The protesters sing a song titled Give Us Back Okinawa
The night of January 10th, the Okinawa Defense Bureau suddenly restarted the construction work in Henoko. At 10PM the ODB deployed over 100 riot cops from the Okinawa State Police in order to protect their route to transport heavy machinery and building supplies into the Camp Schwab of the U.S. Marine Corps.
We condemn ODB’s sneak attack on the Okinawan people and their ongoing repressive measure to silence people through the use of police force.
The people are sitting, standing and blockading to delay the work, battling the cold wind and rain. People are on the ground and in the sea. Please support their efforts by spreading the word, emailing and calling the offices (list of numbers below).
If you can go to Henoko, HERE IS THE TRAVELING DIRECTIONS. Safe travels!
If you cannot be there, here’s a list of things you can do, via local group Project Disagree
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!
Okinawa Defense Bureau
Fax : (+81)-98-921-8168
Ministry of Defense, Japan
Cabinet Secretariat, Japan
US Embassy in Tokyo
Caroline Kennedy, US Ambassador to Japan
John McCain, Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee
PROTECT OKINAWA’s SEA, FOREST and PEOPLE, NOT the BASES! STOP POLICE VIOLENCE AGAINST PEOPLE!
Okinawa State Police
Complains: (+81)-98-863-9110 (24hrs.)
Kevin Maher, the head of Japan Affair at US Dept. of State and former U.S. Consul-General of Okinawa has been accused of his remarks on Okinawan people in his lecture he gave to American University students in December 2010. 14 students were given his lecture prior to their visit in Okinawa during their winter break. After a visit to Okinawa, the students assembled their notes from Maher’s lecture, brought them forward to accuse his words. The lecture notes clearly shows false information on Okinawan people Maher has given, and suggests that a US imperialist discourse on Okinawa has resurfaced. Maher’s remarks include: “Okinawans are too lazy to grow goya (bitter melons, a famous produce of Okinawa)”, “Okinawans are masters of ‘manipulation’ and ‘extortion’ of Tokyo.” Anger spread rapidly all over Okinawa as soon as news agencies reported this incident. “Maher’s statement ruined our friendship with Japan,” said one of the students who accused of Maher’s, told Asahi Shinbun:
[I] met a lot of people in Naha and Nago. Okinawan people were honest, studious and sincere. There were no manipulators but families who hope for a safe, clean and healthy society for their children.
Back in December, Japanese TV reported the students’ impression on their visit on the island:
Detailed post from Peace Philosophy Centre including the full notes from Maher’s lecture: http://peacephilosophy.blogspot.com/2011/03/anger-spreads-over-kevin-mahers.html
Japan Times Online: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110307a2.html