About 250 protest at Camp Schwab gates as bad weather delays work on Henoko base

About 250 protest at Camp Schwab gates as bad weather delays work on Henoko base

Past 9 a.m. on February 9 in front of a gate to Camp Schwab riot police officers remove protesters standing in the road to allow passage of vehicles suspected to be transporting workers.

February 9, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

On the morning of February 9, about 250 citizens gathered at the three gates to Camp Schwab to protest construction of a new base in Henoko, which is meant to act as a replacement facility to Futenma Air Station. The number of riot police cars increased from four on February 8 to nine on February 9, raising tensions at the site as well. As of 10 a.m. that day no vehicles suspected to be transporting equipment or materials for construction were spotted entering the compound.

At 8 a.m., three vehicles suspected to be transporting workers entered Camp Schwab. Citizens attempted to stand blocking the vehicles’ path but about 20 riot police officers removed them to the side of the road, allowing the vehicles entrance onto the base.

Protesters chanted phrases in unison such as “Don’t bring workers in,” and “Stop ocean work.”

In Camp Schwab as of 10 a.m., the large crane ships used for placing concrete blocks underwater were moored with cranes contracted. Due to bad weather and high waves Okinawa Defense Bureau work ships were not seen on the water. It is unclear whether or not the multipurpose ship Poseidon 1 has begun its surveying work for underwater boring, although it has been seen moving about at times. Citizens opposing construction of the base in Henoko did not conduct protest activities on the ocean due to high waves and because it has not been confirmed that construction preparation is taking place.

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

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