Since 1 April, roughly 100 Coalition members have occupied Miyashita Park and successfully hindered the start of Nike?s construction! We are writing to update you on our situation and ask for your continued support!
April 1st, the date that Nike had scheduled to start its conversion of Miyashita Park after receiving the green light from Shibuya Ward, has come and gone. On March 10th, the Park Division announced that the Shibuya Ward Assembly?s Urban Environment Commission would permit Nike Japan to commence construction in Miyashita Park from 1 April to late October. The construction would ultimately lead to the public park?s all-out conversion into ?Miyashita Nike Park?, which the sporting goods giant plans to open in early November 2010. On March 16th, the Park Division manager came to Miyashita with a number of workers and tried to enforce the erection of a partition fence at the Harajuku side of the park. However, 60 Coalition members were able to effectively hold them off. In the weeks since, homeless activists, young artists and scores of other people have all converged in Miyashita Park to prevent construction and save the park by pitching tents, holding events, and collectively occupying the still public space. Nike officials (as advised by police it seems) did not attend the March 24th briefing in Shibuya, which had been set up to explain the construction process to local residents. Instead, staff from Shibuya?s Park Division and Tokyu Construction, contractor for the project, headed the meeting and fielded community concerns and outrage.
On March 31st, the day before construction was scheduled to start, The Coalition headed to the Ward Assembly in the afternoon, where it distributed information and sat in on official deliberations. On this day, the Assembly planned to vote on the ?Ordinance for the Administration of Sports Facilities in Miyashita Park? and the ?Ordinance to Amend Part of the Shibuya Ward Public Parks Ordinance?. Immediately after a tally of the votes showed that both Ordinances passed, The Coalition unrolled a banne