There are literally millions of people looking for information on Erwin's trial. This time, the stars have aligned over Wakayama City. The large media presence in Wakayama Court today was at it too, digging for news and feedback from lawyers who are trying to keep as tight a lid on information and spin as Sea Shepherd is.
Why? Because Erwin's future is at stake--two years in prison. And then there is the whole precedent making side--a slight brush up costs two months in jail.
Shallow news has been out since about 18:00, on TV and in print. Now just past midnight, everybody now realizes that this story is BIG--big international interest, big implications, big conclusions either way the case settles. It probably has Erwin in knots now knowing that the trial will go on next week too. And the dolphin hunt begins in Taiji in another six hours, depending on the weather.
My heroes, besides the accused, are those standing by Erwin in court. Those with the toughest job are in Taiji everyday, never letting up as the killers leave Battleship Row at Ford Island.
If you show up to support Erwin, you probably get on some Police Watch-List. Japanese know this. I know this. They...whoever they is...kept calling my workplace after I got involved last year. The stakes are high for everybody--but mostly for the dolphins and perhaps that is where we have already won.
Nobody who loves dolphins will ever let Taiji out of their sights. That's it. Alex and Allison went first, now Erwin. Today, Erwin is the only person in the world in jail for supporting dolphins. I think he'll be lucky to get out of jail by the end of February. They may wait that long to make a decision. I hope I'm wrong.
Sea Shepherds are sure to release a report on their website when they choose. Japanese and international media will report as they will. Tomorrow is the day of details that I predict will be combed through by the next group of lawyers for the next man or woman or child to stand up against the dolphin slavers and dolphin killers in Taiji. The key point is the judge making sense out of a multi-lingual trial.
Taiji citizens: the people who decided to send Erwin to jail for pushing have decided the fate of your town. You are now at the forefront for Civil and Dolphin Disobedience for environmental and animal rights activists. This will never change until the hunt ends.
Dolphin lovers: we are at the beginning of the end of the hunt.
I can report on Mr. Nakahira, local right wing representative of Nihon Yonaoshikai, in Taiji yesterday clarifying what those who love Sea Shepherd know: that the fact that Shepherds are in Taiji to end the hunt. They apply the pressure that gets people talking. They force a high-cost police presence and tax waste when the money is badly needed after the destructive typhoon last year. Sea Shepherds make children question why things are as they are. Why do dolphins have to die? Mr. Nakahira says he wants Sea Shepherd to leave.
Mr. Nakahira's comments about children were translated by the reporter from ABC Australia. This has even the local children wondering why their parents accept the murder of dolphins. Why are the questions always there?
What the heck is wrong with Taiji? Why are we killing these dolphins. They don't kill dolphins in Tokyo or Osaka, Nagoya or Hiroshima, and they say we kill baby dolphin and pregnant females too. How can we make it all go away?
Will it go away if we arrest them?
I don't think so.
The second day of Erwin Vermeulen's trial starts at 13:40 on Friday, January 27th.