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.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

SLIGHT REPRIEVE FOR OKINAWA ACTIVISTS & FOREST


Okinawans engaged in nonviolent action to protect their beloved, biodiverse Yanbaru Forest from unwanted U.S. military training helipad construction. Photo: The Situation in Takae Higashimura and Yanbaru Forest website.)
The blog Ten Thousand Things reports: Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Foreign Minister Maehara has stepped down because his acceptance of illegal South Korean donations has come to light.

The villagers of Takae, Okinawan environmentalists, the wildlife and trees (and the ill-paid construction workers caught in the middle of of the Japanese government's forced construction in Yanbaru Forest) have an uneasy reprieve for the next couple of months. Tokyo has stopped heavy equipment construction in the forest because of the start of the reproductive season of the critically endangered Okinawa Woodpecker.

Takae's lush forest where Tokyo wants to construct of six helipads (diameter of 75 meters each) for U.S. military V-22 Ospreys. Over 192 plant and animal (most are endangered) species are unique to this area.

UPDATE:
The Japan Times (via Kyodo News) published a disturbing report of U.S. diplomat Kevin Maher's racist disparagement of Okinawans as "lazy" and "masters of manipulation and extortion."

Maher is in charge of Japanese affairs at the State Department. When he was posted in Okinawa in the summer of 2008, Ginowan City residents formally requested he immediately leave their island.

A former Japanese Foreign Ministry official said his experience indicated that other "U.S. officials in charge of recent U.S.-Japan negotiations shared ideas like those of Mr. Maher."

Read "U.S. diplomat accused of disparaging Okinawans: Islanders 'masters of manipulation and extortion' on Futenma issue" here.

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