Sunday, June 19, 2016


Tens of thousands of people protested the presence of U.S. military bases on Okinawa on Sunday June 19th.  More than 65,000 people carrying signs reading "Our Anger Has Reached its Limit" protested in Naha, Okinawa.  Many wore black to mourn the rape and murder of Rina Shimabukuro, a 20-year old Okinawan woman by Kenneth Gadson, a U.S. military base worker and former Marine.  Protesters blocked the entry of the U.S.'s Camp Schwab in Northern Okinawa, while protests against U.S. bases were held in 41 of 47 of Japan's prefectures.  At the protest in Naha, Gov. Takeshi Onaga called for a total withdrawal of Marines and was applauded repeatedly for vowing to to continue the struggle against Japan's Central Government.  

At the same time, more than 7,000 people protested in front of the Japan's Parliament building protesting both U.S. military bases and the increasingly militaristic positions of Prime Minister Abe, and organizers repeatedly called on the crowd to bring Abe's administration down.

Almost 20 people joined a solidarity protest that was held Saturday (which was Sunday in Okinawa) at the entrance to the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor and near the Pacific Command Center.  Hundreds of Japanese tourists visiting the Arizona Memorial took photos.  While many people living in Hawai`probably didn't know that our signholding was in solidarity with the tens of thousands of people in Okinawa and all over Japan, we're sure the photos of us standing in solidarity sent a powerful message as those photos were tweeted, posted to facebooks, sent out via Instagram, or other social media.    Thousands saw our signs; some honked and a few gave us the finger.  

No comments:

Post a Comment