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....

My Photo
Location: Bath, Maine, United States

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Last Day in Okinawa

There are 32 US military installations on Okinawa taking up 20% of the island.  The people have been protesting regularly since 1952 against US bases but you'd never know that in the United States because these protests are not reported in the corporate dominated media

Yesterday we drummed and chanted outside the Okinawan prefecture building in Naha to encourage the governor to continue opposition to the Pentagon base expansion program on the island

We drummed and chanted outside the Naha jail yesterday honoring the three activists now under arrest for their peaceful and non-violent opposition to US base expansion at Henoko and Takae

Newspaper coverage of our protests this past week.  One women approached me this morning and said she remembered seeing my photo in the paper a year ago December when I first came to Okinawa with a Veterans For Peace delegation

Our three man VFP delegation along with the 25 other folks from Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist order that we traveled with during our visit

The third graphic from the top shows the plan for the two-runway Marine airfield that will be built on top of pristine Oura Bay.  People make a living from this sacred water body where endangered sea mammals now live. Two million cubic meters of landfill will be put on top of the coral reefs in order to build the airfield.  Is this insane or what?

I'm at the airport in Naha, Okinawa now waiting for my flight to Tokyo.  From there I fly to Minneapolis, Minnesota and then change planes to Boston.  From Boston I take a two-hour bus ride to Portland, Maine where Mary Beth will pick me up and drive me the final 45 minute leg to Bath.  So it's a long trip home.

Yesterday, soon after arriving in Naha we walked through the heart of downtown on the main commercial street that had been closed to auto traffic.  Loads of people were on the streets shopping and listening to music.  So we walked down the middle of the street with Jules Orkin and myself carrying the gold VFP banner and then the Buddhists behind us drumming and chanting up a storm.  It was quite a scene and the best part was when a black GI saw us and made eye connection and gave a nod.  Very special moment.

(Click on the photos for a better view)



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home