2,000 rally in silent protest in front of US base, mourning the death of a woman
May 23, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo
On May 22, in front of U.S. Marine Camp Zukeran, where the U.S. Forces Japan Okinawa Area Field Office is located, in Kitanakagusuku, an emergency protest rally was held to mourn the death of a woman who was allegedly killed by a former U.S. marine.
About 2,000 protesters dressed in black and white clothes, some of them wearing black armbands, expressed their heartfelt sorrow over the death of the woman. They demanded all U.S. troops and bases be removed.
Without the usual loudspeakers that are at most rallies opposing the bases, the protesters walked silently around the base, expressing their deep anger and sorrow.
The rally was organized by 36 organizations, mainly women’s organizations including Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence, Committee for One-Stop Assistance Center, REICO （Rape Emergency Intervention Counseling Center Okinawa）and Group on Gender Issues.
Suzuyo Takazato, a co-representative of the Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence, said in her speech, “We regret that, despite Okinawan people’s rallies, which we have had many times, we are unable to remove the U.S. bases from Okinawa.” She added, “Military culture elicits violence and caused this incident to occur. Therefore, we demand the base and military to be removed.”
The demands in the statement adopted in the rally are: 1) an apology and support for the victim’s family and relatives should be carried out in a careful manner; 2)a complete investigation should be conducted and the perpetrator be punished strictly. (3) All bases and troops should be removed from Okinawa.
(English translation by T&CT)
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