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.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Big win in Okinawa!



In a major defeat for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the ruling bloc, Kyodo News and other media reported Sunday evening that former Lower House member Denny Tamaki, a staunch opponent of a controversial central government-backed plan to relocate a U.S. military base, won Okinawa’s governor race over a candidate heavily backed by the ruling parties.

The 58-year-old Tamaki, who had the support of all major opposition parties, reportedly defeated 54-year-old Atsushi Sakima, a former mayor of Ginowan, which houses U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

Tamaki campaigned by pledging to continue former Gov. Takeshi Onaga’s policy of allowing no new military bases in Okinawa.

“Mr. Onaga risked his life to commit to his determination, which is not to allow a new base to be built (in Okinawa). This has spread to people in Okinawa and backed” the campaign, Tamaki said after the results were announced.

Onaga died in August after a battle with cancer and after vowing to take steps to rescind permission for construction at Henoko.

I met former Gov. Onaga a couple years ago in Washington DC when he came to lobby the US government to abandon their plans to build a twin-runway airfield over pristine Oura Bay at Henoko.  I was part of a Veterans For Peace delegation that delivered a letter to Gov. Onaga expressing our support for their efforts.


Onaga was originally a member of the more conservative ruling party but switched loyalties over the issue of US base expansion on the island.

My step-dad was stationed on Okinawa during the Korea War.  When I was a kid I spent many hours (before non-stop TV and video game days) paging through his photo albums from that time.  I often wonder if that experience in the end led me to Okinawa where I sat several times at the construction gate with the people to block the destruction at Henoko?

The Tokyo and Washington axis threw all they had into the effort to retake control of the governorship of Okinawa.  I am so happy for the people there that they won this one.

All life is a treasure.

Bruce

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