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, July 31, 2018

No 'Fleet Week' on Jeju Island



[July 19]

We denounce [South Korean President] Moon Jae-in government who instigates conflicts in the [Gangjeong] village by pushing for the international fleet review in Jeju! No fleet Review!

On July 18, an officer Lee Yong-seok from the Presidential House came to Jeju, asking villagers’ public opinion on fleet review again soon in 2-3 days and offering ‘deal’ that if fleet review is held in Jeju, President Moon would deliver the words of regret and consolation for the villagers’ inner-conflict and suffering caused from the Jeju navy base and that there would be government-supported projects to ‘recover’ community. His remark is total ignorance of villagers’ general meeting on March 30 when villagers expressed their opposition to fleet review by vote.

The village has its own rule including ‘prohibition against double jeopardy,’ and conditions to hold any general meeting. Moon government’s such policy is a forceful demand with sugar-coated lies which totally betray villagers’ democratic decision and ignore the real cause of villagers’ suffering-the Jeju navy base itself. The officer’s visit followed previous visits by a vice-chief of naval operation and another officers from the Presidential House. All such visits occurred within a week. And the next day of the officer Lee’s visit, the Island Council disappointingly postponed to submit resolution draft which opposes the fleet review. All the members had signed in opposition to the fleet review in Jeju.

We denounce Moon Jae-in government who tries to trash villagers’ general meeting vote against fleet review on March 30. The Moon government is instigating conflicts among villagers again rather than helping to ‘recover’ community. What an arrogance! If he truly respects Gangjeong villagers and is to truly apologize to villagers for his complicity in building Jeju navy base in 2007 (Moon was the Chief Presidential Secretary of ex-President Roh Moo-hyun whose government drove for the Jeju navy base in Gangjeong in 2007), he should not allow the fleet review in Jeju! He should also reconsider whether holding fleet review-regardless of venue- fits to the spirit of April 27 Inter-Korean Summit meeting.

Where is disarmament and peace? Why is the Moon government pushing for the international fleet review which would make the Jeju navy base as a strategic [target], not to mention environmental destruction and villagers' suffering!

Submitted by Choi Sung-Hee

Coming this week is the 2018 Grand March for the Life and Peace of Jeju from July 30 to August 4.  The walk will circle the entire island.


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