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On June 7, 2020 at 3 PM, approximately two thousand Japanese and foreign residents alike marched in Osaka, Japan for Black Lives Matter.

I (DJ Misty) got to be one of the organizers and now members of Black Lives Matter Kansai and the march absolutely smashed all expectations. We banked on 200 people TOPS and set out securing the paperwork and permit from the city. We confirmed our route and posted the info. It didn’t take long for momentum to pick up speed.

The group of nearly 2000 gathered next to Osaka City Hall and marched for two kilometers to Nishiumeda Park showing support for Black Lives Matter, raising awareness of racism against black people around the world, and denouncing the police brutality that led to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Atatiana Jefferson, and countless other Black lives.

As protests erupted around the world in response to the death of George Floyd during a police arrest in Minneapolis on May 25, it became clear that the residents of Osaka and neighboring prefectures in Kansai wished to speak to show solidarity and join the anti-racism movement. The Black Lives Matter march in Kansai drew enormous support online, including from Naomi Osaka, renowned Japanese professional tennis player.

The peaceful march delivered a powerful message of anti-racism and moved many participants. “We are making history! Yesterday at the march, I was overwhelmed with emotions,” said one participant. “After seeing so many people come out in support… the joy I felt was indescribable. We’re fighting for the next generation!”

All marchers were excited to participate in this historic event and also keen to protect themselves and the community from further spread of covid-19 by wearing masks and gloves and being aware of the times that we live in.

Now we hope to continue encouraging residents of Japan to speak out against racism wherever they see it and will continue working with the community to promote peace and anti-racism.

More information can be found on the public FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/BLMKansai/

Live Twitter updates are at www.twitter.com/blmkansai

(Photo contributions By Samantha Milligan) https://www.facebook.com/samantha.milligan1



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