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: Bath, Maine, United States

Monday, January 30, 2017

Tension on Oura Bay in Okinawa



While recently in Okinawa with a delegation of Buddhist monks and nuns and their supporters, several in our group spent the day on boats joining a protest on pristine Oura Bay.

This video shows the massive amount of Japanese military forces in the bay daily keeping the peace activists in kayaks and small boats from interfering with runway building operations.  

The US government has forced the Japanese government to begin the process of building two runways on top of Oura Bay.  The airfields will host US warplanes descending on the Asia-Pacific as part of the US 'pivot' of 60% of Pentagon forces into the region in order to encircle China and Russia.

In order to build the runways on top of the bay, which now has the last three remaining sea mammals called Dugongs and endangered coral reefs, two million cubic meters of landfill will be dumped on top of the reefs in order to build the ten meter high airfield.
 
Local people have made a sustainable living from this sacred water body for a long time. They have been daily protesting at the front gates of the Marine base called Camp Schwab and in the bay for more than 900 days.

Obama's Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy (JFK's daughter), was instrumental in pushing this base expansion during her time as the US representative in Tokyo.  She repeatedly ignored pleas from the local citizens to meet and discuss these US plans.

There are presently 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 their protests are not reported in our corporate dominated media.  

Bruce

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