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

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.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

U.S. Base Expansion in Okinawa Destroys Nature



This video is about Takae, a forested area on the northern part of the island of Okinawa.  I've been there twice - once with Veterans For Peace (VFP) and a second time with a delegation of Buddhists. 

In December I am returning to Okinawa, and to Takae, with another VFP delegation - this time a larger one and our most diverse delegation of veterans yet.

We will stand with the local people as they non-violently resist the US military base expansions at Takae and Henoko.

Takae is a subtropical forest and mountain area that the US military has used since Vietnam for jungle training.  Sixty percent of Okinawa's drinking water comes from this region.  It was only in recent years that the small local village called Higashi (population 150) learned that the US had tested Agent Orange in the surrounding forest during the Vietnam years.  Dow Chemical (which manufactured Agent Orange) drums were uncovered in the area.  The locals tried to get the water tested but US forces interfered with that process.  Some animals in the area have been found with deformities.

In Henoko two US Marine V-shaped runways are being built to extend out onto pristine Oura Bay covering a total area of 205 hectares.  Of this total area, 160 hectares is to be in-fill, dredged from the sea.  Already large concrete blocks weighing as much as 45 tons were dropped on 75 seabed sites destroying 94 colonies of coral. Okinawans regularly protest at base gates and try to block sea construction operations in their kayaks.  Like on Jeju Island, South Korea they are manhandled and arrested by the Japanese government.
 
You can see some of my past blog posts about Takae and Henoko (including many photos and videos) here

The US is aiming all of this base expansion in Okinawa (and South Korea) at China and Russia.  The US wants regime change in Beijing and Moscow and is trying to get it done with a loaded gun pointed at those two sovereign nations.  This could only lead to war - nothing good can come from this US arrogance.

Bruce

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