Henoko canoe protestors hustle against the construction again

Henoko canoe protestors hustle against the construction again

Around 11:30 a.m. on October 29, Coast Guard officers detained protestors. (Taken by Masatosi Moromizato)

October 30, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

Citizens opposing the construction of the new U.S. base in Henoko, Nago put their lives on the line to stop the offshore work towards the new base, which was restarted on October 29. Despite being detained by Coast Guard officers many times, protestors on canoes persisted with trying to obstruct the works. Once again, a tense standoff is taking place on the calm waters of Henoko.

Similarly to the protest in front of Camp Schwab, canoe team members began their protest activities in the early morning and continued them throughout the day. Protestors blocked work ships on their way to locations where floats and oil fences for a drilling survey are being installed. Holding on to the oil fence, protestors pushed back against the work ships to prevent them from continuing the work. There was a heated interaction, in which a protestor and a worker struggled over a rope and both fell into the ocean. Another situation involved more than ten Coast Guard officers surrounding one protestor.

Whenever Yu Ikema, a 23-year-old college student and member of a canoe team “Henoko Blue”, repeatedly yelled at a workman, “Stop the work,” Coast Guard officers detained her. While she expressed fear of being caught, she looked on and said, “I want to delay their work even if it is just another minute.”

Koshin Nakamoto, executive director of the Offshore Heliport Opposition Committee, spoke through a speaker to the Coast Guard, “This is the citizens’ ocean. Donʻt lend your support to any act that leads to war.” He expressed his determination, “We will fight until the end.”

(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana) 

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