Nine years since U.S. helicopter crash onto Okinawa International University: Protesters stage a “die-in rally” in front of Marine base

Nine years since U.S. helicopter crash onto Okinawa International University: Protesters stage a “die-in rally” in front of Marine base

At 8:20 a.m. on August 13, people staged a "die-in," lying on the ground in front of the gate of Camp Foster, Kitanakagusuku to protest against the U.S. military.


August 13, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

On August 13, protesters staged a “die-in rally” in front of Camp Foster, Kitanakagusuku to mark the ninth anniversary of the U.S. marine helicopter crash onto Okinawa International University. About 70 people took part in “Memorial Tuesday,” held from 7:00 a.m. They protested against the additional Osprey and a Kadena-based HH-60 helicopter crash in a “die-in,” a non-violent act, which first appeared in the United States during the 1960s. Tsuyako Shimabukuro, a member of the Okinawan folk music group Deigo Musume, sang the song Kanpo nu Kwe-nukusaa (Leftovers of the Warship) and Okinawa wo kaese (Give Okinawa back to us) at the rally.

People have held a protest rally every Tuesday in front of the Marine base. Tomoyuki Kobashigawa, the 70-year-old organiser of the rally, said, “In our movement we will not raise our fists or yell. We protest against the U.S. forces as an organization, but we respect U.S. soldiers as individuals.”

They placed a piece of art by Kobashigawa that represents a helicopter crash in Okinawa International University and decorated it with flowers. Participants observed a moment of silence after they sang a chorus of song Satoukibi Batake (Sugar Cane Fields).

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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University President seeks to close Futenma immediately

August 13, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

August 13 is the ninth anniversary of a U.S. military helicopter crashing onto Okinawa International University. A gathering was held in front of the monument where the helicopter crashed. University President Tamotsu Oshiro called for the United States and Japanese governments to close the base at Futenma immediately and return the land. He stressed that Futenma has become the most dangerous base in existence, and referred to the additional deployment of the Osprey and incidents involving the military. Two students also expressed their views on the Futenma issue.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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