JIADEP NOTE: Hiroshi Inagaki is a valiant crusader for the rights of laborers in Osaka's vast slum of Nishinari-ku. This arrest is purely political.



OSAKA--Prefectural police here Wednesday arrested a union leader who set off a series of violent demonstrations over the past few days in Nishinari Ward. Hiroshi Inagaki, 64, mobilized about 200 protesters at Nishinari Police Station on Saturday to protest alleged police brutality, police said. Inagaki, the leader of a union representing day laborers and homeless people, was arrested for obstructing traffic by parking a sound truck outside the police station without permission. By early Wednesday, 18 people, including day laborers, had been arrested in connection with protests that began last Friday in which 18 police officers were injured. Inagaki first planned the protest on Friday over claims police had beaten a laborer during an interrogation.(IHT/Asahi: June 19,2008)