Takeshi Haraguchi

On June 22nd, 2008, along with other foreign activists, David Graeber joined a gathering at the Osaka Castle Park, organized as part of the nationwide actions against the G8 Summit in Toyako, Hokkaido. It was one week after the riot that took place in the Osaka day-laborers’ ghetto called Kamagasaki, breaking ten years of silence. Our impetus was high; participants included activists, the homeless inhabitants of the park, and those workers who rose up during the riot. Following a presentation by David Solnit from San Francisco, we made a lot of puppets and masks by cutting, pasting and painting cardboard. David seemed so happy doing all these works, like a little boy. Due to the heavy rain, the park was empty and it became our own space. With David we wore puppets and masks, playing instruments and marching all over the park. It was a blissful moment, as if the state and capitalism had disappeared.

Since the sad news that David passed away, I have been repeatedly thinking of the shared experience of that day. Speaking of the Osaka Castle Park, it has been turned into a sad space by waves of capitalist development and state control. The huts of the park’s homeless inhabitants, their entrances guarded by the puppets we had made, were all ultimately demolished. But we sustain the experience and memory of that day in June 2008, with which we continue our struggles. The experience of making our own symbols in total DIY manners, in a space without any bosses, continues to be our commonwealth and basis for resistance. We will never forget you — this is what I wish to tell David.

— Takeshi Haraguchi from Osaka