Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I plan to attend the anti-war demonstrations on February 15th in Shibuya, Tokyo. This is likely to become the single largest day of protest in world history.
I'm going too. Thanks for the tip Karl-Friedrich. Should we try to organize a blog mob? Who else is going? Is there a poster party before?


I'll be attending the protest in Chicago and moblogging it. If someone sets up a moblog site for the protests I'd be glad to post to it during the event.

We will be joining Santa Monica's peace on the beach that day. Don't think I can mobblog, but could send you pix.

WE are ready for that

It's a pity that the Peace Action webpage starts off with one glaring inaccuracy. They state:

"many countries including Middle East, Germany and the permanent member of the UN Security Council such as France, Russia and China criticize U.S. war drive. So only few coutries such as U.K. and Japan stand for Bush."

Actually, 18 European countries have expressed their support for war, and only 3 or 4 have said they were against it. This means the organizers of the protest are either willfully dishonest or woefully uninformed. Makes you wonder if they are serious about what they're doing, or are just being reactionary.

I'd like to go - I also think it would be cool to do a moblog. (Should I volunteer to set it up?)

Recited concern poem at 5pm and plan to attend San Francisco's Sunday.

Actually, 18 European countries have expressed their support for war, and only 3 or 4 have said they were against it.

As many polls have shown, the vast majority of European citizens are against war, even if their leaders are for war. In Italy, Spain, Denmark, Hungary, UK, etc. etc. the populations are all opposed to war, even if the leaders are backing Bush. That's why these protests are important, as they drive home the massive disconnect between citizens and their supposed representatives.

See: Reuters story on Europeans polls

Response to Khalid:

What you say about the polls is true, but what the website states is about the governments. That's why it specifically mentions UK and Japan. There's no way around the fact that it's misleading.

And, if you are going to go by popular polls, then you have to stop calling it "Bush's war" and start calling it "America's war", because the majority of Americans have been shown to be for it in multiple polls.

Again, my point is just honesty. Stand for what you want to stand for, but don't misrepresent things.

You're welcome, Joi. Thanks for spreading the word.

Personally, I don't plan to do anything else than attend and quietly think of my relatives in Germany who will attend the same protest rally in Berlin.

Mr. Braverman might benefit in his pursuit of accuracy from actually reading the statement of the eight European leaders including Mr. Blair and comparing it to what the 15 members of EU said in the presidency conclusions in December 2002. The position of the EU is quite clear, as is that of the eight leaders' statement: No war without security council backing. More on that point on my blog.

Reading my post above I apologize for the arrogant tone of the last paragraph. I should have tried harder to make my point without giving the impression of attacking Mr. Braverman personally. Sorry.

We'll be there. Anyone who wants to meet up before/during, email me (or you can use YIM: I'm ag2tokyo).

Right on.

To Mr. Lenz,

So the protesters would suddenly turn pro-war (or at least stop their protesting against it) if the Security Council gives the thumbs up? Somehow I doubt it.

(I have a hunch that the Security Council will in fact do this, if only to protect its own relevance. And I don't expect the anti-war crowd to suddenly decide it's a good idea just because the Security Council voted in favor of it. We'll see, though.)

Yep, would like to go to the protest.
Joi, Adam, have you made any plans? if so please email me.

Response to Mr. Braverman,

True, the site is worded sloppily, but I would be surprised if there was intent to mislead people.

As for the US polls... as Chomsky points out, there is a factor reflected in the US polls that skews their results: irrational fear. American polls also show that 40% of Americans believe the Iraqis to be behind 9/11. There are a lot of fearful, misinformed people, apparently.
The Guardian has an article which touches on this point.

As for Security Council... that will sway some to support the war, namely those who are opposed more to US unilateralism than to a ham-fisted use of force. It is, however, still possible to be a principled and ardent supporter of the UN while opposing Security Council-authorized military action that will likely breach humanitarian law. Senator Roche, a strong backer of the UN system and international law, articulates such an argument in this Hill Times article.

There are some benches between Seibu "B-kan" and the Mitsubishi bank. Let's meet there at 6:30pm.

Whoah there! I'm sorry, but I can't quite visualize that location. I don't need eight-digit grid coordinates, but, uh, I need a little more help than *that*.

: . )

When I can figure out where you'll be, 1830 is fine. Paul, maybe we should hook up a little earlier, say 1810 or so.


Chomsky (Mr. 'Silent Genocide') is not a credible source and his "manufacturing consent" theory applies double for the press (e.g. the Guardian) in European nations whose populations you say oppose the war. Their dissent is manufactured by the Guardianistas et al. Further, I don't think that fear of terrorism and future wars in the Middle East is "irrational" since it's true.

I'll be at the protest as a mostly skeptical observer. I went to the Peace Action site and didn't see anything about Saddam or WMD or even the usual red herring issue of oil. This doesn't speak well for the protesters' intellectual position.

John, there are potentially as many "intellectual positions" among tomorrow's protestors as there are warm bodies. I think, with such a large mass of people taking some stance against this travesty, you'll find every "position" from unregenerate Marxism to anticollectivist left libertarian to Kaczynskian deep ecologist to Volvo-drivin' soccer moms who just happen to think this war is a Bad Idea.

You can't possibly be so quick to dismiss a few tens of millions of people worldwide. Or can you?

You know Seibu right? If you walk from Hachiko crossing sort of right-ish towards Seibu, you'll see Seibu A-kan on the left. Cross the street and you will be at Seibu B-san which has a Mitsui-Sumitomo Bank in/next to it. There are a bunch of benches there between the bank and Seibu where you can hang out. It is VERY close to Miyashita-koen and pretty easy to find.

roger roger, 1830. thx

As far as the reliability of Noam Chomsky and the status of oil as an argument goes, I've written quite a long rant at my own blog. If you're interested, head on over and check. Warning: it wanders.

I don't know whether I can go, because I'll be at Kunitachi till 5:00pm for workshops and gatherings on anti National ID issue, and because I have a cold,
and because CPSR/Japan meeting may be held at the same evening.

By the way, I set up a map for "Seibu B-kan and bench" here :-) It is written in Japanese language, but may be helpful for you all.

Thanks Joi for the coordinates.
Will be there on my own or with friends.
Adam, 6.30 should be fine.
see you then. I hope more people will show up too.
Nobuo, thanks for the map.

Would anyone who attended he protest be willing to answer a few questions for me? I am a high-school student and the global protest is my subject for a big project. Please get back to me before March of 2006!!! Thank you