Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Monday, January 25, 2010

LETTER TO SOUTH KOREAN EMBASSY

Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space

January 26, 2010

Ambassador Yang Song-Chol
South Korean Embassy
2450 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington DC 20008

Dear Ambassador Yang:

We write in order to send you the enclosed list of 800 names [see blog entry below for the final list] from 31 countries representing peace, justice, environmental, religious, and education organizations. These signers of the “Appeal to Stop Navy Base Construction on Jeju Island” strongly urge your government to cancel all plans to build the proposed Navy base in the village of Gangjeong because of the obvious environmental damage it will do to the village, the water supply, the shore line, marine life, and to the UNESCO recognized coral just off the shore.

In addition it is our strong belief that the deployment of Naval Aegis destroyers (outfitted with so-called missile defense systems) and other warships on Jeju Island will be a destabilizing factor in the Asian-Pacific region as the U.S. and its allies (particularly Japan, Australia, and South Korea) are now moving to militarily surround China’s coastal region. This provocative action will only make the Asian-Pacific increasingly unstable as China today imports 80% of its oil on ships through the waters alongside Jeju Island. Your plan for the Navy base will help create the conditions that will lead to a new arms race in an already dangerous part of the world.

We also know with full confidence that the U.S. Navy will utilize any Naval base on Jeju Island as a port for its own Aegis destroyers and other warfighting ships which will in the end make Jeju, known as the “peace island”, a prime military target.

The signers of this appeal, all key activists and concerned citizens in their communities, are now pledged to follow this case closely on Jeju Island and to alert others about the dangerous plan to build the Navy base in Gangjeong.

By signing the appeal all the signers send their solidarity to the villagers of Gangjeong who are now struggling to protect their fishing and farming way of life from the devastation that would result from the construction of the Navy base.

We demand that the South Korean government immediately cease all plans for the Navy base. We call on your government to leave the people of Gangjeong to continue their peaceful way of life without further interruption or harassment from the police or the military.

We look forward to your prompt reply to our appeal, which we will forward, to our contacts around the world.

In peace,

Bruce K. Gagnon
Coordinator


Copy to: President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

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