.

Performance artists Kunihiko Ukai and Rena Masuyama subvert the dominant Western paradigm (embodied in the original Joan of Arc who wielded a sword and killed in the name of God—in quest of power and territory) that violent force is the best way to acquire resources, land, and resolve conflicts. Of course—on an unevolved and morally challenged level— it makes some sense that nations that have no legitimate claim to territories would resort to violence—knowing that their positions would not be honored in civilized forums.

Rena Masuyama is the wife of Shiva Rei, a freelance journalist who reported from Iraq. Rei will be one of the speakers at Peace Not War, Japan's upcoming "Spring Love" event. Masuyama used to be part of a performance art peace group called the "Momoiro (peach-colored, as in the color of buttocks) Guerillas"—another subversive inversion of the the concept of the macho mindset that emotionally fuels the war paradigm. The "Momoiro Guerillas" had nothing (no ill will, no violent intent) to hide in contrast to armored, armed, and camouflaged guerilla warriors.

Pink Jeanne D'Arc will be performing at the World Peace Now event commemorating the 7th anniversary of the ongoing U.S. war in Iraq.

Thanks for the head's up to Martin Frid at his Kurashi--the "Eco" Blog:
Peace groups are gathering at noon in Tokyo on Saturday for a big anti-war event on the 7th anniversary of the Iraq War.

The booths with information as well as rally speeches start at 13:00. Do join the parade, as they call the demonstration, starting at 15:00 from Shiba Koen.

There are events in the evening as well, with music and presentations.

Background on World Peace Now from Jennifer Chan's Another Japan is Possible: New Social Movements and Global Citizen Education (short excerpt of interview with Machiko Hanawa):
World Peace Now (WPN) came into being as an amorphous network when youth-centered groups centered around CHANCE!pono2 and many civic groups (dominated by relatively older people) taking action against the attack on Iraq got together and organized the first demonstration on October 26, 2002. In that first attempt, eight hundred people joined.

WPN started as a broad coalition of individuals in citizens' groups, religious groups, and international NGOs who have agreed on four principles: no more war, opposition to the war in Iraq, opposition to the Japanese government's support and cooperation for the attack on Iraq, and nonviolent action. There were some thirty organizations at the beginning, but currently the number has increased to fifty.

Until this kind of coalition came into being, many NGOs in Japan focused on a single theme and acted separately. In order to overcome this, we requested the participation and self-expression of NGOs in different fields, including Peace Boat and Greenpeace Japan. In this way, on Jan. 18, 2003, before the start of the attack on Iraq, seven thousand people participated in the demonstration in Tokyo, and fifty thousand people joined on March 21, 2003, right after the attack was started. After December 2003, when the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) joined the occupation of Iraq, opposition to the occupation of Iraq and immediate withdrawal of SDF became WPN's demands.

In March 2004, the first anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, WPN also joined the international antiwar action again. This time, 130,000 people in 120 places across Japan marched on the streets.

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