Surround the Navy Base with Culture
|Getting some help holding my banner at news conference in front of Navy base gate|
Yesterday was our last day in Gangjeong village. We began the morning with a well-covered news conference at the Navy base gate. Several media outlets covered the event. I'm told the best coverage can be seen here
After lunch we met with Professor Yang Yoon-Mo who has been jailed four times (the longest was 18 months) for blocking construction vehicles at the base. In his former life he was a leading film critic in South Korea but returned to his native Jeju Island to join the resistance against the base some years ago. He told us about his plans to create a Gangjeong International Film Festival next spring and said, "I want to surround the Navy base with culture."
After dinner we took a bus to Jeju City for a cultural event where our delegation read a statement about Veterans For Peace and our solidarity with the struggling people on Jeju and Okinawa. There was a great Korean singer/songwriter who performed and blew us all away. I'll feature one of the songs he sang in my next 'Sunday Song'.
Today we leave for Okinawa where we will tour various US military installations. Major protests are in motion against current bases throughout Okinawa and a new Marine airfield that would be built over pristine Oura Bay where endangered sea mammals and coral reefs would be devastated.
Our time in Gangjeong village was really a beautiful experience for all of us. Already several of those in our delegation are talking about wanting to come back. We must thank Global Network board member Sung-Hee Choi for her hard work on our behalf during our six days in the village. She arranged a brilliant schedule for us and made sure that the smallest needs of each person were met. We made many new friends and it was great for me to reconnect with many of those who I have grown to know and love over the years.