Veterans for Peace protest in solidarity at Henoko: “No New Bases in Henoko or Takae”

Veterans for Peace protest in solidarity at Henoko: “No New Bases in Henoko or Takae”

VFP members voice opposition to the new base construction as a U.S. military vehicle enters Camp Schwab at 7:50 a.m. on December 11 in Henoko, Nago


December 11, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

On the morning of December 11, eleven members of Veterans for Peace (VFP), an organization made up of U.S. military veterans, joined the sit-in protest in front of the Camp Schwab gate. Citizen protests continue here daily in opposition to the planned relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Henoko, Nago. In front of the old Camp Schwab gate, the VFP members raised their fists in unison with local protesters and carried banners in English reading, “No New U.S. Military Base on Henoko,” “Close Futenma Air Station,” and “No Helipads at Takae.”

A VFP member being dragged by both arms to the confinement area surrounded by iron fencing and riot police vehicles at 7:24 a.m. on December 11 in Henoko, Nago

A VFP member being dragged by both arms to the confinement area surrounded by iron fencing and riot police vehicles at 7:24 a.m. on December 11 in Henoko, Nago

Mike Hanes, a former U.S. marine who was deployed during the U.S. invasion of Iraq, didn’t stop his calls for “no new base” even as he was dragged away by the riot police.

The VFP members also joined in the demonstrations and sit-ins in front of the new Camp Schwab gate. Tarak Kauff, a VFP board member, expressed enthusiastic support for the protesters. He drew on his experience of solidarity with movements in Great Britain and South Korea. Kauff said that the opposition movement here at Henoko has international significance and there are people all over the world fighting the same fight. He went to on to say that he will continue fighting together with all of the protesting citizens.

When the VFP members joined the early morning sit-in protests, the riot police exhibited caution, agreeing to remove the Japanese protesters first and the foreign protesters after.

On December 11, at around 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., a total of around twenty construction vehicles entered the grounds of Camp Schwab, including thirteen cement mixer trucks and dump trucks carrying gravel.

No obvious construction work was observed that day at sea in Oura Bay. Four protest boats and thirteen protest canoes took to the sea to protest the construction.

(Translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)

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