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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 December 13 - 19  > Veterans for Peace visits Okinawa in solidarity with local anti-base protests
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2017 December 13 - 19 [POLITICS]

Veterans for Peace visits Okinawa in solidarity with local anti-base protests

December 10 & 14, 2017
Members of the U.S.-based Veterans for Peace (VFP), visiting Okinawa to join local resistance to the construction of a new U.S. base at Henoko in Nago City, made a courtesy call on City Mayor Inamine Susumu on December 13.

Head of a 16-member VFP delegation Tarak Kauff admired the mayor's stance for struggling to keep construction work from fully restarting by asserting his authority. The delegation chief then read out a letter the VFP headquarters wrote to express its solidarity and friendship with Okinawans' anti-base protests.

On the morning of this day, the 16 veterans participated in a sit-in protest outside the gate of U.S. Camp Schwab. Former marine Mike Hanes said, "During my stationing in Okinawa, I felt like my job undermined local peace and security. Being here as a member of the VFP delegation, I now feel I've managed to engage in a personal relationship with you."

A VFP member was detained and taken to the Nago Police for his die-in protest in front of a work vehicle when riot police were dispersing the sit-in protesters.

Their visit will be from December 9 to December 17. With an action outside the prefectural government office as the start, they plan to take part in local anti-base activities and will visit the Futenma base as well as World War Two battle sites.

Miles Megaciph in the first-day action said he had participated in live-shell firing exercises in the Northern Training Area. Recalling that day, he added, "I feel terribly sorry that we destroyed your nature."

Adrienne Kinney at a press conference held on the first day said that she had never been assigned to Japan but she still remembers the news of the 1995 rape of an Okinawan girl by U.S. servicemen. She criticized the U.S. military for neglecting to take effective prevention measures by citing, "One third of female personnel suffer sexual harassment or physical violence."

Past related article:
> Veterans for Peace JAPAN founded [June 2, 2017]
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