Thousands of protesters march against Osprey deployment while singing

Thousands of protesters march against Osprey deployment while singing

n the afternoon of December 23, in the Oyama district of Ginowan, people marched to music, protesting against the Osprey deployment and crimes involving U.S. military personnel.

December 24, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On December 23, a rally was held in Ginowan to protest against the deployment of the MV-22 Osprey to Okinawa, and against ongoing crime and incidents involving U.S. military personnel. About 3000 people from both inside and outside of the prefecture participated in the rally. After the rally at the Open Theater in Ginowan Seaside Park participants marched while singing songs. With this approach, the protesters used a range of methods to appeal to the U.S. and Japanese governments to withdraw the Osprey aircraft from Okinawa and to swiftly close and then remove U.S. military bases from the prefecture.

During the rally, Shiko Sakiyama, chairman of the Okinawa Peace Movement Center, said, “We should do our utmost to prevent next year’s planned full deployment of the Osprey, and then push for the removal of the bases.” The participants adopted a resolution stating that the people of Okinawa will protest against the deployment of the Osprey and ongoing crimes and incidents involving U.S. military personnel, and will continue to defy the U.S. and Japanese governments, and the U.S. military that force this unreasonable burden upon Okinawa.

The organizers launched this “Sound Demo” to allow people from different generations to protest participate peacefully and easily.

The participants marched about two kilometers from the Kankai Gate of Ginowan Seaside Park to the open area in front of the Oyama Gate of Futenma Air Station, where the Osprey aircraft are deployed.

The march split into ten groups led by vehicles carrying musicians active in Okinawa and beyond. They performed rock, folk and club, ethnic songs. People marched in a relaxed manner listening to the music performances dedicated to peace, as well as demanding the removal of the Osprey aircraft and the U.S. military bases from Okinawa.

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