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Protesting US Military Base, Elders Dragged Away by Okinawa Riot Police


Protesting US Military Base, Elders Dragged Away by Okinawa Riot Police

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Elders were dragged away by riot police on Thursday after linking arms, lying on the ground, and blocking vehicles in a bid to physically prevent the construction of a widely-opposed U.S. military base in the Okinawa Prefecture of Japan.

Hundreds joined in the demonstration in front of Camp Schwab with the aim of stopping vehicles from transporting materials to build the American installation. "Don't lend a hand in the construction of the military base!" the crowd chanted.


Inspirational resistance. We need resistance inside the USA. Is anyone working to close bases, or block expansion, here?

i know there's ongoing work at Fort Benning / SOA / WHISC. There has been work at the Nevada Test Site, and Plowshares actions. Any current news of resistance at military bases in the USA?


Anyone who objects to the obscene spending by the MIC is branded as unAmerican. The military slaughters around the world so we can drink our Starbucks peacefully . God bless America and we thank you for your service.


I'm reminded of the 1972 Pulitzer Prize winning "Fire in the Lake", one of the first in depth analyses of the war waged on Viet Nam. The title references chapter 49 in the I Ching, Ko (Revolution), which in this case refers to the inevitability of change in necessity of removal of that which is antiquated, stagnant, dysfunctional so that healthy renewal is possible.

Frances Fitzgerald was the first to recognize and respect the cultural legacy and integrity of the peoples of Viet Nam, something that the powers chose not only to maintain ignorant of, but virtually without exception, based decisions precisely on constructs of devastating ignorance. This now characterizes the entire century of 'modern' globalization based on raw force, its guise of benign intent increasingly revealed as naked aggression from alpha to omega.

Never has the economics of the military industrial hegemon been more cannibalistic and the challenge to foster actual living systems more essential. We are deeply, deeply in need of ALL that has been and is being scorned, externalized and constantly threatened by the stunningly wasteful homogenizing blender model of willful ignorance as 'elite'.


It must be awful to live in a country where the government ignores the will of the people. That is simply unimaginable to us Americans.


A Japanese prefecture has no more control over the choices related to relationships between the national control than a state might control the choices of the Pentagon and made law by the Congress and POTUS. The CD article leaves out the very long history of the choice to move the Marine air field which has gone on for more than a decade with battles in the Japanese legislature and the U.S. Congress. The protest related to the underlying Status of Forces Agreement is hardly new.

The copy and paste for those unfamiliar explains, whether posters approve or disapprove of such Pentagon arrangements about SOFAS. Would it do any good to protest the SOFAS with the current militarist GOP Congress?
It's rhetorical as I suspect all are aware of. A little education on this issue can't hurt.

Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?
The United States has been party to multilateral and bilateral agreements addressing the status of U.S. armed forces while present in a foreign country. These agreements, commonly referred to as Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs), generally establish the framework under which U.S. military personnel operate in a foreign country, addressing how the domestic laws of the foreign jurisdiction shall be applied toward U.S. personnel while in that country.
Formal requirements concerning form, content, length, or title of a SOFA do not exist. A SOFA may be written for a specific purpose or activity, or it may anticipate a longer-term relationship and provide for maximum flexibility and applicability. It is generally a stand-alone document concluded as an executive agreement. A SOFA may include many provisions, but the most common issue addressed is which country may exercise criminal jurisdiction over U.S. personnel. Other provisions that may be found in a SOFA include, but are not limited to, the wearing of uniforms, taxes and fees, carrying of weapons, use of radio frequencies, licenses, and customs regulations.
SOFAs are often included, along with other types of military agreements, as part of a comprehensive security arrangement with a particular country. A SOFA itself does not constitute a security arrangement; rather, it establishes the rights and privileges of U.S. personnel present in a country in support of the larger security arrangement. SOFAs may be entered based on authority found in previous treaties and congressional actions or as sole executive agreements.
The United States is currently party to more than 100 agreements that may be considered SOFAs. A list of current agreements included at the end of this report is categorized in tables according to the underlying source of authority, if any, for each of the SOFAs.


forgot your /snark tag. :O)


Proudly unAmerican.

Can't shed the fact that i was born here and live inside it, but i work at living in resistance to the [white supremacist, colonialist, capitalist, consumerist] identity, and to the Military and Industry Complex that rules the Congress and all other tools of the State.


