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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Blocking dump trucks at Oura Bay, Okinawa


From right to left: VFP members Tarak Kauff, Doug Lummis, Dud Hendrick and me

  • We are staying at a rustic Inn near Camp Schwab – in the countryside where local people have small vegetable plots.  Dud Hendrick, Tarak Kauff, and I have been sleeping on the floor with thin pads underneath us.  Outside there are lush Japanese-style gardens and the owner provides us an ample breakfast of salad, soup, and thick bread with pizza sauce and cheese.  The showers feel good each morning after the previous day being outside in the mostly mid-70-degree temperatures.
  • Last night the three of us from Veterans For Peace (VFP) were invited to attend a BBQ at a nearby covered pavilion.  The food and beer were ample as was the conversation.  I sat with two people from the Japanese mainland and they were particularly interested in my observations about their current government.  Do you think the Shinzo Abe administration in Tokyo is an independent government or is it a client state under the control of Washington?  I suggested that Abe’s government is willingly a junior partner in the current US imperial operation.  They nodded affirmatively.
  • Abe’s grandfather was in the Japanese imperial war cabinet. The Chinese, who were brutally invaded during WW II by fascist Japan, called him a ‘Class A’ war criminal.  Abe’s has been doing everything possible to rid Japan of its Constitution’s Article 9 which rules out offensive military operations.  Abe and Trump seem to be getting along splendidly these days.




  • NATO has been expanding operations into the Asia-Pacific in recent years trying to turn its ‘area of responsibility’ into a global force for western corporate interests.  The Japanese government has eagerly signed onto this expanding role as a NATO ‘partner’ as did South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore.  Thus, NATO now has given itself license to intervene where ever it deems necessary.  The ultimate goal is to have an expanding NATO circumvent the authority of the United Nations by claiming it is a true global alliance – I call it the ‘coalition of the killing’.


  • Yesterday afternoon during the second construction gate blockade we walked about a half-mile in the direction of the coming dump trucks (filled with huge rocks and gravel) and joined with others who stood in front of the trucks as they waited to enter Camp Schwab after the gates were cleared of those sitting to block the entry way.  Heading away from the gate, and toward the long line of waiting trucks, was a good strategy because the police were for the most part clustered around the gate where they dragged people into the temporary cages.  We were able to slow the dump truck convoy down by at least an hour because it took that long for the police to react to this strategy.  As the police would approach us and push us away from the front of one truck, we’d just move to the next one and on it went.  Eventually I was grabbed by two policemen, one who held on to the back of my pants, as they forcefully walked me into a second make-shift cage they had created just for those of us who were working the line of waiting trucks.



  • Once the blockade was over we ran into our Okinawan friend Sunshine (aptly named for her constant big smile and warm demeanor) who told us they had 83 kayaks earlier in the day in the Oura Bay action and she had been able to steer her tiny peace vessel underneath a crane out in the water which forced it to suspend its destructive operations for some time.  So, between the activists on the sea and the land construction operations were again slowed down.  Each moment of delay becomes breathing space to further build the international movement to stop this insane rush toward war that the US-NATO military alliance is aiming at China, North Korea and Russia.
With Sunshine and Toshifumi Aonuma who took many of these photos‎

 
  • We each can do something every day to help this cause – discover your particular area of skill or interest and pour your passion for our Mother Earth into the work and help protect the future generations and our relations in the natural world.  This is the message that is being conveyed during this intense and wonderful week of actions to protect Oura Bay.  These protests have been happening daily for the last 13 years at Camp Schwab and are only going to grow as more people globally learn about them.

2 Comments:

Blogger Dawn in SoCal said...

I grew up in Okinawa, hadn't heard about this. Where can I go for more info?

4/25/18, 8:13 PM  
Blogger Bruce K. Gagnon said...

On Facebook go to this page https://www.facebook.com/groups/107137066745995/

4/25/18, 8:20 PM  

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