Eighty-six-year-old Fumiko Shimabukuro takes a stand in front of Camp Schwab
October 30, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
On October 29, the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa Bureau officers entered U.S. Marine Camp Schwab with construction vehicles for land reclamation and building the new base in Henoko, Nago. Eighty-six-year-old Fumiko Shimabukuro, continuing protest activities against the relocation facility with other Henoko residents, ran to the gate of Camp Schwab and threw herself into the front row of the protest. Despite police officers seizing and forcibly removing her from the front of the gate, she repeatedly rejoined to prevent entrance of the next vehicles. Furthermore, even when there were short breaks in attempts to remove protesters, residents did not move from in front of the gate and continued to express their indignation.
Shimabukuro participated in the sit-in protest starting early in the morning, wearing a pink tee shirt with “the way not to lose is to not give up until you win” written upon it. She linked arms with other city residents and scowled at the police officers forcibly removing them.
When Shimabukuro had a break to speak with her fellow protesters, looking back on the events of the day, she said that on this day, too, she got angry with many people. Some women who participated in the protest wanted to gain a sense of other protesters’ sentiments through their conduct, and said they were able to pick up on Shimabukuro’s pent-up rage toward the government of Japan, which forces operations through while ignoring the complaints of local Okinawans.
(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)
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