Those bases have always been a source of pain to the people of Okinawa.
They have endured under the abuses of both the Japanese and the Americans.
Now this bs in the South China Sea with china is more theater

They are a gracious people who deserve better. Get out and stay out. The Ryukyuans don't want us as occupiers.


rolson et al, the amount business created by even the underpaid GIs, wasn't it half of the total of 50,000 stationed in Japan also is a factor in the economy by the bases? If all were removed it might leave the typical Japanese citizen on Okinawa protesting the removal of all of those troops and all of those dollars. Perhaps without my "snark tag" a more valid basis and information from "The Economist" for those who might actually be interested in the issue. the article published here may incite more vitriol against "the empire," without providing relevant information related to those same dollars. The U.S. was not the first occupier of Okinawa. Japan annexed the islands after conquering them centuries ago.

"Many Okinawans fear the new one, built on reclaimed land, would harm the environment and violate an area that is hallowed in ancient lore. At the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva last month, the governor asked whether his country could claim to share the values of freedom, equality, human rights and democracy with its rich-world peers while refusing to guarantee such values in Okinawa. Japanese officials, however, dismiss Okinawan opposition to the new base as a disguised attempt to win fatter economic subsidies (in return for hosting the bases, Okinawa receives large quantities of central-government funds)."



I HATE TO SEE ELDERS (anyone, actually!) TREATED IN SUCH A WAY..!!

They are to be RESPECTED!!


It is time for Okinawa to secede from the Japanese empire. it can remain loyal to the emperor but not to the political Japanese entity. Abe is destroying what it means to be Japanese. He forgets that Japan is the only nation on earth to have ever been nuked and that it was the US that did it!


Whatever the U.S. wants they seem to get. Money is power and power is corruption. All for the war Military Industrial Complex.


Indeed, thanks Ronna. Basic respect and humility are so lost in this rampant US culture of arrogance.


"Frances Fitzgerald was the first to recognize and respect the cultural legacy and integrity of the peoples of Viet Nam"

I was under the impression that the Vietnamese, and no doubt one or two others, had known about the Vietnamese cultural legacy and integrity for a couple of thousand years. Literacy in Vietnam goes back to around 232BC and they have spent considerable effort kicking out the Chinese imperialists since they first succeeded in 939AD, following which they built their first university in 1066AD.


"I'm reminded of the 1972 Pulitzer Prize winning "Fire in the Lake", one of the first in depth analyses of the war waged on Viet Nam."

You're absolutely right. Funny though how history as written in textbooks in many quarters here seems to have started with the US according to some big bang event throey, ahem... theory, all its own.


I hear you.

US Bases are quite the golden handcuffs and it could be posturing for the cash. It is the same decision for all of the communities under SOFA agreements.

Does the gold outweigh the cultural impact on the indigenous peoples.

And swiftly these decisions are impacting humanity on a number of fronts.

Selling out for the money has brought us to the precipice.


Another excellent documentary on Viet Nam is the "Fog of War". 2003

It is an study/interview with all the players of the time (McNamara, et al)
in the twilight of their years.

It really shows from the Vietnamese perspective, that even 30 years later
the US government still doesn't understand the factors on the ground.
Imagine that !


rolson, I lived for 3 and 1/2 years in Japan at the largest of the AF facilities in late '60s during the height of the Vietnam "conflict." The SOFA provided, except when a job for family members and/or teachers had specific education or security requirements, only Japanese nationals would be hired at all of the US
facilities. A huge number during that time. In addition to attempt to avoid dollars being used in the local communities, script was used to pay GIs or direct deposit to a US bank account with American Express being the only facility on base. However, local merchants had no problem with "arrangements" to be able to take script and then change it for dollars. Think of the cost to the US taxpayer for such support in dollars to provide for at least 100 of such facilities though I suspect there are many more under the "black budget." Even now the GOP continues to lie related to blame Obama for the removal of troops now being replaced in Iraq, when it was the SOFA established by Dubya that actually brought about the removal. When do cultural or environmental concerns really make any difference to the home country when US dollars are the issue? Just seemed to me a bit of education about the reality of the situation in Okinawa was far more complicated than expressed with the primary focus in the CD article being the revolting reality of protestors being "Dragged Away by Okinawa Riot Police.


The "Global Force for Good" needs liebensraum. (discontinued Navy ad campaign - the farce for good)

A military base in every foreign country is what the MICC wants, like they have a military arms supplier, or sub-supplier, in every Congressional district to assure yea votes in Senate and House for any boondoggle waste like that runaway blimp on the loose or the F-35 fighter scam! Bigger and more payrolls to hide thousand dollar hammers and toilet seats along with the $100 billion dollar toys! Never-ending military supremacy and spending over civilian society and its critical needs. "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Any senior citizen anywhere or anyone else, (like children by depraved cops) will be dragged away if they try to interfere with US fascism on the march! "Its not fascism when we do it"!