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

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

BLOCKING GATES IN OKINAWA


Global Network board member Makiko Sato reports from Japan about protests in Okinawa at U.S. war base:

In face of the imminent deployment of the Ospreys [U.S. tiltrotor aircraft] from Iwakuni, where they are currently positioned, Okinawa is in the fireball-like opposition, with even some Okinawan representatives in Diet, prefectural or municipal offices participating in the all-out efforts by more than 100 citizens in the evening of blocking the gates of the U.S. Marines Futenma Air Station.

100 police officers were ineffective before 160 citizens, though some of the latter were brought away. People are determined to block those Ospreys being carried into Futenma Air Station. Those aged 65~75 are telling one another to gather at the gates, for they have less concerns than younger generations.

Today, Shoichi Chibana, a famous Okinawan activist, who burned a Japanese national flag in late '80s, and has now become a Buddhist monk, came to my hometown for a talk. He said that it can be really said that Okinawa will do financially without the U.S. bases, considering the rise in the employment rate and in the revenue from tourism. I didn't know the population of Okinawa has grown to be slightly over 1.4 million.

After his talk he received a phone call, letting him know that all the three gates of Futenma Air Station were successfully blocked by citizens with two lines of cars so that Ospreys would not be brought in.The current typhoon is giving Okinawans some time to rest from the struggles.

The Osprey deployment must be for Department of Defense (DOD) cutting the military spending. http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/06/korb-why-pentagon-cuts-are-easier-than-you-think/ 

But DOD doesn't seem to be aware that it has rubbed salt into Okinawans' unhealed wounds, especially hard this time.

Now, from school children to the elderly in their 80s, Okinawans are determined to block the deployment at any cost. 

Kevin Maher [former director of the State Department's Office of Japan Affairs left his post following comments he made calling the people of Okinawa "lazy" and "masters of extortion."] has never understood Okinawans.   DOD should know he hasn't.
Makiko Sato
Japan

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