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, August 08, 2018

No U.S. bases in Okinawa - who will speak for nature?

As I lay on my bed with my knee iced (just over three weeks since my surgery) my heart is with the people in Okinawa as they maintain their steady vigil in the water and at the gates of Camp Schwab Marine base at Henoko.

Their daily protest at the construction gate and in the bay is a level of commitment that few peaceniks in the west can imagine.  Up to 13 years this has been going on each day to say NO to the construction of twin-runways over the bay for US warplanes that are increasingly being sent into the Asia-Pacific.

The endangered dugong sea mammals, the 3,000 year old coral in Oura Bay and the people's sacred connection to the water all speak loudly to me even when Okinawa is so far away.

The US maintains that these protests are financed and led by China which is pure nonsense.  These protests are led by the people of Okinawa who completely understand that if another war happens then their island (occupied by dozens of US military bases) is a prime target.  The people are fighting to keep the peace - to introduce some sanity - into the insane Pentagon build up for war on their peaceful island home.

Who will speak for nature?  Who will speak for the coral and the fish?  Who will speak for the dugong?  Who will stand with the Okinawan people?

Just as I was finishing this post I saw an update that Okinawa's Gov. Onaga died today from cancer.  He had been fighting to oppose the runway construction on Henoko for many years.  He gave his life for the people and the island.  This will be a huge loss for the movement.  My heart goes out to all there.  You can read more about him here



Blogger Walter said...

I saw the ugly reality of the US Empire on Okinawa in 1957 end the protests of the Okinawan people. They help me become an activist against War and for peace for the last 60 years. We should all emulate and support their Humanity and our mutual Mother Earth.

8/11/18, 7:52 AM  

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