The GI Resistance Movement
Our 35-person Nipponzan Myohoji delegation joined a large weekly local protest at the front gate of the US's Kadena AFB in Okinawa this morning in the rain.
While standing there with two other Veterans For Peace (VFP) members we held a banner calling for all US bases in Okinawa to be closed.
One of the US security team at the gate and I talked quite a bit during our presence. He is a private contractor originally from Indiana. After he retired from the US military he came back to do the same basic job as a contractor and is likely paid much more than when he was on active service. So he is drinking from the public well twice - getting retirement pay and now working for the Air Force as a contractor. The American taxpayers are being fleeced by these kind of private security operations.
While talking he was very interested in our group - where we were from, how we traveled, how many of us there were, how long we'd be in Okinawa, etc? I talked to him about US empire, the Okinawan people's deep rejection of the US military occupation of their lands, and my own time in the Air Force during the Vietnam War.
I told him it was the meetings of the GI Resistance Movement in my barracks room (my first roommate was one of the organizers) that helped to turn me into a peace activist.
I suggested he watch this fabulous documentary video. Maybe he, or others from US intelligence assigned to Okinawa, will take the time to see this important historical piece.