2000 people form human chain in front of Camp Schwab in Henoko to demand cancellation of construction of new U.S. base

2000 people form human chain in front of Camp Schwab in Henoko to demand cancellation of construction of new U.S. base

Participants in the human chain rally seeking to block the construction of the new base sing songs of protest, at 2:54 p.m. on July 22, in front of the gate of Camp Schwab, Henoko, Nago City


July 22, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

At 2:00 p.m. on July 22, in front of the gates of Camp Schwab in Henoko, Nago, citizen groups formed a ‘human chain’ to protest the construction of the new U.S. base that is part of the replacement of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan. The protestors called for the reclamation of Oura Bay to be blocked. According to the organizer, about 2,000 people took part in the protest rally.

Participants bound their hands together in a 1.2 kilometer-long line along the fence and surrounded the base. They raised their voices in protest, saying, “No new Henoko base”.

The human chain protest was organized by the Okinawa Council Opposing Base Relocation Within Okinawa consisting of peace groups in the prefecture.

At the beginning of the rally, the participants released about 1,000 balloons into the sky as an expression of their desire to create peace.

The participants did a “Mexican wave” to convey the movement of energy from one group to the next group.
They called for the new base construction to be stopped, holding placards saying, “No Henoko Base”.

Songs were performed at the rally.

Nago City Mayor Susumu Inamine criticized the government for forcing to the continuation of the construction of the new base, saying, “Is it really a law-governed state?”. He encouraged the participants, saying, “Each person is doing their best to regain local autonomy and democracy.”
Diet members from Okinawa inspired participants with speeches about solidarity.

(English translation by T&CT)

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