As demonstrations opposing a pair of government-backed security bills continue to grow, the rallies are attracting a number of fresh faces, prompting veteran protesters to take to the Web to offer valuable tips for newcomers.
“To those who are going to join the protest movement for the first time,” reads the title of a website created ahead of one of the three major rallies planned for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Tips range from the mundane, such as the locations of bathrooms near the Diet building, to the strategic, such as subway station exits closest to the rallies’ starting points.
The site also advises participants to bring bottled water amid the scorching heat wave that has wreaked havoc on the various rallies held throughout the week.
Rookie protesters were advised to prepare at least two bottles of water to stay hydrated, something salty to eat and hiepita cooling pads to prevent heatstroke.
“When you leave the Kokkai-gijido-mae Station, you won’t find any place to buy drinks,” wrote Twitter user @searchfrmeaning, who also warned against returning to the station to avoid police patrols or traffic blockage.
Another user suggested emptying half of a plastic bottled drink, freezing it and then filling it up so that protesters could enjoy ice-cold drinks during the rally.
“If you freeze the entire drink, it wouldn’t have melted by the time of the rally,” Twitter user @mkyprimary wrote.
Others gave practical tips such as the advice on the easiest ways to make it to gathering spots through Tokyo’s often time labyrinthine subway stations.
“Kokkai-gijido-mae Station, adjacent to the National Diet building, is not so close to the place where we are going to gather,” reads one post added by Twitter user @miyomi34, a veteran protester.
Detailed maps show where demonstrations and marches begin and where to use a restroom or shop ahead of the rallies. Newcomers are also warned of possible roadblocks that might affect station accessibility.
“The best way to get to the Diet’s main gate is via Tokyo Metro’s Kasumigaseki on the Tokyo Metro’s Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Hibiya Line or Sakuradamon Station on the Yurakucho Line,” said one of the veterans.
“If the Kokkai-gijidomae Station’s exit is blocked, you can head to the nearest station, Kasumigaseki,” another protester advises.
As of early Wednesday evening, the website had registered more than 30,000 page views.
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