Brutal Ugliness of Militarism
Here are some words from another member of the Veterans For Peace delegation that went to Jeju Island. Russell did not travel with us to Okinawa but stayed in Gangjeong village for five more days after our group left. Russell is an Associate member of VFP. (Pictured above are some of the UNESCO-recognized soft coral forests just off the coast of Gangjeong village. As the sea-bed is dredged to allow US warships to port there the sediment is killing the coral. Who is willing to speak out to defend the coral? Russell Wray did.)
Our visit to Gangjeong village made very real for me just how serious a threat militarism is to all life on this planet. The once beautiful Gureombi rocks have been desecrated by the base construction. Jeju Island’s estimated 114 remaining endangered Indo-pacific Bottlenose dolphins, once frequent visitors in Gangjeong’s waters, are no longer seen there since base construction began. And I fear for their survival once US and Korean Destroyers start blasting the surrounding waters with sonar….. So much that is beautiful is threatened by the brutal ugliness of militarism.
Speaking of beauty, the people there in Gangjeong Village…they so moved and inspired me with their incredible determination to resist militarism and their insistence on making the celebration of beauty, through their art, music, and dance, so much a part of that resistance. That is one beautiful community, and I thank them and I love them!
~ Russell Wray
Artist and Anti-Sonar Activist